The kidneys filter the wastes and fluids from our bloodstream. It is then passed out of our body as urine.
Chronic kidney failure takes place when the kidney starts losing its functionality. Thus, to keep the kidney from malfunctioning, health specialists incorporate the artificial filtering process in patients. This process is known as dialysis.
Most kidney patients have to go through dialysis thrice a week. In addition, they have to be on a strict hemodialysis diet. This diet helps to keep their kidneys from malfunctioning.
Types of Dialysis:-
There are two kinds of dialysis:-
It is the more common type of dialysis of the two. In hemodialysis, a tube is commonly inserted into a needle attached to the arm.
The blood from the arm passes along the tube. Next, it is put into an external machine. This machine filters the blood, thus providing a substitute for the kidney. Then the filtered blood is put back into the body along another tube.
Kidney patients generally have to go through dialysis thrice a week. The procedure takes about four hours.
- Peritoneal dialysis:-
The inner lining of the abdomen is called the peritoneum. It is equipped with thousands of blood vessels. Thus, the peritoneum can also function as the kidney to filter the waste.
Hence, in peritoneal dialysis, the peritoneum is used for filtering rather than an external machine.
This process is more complicated; kidney patients instead choose hemodialysis.
Kidney patients need to follow their hemodialysis diet strictly. Dialysis takes place thrice a week. Hence, the diet should be maintained so that wastes do not get accumulated to toxic levels.
The following are the items that every kidney patient should strictly keep in focus while planning their diet:-
According to health specialists, patients on dialysis should consume the correct proportion of protein. Consumption of more than the required amount of protein can also have adverse effects. Too much protein often increases the amount of waste in our bodies. Dialysis removes the waste products, but a lapse in the duration can be harmful. Again, if the protein is not consumed at a minimum level, it results in muscle loss.
Thus, protein products such as fish, eggs, poultry, and chicken are included in the diet. Kidney patients should avoid red meat as much as possible. Though milk is high in protein, it should be avoided as it is high in potassium and calcium.
The Chicago School of Research, in its study, concluded that potassium is required for the healthy working of the kidney. However, consumption of potassium in increased amounts can cause heart problems and cardiac arrest. At the same time, intake in less quantity leads to irregular breathing and muscle cramps. So, patients should consult their health specialists to advise them on the exact proportion of potassium to consume.
Generally, all green vegetables and fruits are very rich in potassium. However, if you want to control the potassium level in specific vegetables, you should follow the process of leaching.
Nuts, wholegrain cereals, seeds, brown sugar, and coconuts also have potassium.
Sodium is an essential mineral to be included in a hemodialysis diet.
Sodium maintains the acid and base balance in the body fluids. It is also an important electrolyte that is responsible for regulating blood pressure. Hence, intake of the correct proportion of sodium is essential.
But, again, too much sodium consumption has disadvantages for a kidney or dialysis patient. It can lead to irregular breathing, hypertension, and edema.
So, health specialists advise kidney patients to take sodium in a restricted manner.
Sodium is present in salt. Therefore, kidney and dialysis patients should constantly monitor their salt consumption. They should also try to limit processed food as much as possible.
The primary function of phosphorus in our body is to utilize other minerals and vitamins. They also give strength to the bones and teeth.
But, a patient who is going through dialysis needs to avoid phosphorus in their diet. It is because dialysis cannot control the level of this mineral in the body. Consuming phosphorus in massive quantities can also cause renal bone disease and skin itching. So, kidney patients have to avoid all kinds of food, home-cooked or processed, that are rich in phosphorus.
A critical element of a hemodialysis diet is controlling the amount of water you consume. Dialysis takes place thrice a week. So, the extra fluid stored in the body during that time can be very harmful.
If there is an accumulation of fluid in the cells, the feet and hands swell up. It is called edema. The extra fluid can also enter the lung tissues, which are not being filtered out. This causes the lungs to malfunction, leading to shortness of breath.
Tips to control fluid intake:-
- Limit salt consumption. Salt makes us thirstier.
- Select drinks such as juices to limit water intake.
- Practice having your drink in sips and not gulp it down.
A hemodialysis diet needs to be planned. Kidney failure is a sensitive issue. So, advice from health specialists is very crucial.