More Frequent Dialysis allows Kidney Patients Freedom in Diet, Misconception?


Conventional wisdom suggests that the type and frequency of dialysis will determine how liberal a diet you may consume. When home dialysis is done five or six days a week, the diet is less restrictive than for the three-day week in-center dialysis. This is because waste and extra fluids are removed on a more regular basis.

However, a recent study released by the National Kidney Foundation states that, "most short-term studies of more frequent dialysis do not show significant benefits in improving nutritional status." Three daily hemodialysis and 5 nocturnal hemodialysis trials were identified. More frequent hemodialysis did not appear to consistently improve serum albumin levels, weight after dialysis, protein catabolic rate, or protein and energy intake as measured by food diaries. Nevertheless, there was an improvement in serum phosphorus levels and a decline in the use of phosphate binders, particularly in participants who received nocturnal hemodialysis.

Typically the type of dialysis treatment you chose had a lot to do with the foods you wanted to eat versus the foods you would have to limit or avoid. Although most short-term studies of more frequent dialysis do not show significant benefits in improving nutritional status, some nutritional benefits may accrue with longer follow-up or long-term dialysis, or both.'s position on this subject is that it is important to listen to your healthcare team and follow the dietary guidelines they set to avoid further complications. You should be able to tell if the diet you are following is working for you based on how you feel. You should feel better, have a healthier appetite, good blood pressure control, and experience less swelling if the diet is appropriate. The bottom line is to discuss the matter with your healthcare team and learn all you can about your condition.

Reference: National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine


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