Diet for Chronic Kidney Disease Patients

It is very important for people who have kidney failure to watch what they eat. Your diet affects how you feel and how well your treatment works.

You should follow general guidelines for balanced nutrition.

Your doctor or dietitian will prescribe a renal diet that takes into account such individual factors as:

  • your treatment
  • your current symptoms and condition
  • your particular likes and dislikes

The special dietary considerations behind this plan are designed to help you avoid foods with waste products that your damaged kidneys have difficulty eliminating. You may need to regulate your intake of minerals such as salt, potassium, phosphate and calcium. This is particularly important if you are on dialysis.

You may also eat and drink so as to regulate your fluid balance, which means regulating your intake of fluids, including alcohol.

It is important to follow the renal diet your doctor or dietitian gives you. There are many renal diet recipes that can help put these recommendations into practice.

If your kidney disease progresses you may need treatment by dialysis or by transplantation. If so, you will need to learn more about managing your renal diet. Each person is different. All the information about diet for patients in the early stage of kidney failure applies to dialysis and transplant patients. You can also read some extra dietary information specifically for dialysis patients.

It will be important for you to understand how to eat well—how to get the right amount of protein or vitamin-enriched foods, maintain a healthy target weight, and manage your fluid balance.

May 1, 2006