It is essential for Renal Failure Patients to adhere and stick to their treating doctor and renal dietitian’s advice and instructions in all aspects of the disease, especially when it comes to what they can and can’t or shouldn’t eat. There is no general renal diet to be followed by all renal failure patients; every patient’s case and condition has its specific diet plan. It is important that to eat healthy diet in general terms, avoiding fatty foods as patients are also at risk of developing heart disease. Following are some respective nutrition information.
Salt (Sodium Chloride)
People in general like their diet and meals to contain salt, some more than others. Renal failure patients should not follow this path, instead it is vital for them to lower their salt intake, they should aim to consume about half as much salt as other people, and they should especially avoid adding salt to already cooked food. In recent years, the food industry and market has introduced salt substitutes, such as Lo-Salt, well these products are NOT recommended for renal diets as they contain high amounts of potassium. Furthermore, it is important for renal patients to avoidpre-cooked meat and some canned or preserved food, as they tend to containtoo much salt.
Potassium levels in food don’t normally have to be restricted, apart from the warning about Lo-Salt substitutes. But for Hemodialysis Patients, potassium levels vary a lot, so it is very important for them to consult their renal dietitian to control potassium levels. Foods which have a high potassium level include apricot, artichoke, bananas, beans, carrot juice, baked potatoes, prunes and prune juice, raisins, lentils, spinach, tomatoes, tomato juice and tomato sauce. In particular, beans, lentils, baked potatoes, raisins, tomato sauce and prunes have high levels.
In the past, a low protein diet was recommended for patients with renal failure, but this is no longer advised. Modern treatment suggests a normal moderate protein intake. A high protein intake may eventually lead to renal damage, as it means increased phosphate intake. Therefore the Aitkens diet is NOT suitable for those with any renal disease. Substances which bind with phosphate, such as calcium carbonate or calcium acetate, are used to remove excess dietary phosphate in some patients. But in turn, these salts can increase the likelihood of constipation.
When Renal Patients’ illness progresses, it is common to lead to malnutrition,as theylose their appetite, and don’t eat enough. Consequently they get generally listless, as lack of energy may lead to the breakdown of muscle to provide energy. So, it is essential for Renal Patients to continue to eat proper meals. Somepeople even recommend having snacks between meals to increase their food intake.
This should be continued at a normal level, Patients should drink water whenever they feel thirsty. However, Patients with fluid retention need to watch their fluid intake carefully.In case they don’tproduce urine, they have to reduce their fluid intake;this is especially true for Hemodialysis Patients who have to monitor their intake carefully. Excesssalt in their diet drives them to drink too often. Hemodialysis Patients should find a weight increases by around 0.5 kg per day between treatment sessions, if it increases by more than this then they are suffering from fluid retention.
The regular daily nature of Peritoneal Dialysis makes control of potassium levels and most other dietary problems a bit easier, but a slightly higher protein intake is often recommended. Fluid intake is not quite as restricted as it can be for Hemodialysis Patients, but Patients should still watch for fluid retention problems. Sugar present in the PD fluid means that Peritoneal Patients should restrict their calorie intake a bit more than Hemodialysis Patients. Patients need to consume enough fiber to avoid constipation, which is a side effect of PD.