Nutrition and Haemodialysis

Nutrition is an important part during dialysis treatment. Even if haemodialysis sessions remove wastes from your blood, it is of importance to reduce wastes and fluid that can build up in your blood between the sessions.

As a haemodialysis patient you need to limit the amount of fluid you drink in order to prevent fluid overload between the dialysis sessions.

13_CA_Text 272

You will be asked to change some things about your diet once you start dialysis. For example, you will have to limit the amount of fluid you drink each day. You will also be asked to limit your intake of certain minerals (e.g., sodium, phosphate and potassium). It might be possible that you may not need to follow each of these nutrition components. Please be sure to check with your dietician or doctor before making any nutritional changes.
Read more about fluid
Read more about sodium
Read more about phosphate
Read more about potassium
Read more about calcium

One main change compared to earlier stages of chronic kidney disease is the higher need for proteins. During each dialysis session a certain amount of amino acids gets lost through the filter membrane of the dialyser. To prevent malnutrition, it is important to eat sufficient amounts of protein now.
Read more about proteins

Many haemodialysis patients suffer from protein-energy-malnutrition. Additionally to the treatment-associated protein losses, other factors contribute to this condition, e.g. less appetite due to the symptoms of chronic kidney disease and catabolism secondary to haemodialysis. Thus, it is important that you eat enough! Sometimes it is necessary to take supplements, which provide you with vital food ingredients. Please contact your doctor to discuss with her/him whether supplementing essential amino/keto acids, energy or vitamins is necessary.
Read more about energy

How to implement nutritional management in every-day life

As you have to pay attention to several ingredients when adjusting your nutrition to your individual needs, it is advisable that you get information from a specialised dietician. Please ask your doctor about your individual nutrition requirements and if instructions from a dietician might be necessary.

To support you in planning your cooking, we provide a Food Ingredient Calculator (a database where you can check, which amounts of different ingredients your meal contains).

Content last updated
  1. Kuhlmann U, Walb D, Böhler J, Luft FC: Nephrologie. Thieme, 5th edition, 2008.
  2. National Kidney Foundation: NKF K/DOQI Clinical Practice Guidelines for Nutrition in Chronic Renal Failure. Am J Kidney Dis 2000; 35(Suppl 2): S1-S140. (last visited 20.04.2010)