Hemodialysis and You
Process, Safety, and Diet - What you need to know
What is Hemodialysis?
Diabetes and High Blood Pressure are the two main causes of Chronic Renal Failure. Continuous high levels of blood sugar can cause damage to organs, such as the kidneys, and continuous high blood pressure damages blood vessels.
How often do you need Dialysis?
It is important to remember dialysis is to sustain healthy life, it is not a cure for kidney disease.
Clotting is another risk of hemodialysis, as a clot where access to blood vessels is needed can interfere with dialysis occurring and also cause dangerous changes in bodily fluids and electrolytes such as potassium, sodium and chloride.
It is important to remember that you cannot have blood draws, IV fluids, or blood pressure readings taken from the arm that has your fistula.
Follow the picture below for additional ways to keep your dialysis site healthy and prevent infection:
Dialysis and Diet
Here's how you can do it:
Reducing salt / sodium -
will help with the amount of fluid your body holds onto between dialysis treatments, and help maintain a healthy blood pressure. Instead of adding salt to your foods for flavor, try adding herbs and spices or other options labeled as low sodium. It is important when reducing sodium that the replacements are not high in potassium! Also - avoid pre-packaged and processed foods.
Reducing potassium -
Potassium is an electrolyte that helps with muscle contractions, including your most important muscle - the heart.
Foods that should be avoided are bananas, dried fruit, raisins, kiwi's, melons, avocados, tomatoes, cooked spinach or asparagus, and beets.
Low potassium fruits and vegetables include grapes, peaches, pears, pineapple, carrots, cabbage, garlic, celery, onion and radishes. It is acceptable to have 2-3 servings of these low potassium foods daily.
Reducing phosphorus -
Dairy foods contain very high levels of phosphorus, so it is important to reduce the amount of dairy in your diet. Some alternatives are non-dairy whipped topping and sherbet, as well as brie and cream cheese.
Also, speak with your doctor about your personalized fluid plan and the importance of keeping track of the amounts you take in, holding onto fluid means holding onto electrolytes!
*With diabetes, it is important to remember to watch your carbohydrates and sugar in your diet as well, take insulin accordingly, and never skip meals*
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Dietary Guidelines for Adults Starting on Hemodialysis. (2015). Retrieved March 26, 2016, from https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/dietary_hemodialysis
Garrick, R., Kliger, A., & Stefanchik, B. (n.d.). Patient and Facility Safety in Hemodialysis: Opportunities and Strategies to Develop a Culture of Safety. Retrieved March 26, 2016, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3315342/
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