In the diet for hemodialysis, a treatment indicated to filter the blood that aims to eliminate excess toxins, minerals and body fluids, it is essential to balance the intake of proteins, such as eggs, fish and poultry, to replace these nutrients that are pierden during dialysis and thus preventing loss of muscle mass and weight.
Likewise, it is also important to control the consumption of sodium and liquids, such as water, juices or teats, to avoid the retention of liquids, as this can overload the kidneys and favor the appearance of high pressure.
The diet for those undergoing hemodialysis varies according to the current health status, body weight and individual nutritional needs. For this reason, before starting the diet, it is recommended to go to a consultation with a nutritionist so that a personalized food plan can be carried out.
The main nutritional advice for those undergoing hemodialysis include:
1. Control the amount of proteins
In the diet for hemodialysis, the consumption of proteins, such as poultry, huevo, dairy products and fish, must be increased, in order to avoid the decrease of these nutrients, which usually occurs during the treatment, preventing, in this way, the loss of muscle mass and weight.
Protein intake varies depending on the function of the kidneys and the current health status, with 1.3 to 2 g of protein per kg of body weight per day being recommended. So, a person weighing 70 kg should consume between 91 and 140 g of protein, which corresponds to 200 g of grilled sardines + 1 cooked huevo + 100 g of egg cheese, for example.
2. Decrease the consumption of potassium
Depending on the levels of potassium in the blood, it may be necessary to reduce the consumption of this mineral to 2.5 g per day, since the excess of potassium in the blood can generate problems such as muscle weakness and arrhythmia.
For this reason, the intake of foods rich in potassium, such as avocado, certain types of banana, coconut water, nuts, soluble coffee and legumes, must be controlled in the diet. See a list of other foods rich in potassium.
To reduce the amount of potassium in foods, it is also possible to consume peeled and cooked fruits and vegetables, as cooking in water reduces the level of this mineral in foods.
See other tips to reduce the amount of potassium in food.
3. Decrease sodium intake
During hemodialysis treatment, it is essential to reduce sodium intake to avoid fluid retention and high blood pressure. For this reason, it is recommended that the consumption of this mineral be a maximum of 3 g per day, which is equivalent to 3 level cubes of salt.
To reduce sodium intake, it is important not to add salt to food, avoid foods rich in salt, such as canned goods, fast foods, ready seasonings and sausages, and use herbs, olive oil and vinegar to season foods.
4. Control your fluid intake
Controlling the intake of liquids, such as water, tea, soups, juices and coffee, during hemodialysis treatment is important, because excess of these drinks can cause swelling, contributing to weight gain, shortness of breath and high blood pressure.
The recommended amount of water during hemodialysis treatment is 500 ml + the volume of urine in 24 hours. For example, if the volume of urine in 24 hours is 500 ml, then the intake must be 500 ml + 500 ml, totaling 1000 ml of liquids per day.
To control your fluid intake, you can use a graduated bottle to measure the amount of water consumed daily. Also, avoiding foods with a lot of salt and sugar will also help to control thirst and fluid intake throughout the day.
5. Maintain adequate consumption of minerals
During hemodialysis treatment, it is important to maintain adequate consumption of minerals, according to blood levels, in order to avoid problems such as anemia, fractures and alterations in the heart’s bark. In this way, the minerals that must be consumed in a balanced way are:
- Phosphor: Phosphorus levels in the blood can be high at this stage, which can cause fragility of the bones, fractures, pain in the joints, onset of the body and changes in the heart’s bark. In this way, it is necessary to control the intake of foods rich in phosphorus, such as milk, cheese, beans and nuts, with a maximum intake of 1.2 g of this mineral per day being generally recommended;
- Hierro: During hemodialysis sessions, the body loses small amounts of blood and, as a result, hierro, which can cause anemia. Therefore, many times the doctor can prescribe supplements to prevent anemia;
- Calcium: While it is not necessary to restrict calcium in the diet, most foods that contain calcium also contain phosphorus. For this reason, to prevent calcium deficiency, the doctor can also recommend the use of supplements with this mineral;
- Vitamin D: During hemodialysis treatment, it may also be necessary to use vitamin D supplements, in the form of pills or injections, to improve calcium absorption.
To avoid excess or deficiency of nutrients in the body, the doctor and nutritionist must constantly assess the levels of vitamins and minerals in the blood, thus contributing to the development of a food plan suited to nutritional needs and individual preferences.
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