Our kidneys play a vital role in keeping us healthy – they eliminate waste products, maintain our balance of water and minerals, produce hormones to help produce red blood cells and help with the formation of bones. People with end stage chronic kidney disease or kidney failure have impaired kidney function and need dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive. Dialysis treatment acts as an artificial kidney, and can help remove waste and fluid from the body. Hemodialysis is the most common form of dialysis – blood is pumped out of the body and is filtered through a dialyzer, which acts as an artificial kidney and cleans out toxins. Hemodialysis is usually conducted three times a week, with each session lasting 3-4 hours. Patients with kidney disease that have started hemodialysis treatment are required to make several lifestyle changes, particularly concerning their diet. This is because kidneys are no longer able to get rid of waste products and fluids efficiently, so you will have to limit fluids and reduce certain food items. It is important that dialysis patients have the right amount of minerals, vitamins, fluids, calories and proteins each day – patients will have to plan each meal carefully to ensure a good balance. Low potassium fruits, fresh vegetables, non-dairy items, grains and lean meat are recommended. Food containing sodium, potassium and phosphorus must be limited. To help you avoid eating salt, you can use herbs and spices to make food tasty. In addition, fluid intake must be monitored. Too much fluid in between hemodialysis can bring about discomfort, swelling and high blood pressure. Fluid intake is just not limited to what you drink – it is also included in food. Therefore it is important to drain all cooking fluid before serving food, to help keep track of fluid intake. By changing your diet, your hemodialysis treatments will be more effective, and you will feel better and can help reduce risks associated with dialysis and kidney disease. This way, you will not feel too ill, weak or dizzy following treatment. You will have to follow the hemodialysis diet as long as you are on hemodialysis. Your doctors and dietitians will make changes to it according to your condition and on-going test results. Although dialysis will not cure or reverse your kidney disease, the hemodialysis diet will help you feel better in between treatments and afterwards. United Dialysis Center can be reached by calling (754) 307-1536 today! We look forward to working with you.