"I keep getting different information about foods I can and cannot eat. I am so confused," said a Dialysis patient on the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Page. He continued, "At this point, I am just going to eat whatever I want...any ideas?"
While for a long time many Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients felt like they were alone or less sharp for being confused and frustrated about maintaining an appropriate kidney diet that offers enough nutrients while avoiding other health complications, research is now finding that it is just not the case. In fact, most Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis are confused about their diets and appear to be receiving some conflicting information.
Dialysis patients understand the value and intent of following a Renal (Kidney) Diet to reduce the risk of morbidity (secondary diseases) and mortality (death). However, outside influences, including conflicting information from various sources about what to eat and drink while on Dialysis, can often disrupt efforts to succeed, according to a Medical Survey conducted by Dietitian, Jessica Stevenson (MNutrDiet).
As a result of conflicting advice and recommendations as it relates to their diet, Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients are less trusting of expert guidance. Ms. Stevenson and her Research Team suggested, “Patients on Hemodialysis believe dietary control helps to reduce symptom burden and enhance general health and well-being, but competing medical and social issues coupled with contradictory and/or irrelevant dietary advice prevents them from implementing diet and fluid restrictions." Hence, patients are unable to gain their desired health benefits, grow frustrated with the complex contradictory process, and understandably become less compliant or give up on their dietary restrictions altogether.
Confusion in the diet and resulting negative health outcomes and/or bad reports cause patients to feel a loss of control, hopelessness, and depression. This is particularly the case when a patient begins Dialysis and can cause them to feel "overwhelmed and unprepared for the invasive and grueling nature of the treatment," suggested the Researchers.
While Chronic Kidney Disease patients conducting Dialysis felt like they were losing control and demoralized when they were unable to control their diets; they felt the exact opposite - empowered and better overall - when they were able to maintain dietary control. Thus, Nephrologists, Dietitians, and other Healthcare Professionals need to be more consistent in their recommendations and clear with advice.
As a patient, if you feel that you are receiving conflicting information, then draw it to the attention of your Healthcare Team for clarification. Also, do not allow your diet to be "cookie-cutter." Work with your Healthcare Team to create a specialized diet that works for YOU. Make a list of some of your favorite meals and work with your Dietitian to include the dish into your diet using substitute ingredients and portion size recommendations. What's more get the KidneyBuzz.com award-winning Life Management Guide by clicking here for non-medical tips and insights on how to improve your diet and overall health outcomes (click here).
How do you manage your diet? What do you do when you receive conflicting information? Your insights could be very helpful to other patients so share your responses with the nearly 78,000 friends who have liked the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Page (click here to leave a comment). Also, consider following the nearly 250,000 monthly visitors on KidneyBuzz.com for your Number One (#1) source of Daily News, Information, Impact Meals, Inspirational Quotes, and tailored Products and Services which teach Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, Kidney Transplant, Diabetes and High Blood Pressure patients how to better manage and improve their lives.