Hemodialysis & Meal Ideas

for when you eat out or order in

Hemodialysis Overview:

Hemodialysis is a process for filtering your blood because your kidneys are unable. Since your kidneys are not filtering your blood naturally, water, electrolytes (sodium, potassium, phosphorus, etc.), and toxins build up. Dialysis removes excess amounts of these items from your blood. The blood leaves your body, gets filtered in a large machine ("a fake kidney"), and re-enters your body. Each session takes about 4 hours to complete (4).

This is a informative YouTube video where a dialysis patient videotapes the process of dialysis:

Dialysis Part I

Safety Stuff

- A dialysis treatment often leaves the patient exhausted. So have someone drive you to and from the appointments. (4)

- Take good care of your fistula! The fistula is how blood leaves and enters the body, so taking good care of it is important. (4) Here's a good website with tips: http://www.davita.com/kidney-disease/preparing-for-dialysis/planning-for-a-vascular-access/taking-care-of-your-av-fistula/e/5035

- And finally, stick to the diet! The diet is so important, and easier to manage than it sounds! AND you can still eat out! Here are some ideas of foods you CAN eat if you're going out or ordering in:

Burgers?! They're okay!

Order a 1/4 lb. hamburger! Better skip the cheese and tomato though, too much phosphorus. (1)

Substituting a chicken breast for the burger patty works too! :) (2)
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wings?! they're just fine in moderation!

Because chicken is a good source of protein, wings are okay! Eating them plain would be best, unless a low-sodium sauce is available. Eat the celery & carrots that come with the wings! (3)

*Check with your doctor about how many you can order...fried foods aren't to be eaten in abundance!

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Pizza! sure, but be careful...

Remember there is a limit on dairy, so ask for no cheese, or very light cheese! (1) Ask for light red sauce, too. Avoid fresh tomatoes, cooked spinach, and cooked broccoli. (3)

TRY THIS: onion, green pepper, chicken, and garlic! :)

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ice cream! ehh, better not.

Too much dairy! But sherbet is a good alternative :) Especially strawberry, raspberry, or blueberry flavors! (3)

TOPPINGS?! Yes! No whipped cream...but cherries and fresh fruit are great! Try to limit bananas, chocolate, and nuts! (3)

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How about SODA?

Great question. When drinking soda there are two things to consider:

1) How much liquid have I already consumed today?

2) How much phosphorus is in this soda?

It is important to not exceed your allotted daily amount of liquid and to not increase your blood phosphorus levels. (4)

Generally, light or clear colored sodas will have low levels of phosphorus. Sprite, Sierra Mist, Orange Soda, lemonade, or iced tea are good choices! (2)

Try to avoid: Dr. Pepper, Mr. Pibb, Pepsi, Coke, and Gatorade.

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fruits and veggies?! YES!

EAT THESE: apples, cranberries, canned pears, pineapple, plums, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peas, frozen veggies (without sauce), and fresh veggies. (3)

AVOID THESE: oranges, watermelon, apricots, bananas, tomatoes, potatoes, beans, cooked spinach, and broccoli. (3)

*Smoothies are great ways to get your fruits and veggies! Substitute TEA or JUICE (apple/cranberry) for milk or yogurt in your smoothie [even add some protein powder to your smoothies!]

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(1) Dietary Guidelines for Adults Starting on Hemodialysis. (2014, August 12). Retrieved November 26, 2015, from https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/dietary_hemodialysis

(2) Frequently Asked Questions about Kidney Diets. (2015). Retrieved November 25, 2015, from http://www.nephinc.com/nutrition-faq.html

(3) Nutrition for advanced chronic kidney disease in adults. (2011). National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse, 11(5572), 1-12. Retrieved November 24, 2015, from http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/kidney-disease/nutrition-for-advanced-chronic-kidney-disease-in-adults/Documents/Nutrition_Advanced_CKD_Adult_508.pdf

(4) Pellico, L.H. (2014). Focus on Adult Health Medical-Surgical Nursing. Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health and Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.