Renal Diet- Why Bother Tracking It?

Kidney diet hangover

Why Bother Tracking Your Renal Diet

Hi, this is Sue again. I would like to share what my experience has shown me about renal diet and dialysis.

Diet is very important to me. Why? Because every day after dialysis and even the next day, I felt terrible, just like the picture, and I was not willing to accept that for the rest of my life.

Do you feel like this after dialysis and even the next day? If so, this is what I learned. Do something about it. It does not have to be this way.

Pay attention to your diet and limit how much you eat and drink. The more you eat and drink, the more dialysis you are going to need and dialysis is hard on the body. So if you want to start feeling better, start paying attention to what and how much you eat and drink.

Talk to your doctor and dietitian about your labs and how to fix them if they are not what they should be (often it’s diet). If your labs are good, talk to them about what can be done to make you feel better. If you don’t want to bother, then neither will they.

Why would I bother to track my diet?

When you start dialysis, your doctor prescribes your dialysis treatment, this is as expected, but diet also needs a prescription.

If you want to maintain a proper diet, you need to know how much phosphorous, potassium, sodium and liquid you need to limit yourself to each day. You also need to know how much protein you need.

Believe it or not, this information can be difficult to get from your doctor or dietitian and you may have to insist that they give you the numbers.

Dialysis plus diet equals lab results and how you feel. This is a scientific fact.

From your doctor’s point of view, if your labs are lousy, then your diet is wrong and you should expect to feel lousy, because dialysis is a fixed process with a set of fixed parameters that he has prescribed. Therefore the problem is yours because you don’t eat right. If your labs are inconsistent from month to month, then he is probably correct.

On the other hand, if your labs are consistently good and you still feel lousy, you now have a shot at convincing your doctor to change your dialysis prescription.

To make this happen, you have to maintain a proper diet and limit fluid intake. This means in one manner or another you have to keep track of what you eat and drink.

Is it difficult to track my diet?

Yes, tracking a renal diet takes time and effort and can be difficult without the right tools, but feeling better makes it worthwhile.

Dialysis Nutrient List for Care Partner

Nutrients per Gram of Food in mg, Sodium in grams

Download our free Nutrient List for Common Items

How do I track my diet?

For information on tracking your diet, look for our next blog How To Track Your Kidney Diet.

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