Dietary Needs During and After Kidney Dialysis

Gone are the days when kidney dialysis patients had no life except to visit their physicians or hospitals for treatments. These days, those who are receiving dialysis treatments are doing the things they always did before beginning their treatments, especially those who, aside from needing dialysis, are otherwise healthy and active. There are hundreds of thousands of Americans who are dealing with kidney disease, and more than 215,000 are currently going through dialysis treatments.

No two dialysis patients are alike, and the amount of treatments needed for each patient, the length of time for the treatments, and dietary restrictions are different for every patient. In fact, a patient’s weight, as well as how advanced their kidney disease is, are both factors in the amount of treatment needed. A physician will be able to advise patients as to what their dietary needs are, depending on blood and urine samples taken at that time.

Types of Dialysis Treatments

There are two types of kidney dialysis treatments, hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. The more common of the two treatments is hemodialysis, with about 90% of all patients undergoing this type of treatment. Hemodialysis is a treatment that allows the blood to circulate outside of the body into a machine. This machine cleans the blood and removes any waste product before returning the blood back to the patient’s body.

With peritoneal dialysis, the patient must be more hands-on with their own treatment. This is done by using the peritoneal membrane as a filter for the blood, and the waste filters through, leaving the clean blood behind. Patients are expected to do this type of dialysis themselves, and are required to put the dialysate fluid into a catheter, draining it after three or four hours, and then refilling it. The draining process takes about one half hour, and must be done four or five times daily. Because this type of treatment requires careful cleaning around the area to avoid any infections, this may not be the optimal procedure for those who are extremely obese.

Both types of dialysis treatments will begin with a physician performing a minor surgery to make a small entrance in the leg, arm or neck. Some patients may receive a plastic graft added on to make access for dialysis easier. This is especially common in children and senior citizens. Once the entrance has been created, dialysis treatments of either type may begin.

The Proper Nutrition For Good Kidney Health

There are five stages of kidney disease, and each stage has different nutritional requirements for patients. There may only be a few minor changes in the beginning stages, and as the disease progresses, especially in the secondary stage, the intake of protein and other necessary nutrients is actually reduced, which can help to keep the disease from progressing any further.

By the time the patient reaches the final stages of the disease, their protein intake will be increased greatly, although it is still possible for patients to get too much protein. Too much or too little can cause adverse health effects, and it is best that patients use a diet plan that is specifically created for them by a physician, dietitian or nutritionist. It is advised that patients do not use popular fad diets, especially those that are high in protein, as they often are high in fat and calories. Specialized diet plans use such dietary sources of protein as vegetable protein (Soy is terrific).

One of the biggest causes of kidney diseases, and something that can worsen existing kidney disease, is high blood pressure. A diet that is high in protein but low in fat and sodium will help keep blood pressure in check as well as regulate weight, which also plays a role in kidney disease.

Fluids are necessary as well, although depending on the patient, the intake of fluids may be restricted in order to avoid swelling in and around the organs. One great way for patients to get the protein and fluid they need is to use Profect by Protica. This is a liquid protein supplement that is just 100 calories, but provides 25 grams of protein per three-ounce serving. Profect comes in a variety of delicious flavors, including Blue Raspberry, Grapefruit-Mango and Cool Citrus Splash.

Protein Supplements Can Help

In addition to protein shots such as Profect, there are other terrific protein supplements available, including protein powders, liquid protein and protein bars/snacks. Protein supplements are made from a variety of protein sources, including whey, casein, rice, soy and egg, some of which are complete proteins and some incomplete. A complete protein is one that contains all 22 of the essential and non-essential amino acids.

Protein Powders – This is the most versatile type of protein supplement and can be used in a number of ways. Protein powders are available in many delicious flavors, including chocolate and vanilla for shakes, berry and fruit punch for smoothies and slushies, and unflavored for adding to recipes. For a quick and easy protein smoothie, just blend two scoops of berry or fruit punch protein powder, one cup of orange juice, one cup of frozen berries and one banana.

Liquid Protein – Ready-made protein shakes and smoothies are available, which are portable and easy to take anywhere. Liquid protein supplements also make excellent meal replacements. They can be used to create your own drinks and can be added to certain recipes. Many liquid protein supplements are milk-based, so if you are allergic to milk or lactose intolerant, you should opt for a supplement made with soy or rice proteins.

Protein Bars/Snacks – There are many different delicious protein bars available that make great snacks as well as meal replacements. In addition to bars, there are many other types of snacks, including jerky. Remember that no matter what type of supplement is being used, it is always best to check with a physician before using them and before starting any type of diet plan, especially for patients with kidney disease.

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