Kidney Food

This entry is part 3 of 10 in the series Renal Diet

Kidney Food

Kidney Food and effectsWhat is Kidney Food? How often do we think about the effect a cheeseburger has on our kidneys?

Usually, we are captured by the thought of biting into this delight; dreaming of a juicy sirloin burger dripping down our chin.

The thought-the absolute excitement of this craving is so powerful that calculating the damage to an already distressed kidney is the last thing on a kidney patient’s mind.

And sure, once in a while everything in the food court is an option, but kicking the fast food habit is, to many, like quitting smoking. And the companies advertising 99 cent meals know that once we are in sight, once the craving begins, we are pliable consumers for them. Fat, sodium, carbs.

Human Beings love this stuff, but to many kidney patients this is not kidney food. In fact, this type of food can be deadly. Let’s look at some of it.

Potatoes Tomatoes Spinach

Ultra high in potassium, potatoes are off the list for many kidney patients. I know they taste good, especially grilled hash browns–the kind you get at a diner, but impaired kidneys cannot handle added potassium and potatoes are loaded with potassium. The same holds true for tomatoes, including tomato sauce. There goes spaghetti for dinner. And remember when you mom told you to eat your spinach? Well, if you are in kidney trouble, then you’d better ask your dietician about these items.


Potassium is a mineral and one of it’s main functions is nerve control. When my son was in kidney failure, his hands shook constantly and eliminating potassium as much as possible was one of my missions. I knew we were giving up other essential vitamins, but keeping the heart beating on a regular basis was priority one. Potassium does this and since excess amounts could not be eliminated through urine, we just cut it out of the diet as much as we could. Other foods high in potassium include the delicious avocado. When we moved into our home, we noticed the neighbor in the adjoining back lot had an avocado tree which may someday grow over the wall, into our yard and into our hearts. A fabulous fat to eat, kidney patients will likely avoid the splendor of avocados. They will also give up dairy, which includes ice cream and milk. Bummer, I know!


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Kidney Failure Treatment

Kidney Failure Treatment

Is Hemodialysis Right For You?

Kidney Failure TreatmentThere are many ways to approach kidney failure treatment. Hemodialysis can be a very frightening word, particularly if you’ve just been diagnosed with kidney failure. However, contrary to what most new patients believe in, hemodialysis isn’t that difficult or complicated. In fact, a hemodialysis treatment can be tailored specifically to your needs and preferences.

What is hemodialysis?

Hemodialysis involves pumping your blood to a machine where it passes through a special filter called dialyzer for filtration and removal of excess fluids and waste products. For the treatment to be feasible, an access to your bloodstream will be required. It can be in the form of a fistula, graft or a catheter. It is often referred to as dialysis.

One hemodialysis session typically lasts for three to four hours and you’ll need at least three sessions per week. It can be done in a clinical setting or you can choose to have home hemodialysis. For home hemodialysis, however, you need to have someone with you during treatment. It can be a family member or a private caregiver.

Which should you choose?

Home hemodialysis is more advantageous for the patient because it can be done right at home. You wouldn’t need to travel all the way to the hospital every other day just to get your treatment. It can also enhance your sense of control, particularly over your treatment schedule. You may even bring your treatment equipment with you when you go on a vacation or a short trip out of town.

Compared with home hemodialysis, going to a dialysis center can be difficult for some patients. Aside from that, it’s physically exhausting, a patient’s privacy can also be compromised. There are also strict rules that need to be followed while inside the center, such as food and drink restrictions. It is also expensive and stressful.

In terms of safety, however, receiving your hemodialysis treatment in a clinical setting is far safer because there are skilled professionals who can assist you throughout the procedure and readily respond in case complications happen. You should consult with your health care professional if you are faced with kidney failure and the choice of dialysis.

Possible complications

Vascular problems are on the top of the list of possible complications of hemodialysis. Infections, poor blood flow; and clotting can happen to the access site. Once any of these issues happen, the patient may need to be admitted to the hospital for correction and to assure that the patient continues to receive treatment despite the problems. He may need to undergo another surgery to establish or maintain patency.

Aside from access issues, chemical imbalances can also happen during treatment. It can result in muscle cramps, dizziness or weakness. In severe cases, it can also cause a sudden drop in the patient’s blood pressure which, when not addressed right away, can be lethal to his kidneys and fatal to the patient’s life.

There are many types of Kidney Failure Treatment and your doctor can assist you in making the right decision for you.


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Let’s Talk Dialysis

Let’s Talk Dialysis

Let's talk about dialysisWhat is dialysis

There can be two definitions for the word dialysis, and in chemistry terms, dialysis is described as elements being separated in a liquid. While in medicine, it is described as the filtration of blood vessels in the body when the kidneys in the body could not function properly. It’s appropriate to discuss this subject, so let’s talk dialysis.

To know what dialysis is, it is good to also know its association in the medical world. Dialysis is mainly done when a person is diagnosed with a serious kidney infection that will require the treatment. Two major types of dialysis exist, but the common goal is the same, to clean the blood vessels from waste on behalf of the kidney. What the public should also know is that dialysis is an artificial treatment procedure in waste removal and is not a guaranteed cure. Nor is it a permanent solution.

The first type of dialysis is Hemodialysis. This is the conventional type of dialysis wherein a tube is used to carry blood into the machine where it will be filtered. Excess water and toxins are separated and the filtered blood is delivered back to the body. Four to five hours is required for this type of dialysis and will need to be complied thrice a week.

For those in kidney failure, the main function of the kidney is to clean out fluids inside the human anatomy and once the kidney is damaged and could no longer perform the complete filtration process, kidney dialysis is an option. If a person does not act quickly on a damaged kidney, it may lead to coma and soon death caused by stagnant waste in the body.

The second type is Peritoneal Dialysis. This method uses the present membrane called peritoneum in the abdomen that producing blood from dissolved glucose, electrolytes, urea and other tiny particles. A catheter is attached to the abdomen and infused with dialysate which needs to dwell in the inside for four to six hours before it is removed by the same process it was inserted. Waste can be removed on a regular basis. With peritoneal dialysis, the patient can practice this method at home with a prescription from the assigned physician. This is also less costly compared to hemodialysis.

Some patients diagnosed with kidney infection or disease might stick to the treatment for life, there are some though who may only need a few sessions and after can go back to living normal lives. It is best to consult a certified medical practitioner whose expertise lie in internal medicine.


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What is Dialysis

What is Dialysis?

What is_DialysisWhat really comes to the average mind when hearing the word Dialysis?

This word is so common yet not everyone knows the meaning behind the word. Some only assume its implication because they know the types and that it is usually associated with kidneys,  but not all know the simple word sense. Here’s a quick preview of how the word came to be: The word is a combination of two greek words meaning through (dia) and split (lysis). With the connotation mentioned it’s clear that it’s a process of separating two components of a compound or thing.

Dialysis is a term widely used in the medical field with the presumption of treating kidney failure. A person must undergo this when the kidney failure is near. Standard medical tests will be performed to ensure which type of kidney dialysis will be required by the body. It is best to consult a physician.

There are 5 types of kidney dialysis:

Hemodialysis – this is a primary type wherein a simulated kidney is attached to the body that is directly led to the blood vessels. This makes use of a glucose called dialysate.

Peritoneal – a tube holding dialysate is attached to the abdomen which absorbs waste particles from the body.

Hemofiltration – This process is close to hemodialysis but without the dialysate and blood is thrust through a cleanser called “hemofilter”.

Hemodiafiltration – This is a secondary type of dialysis which will have both the process of a Hemodialysis and Hemofiltration.

Intestinal Dialysis – This secondary type involves tweaking the daily food intake by adding fibres. This helps in the removal of bodily wastes.

What is Dialysis? Learn more.

Kidney performance and improvement determined by test results will decide if a person will need to stick with dialysis for life or only for some time. Dialysis does not come in a cheap too. In some countries, the government shoulders part of the expense, which ranges from 70-80%. Having health insurance can come in really handy if a person is diagnosed to be on permanent dialysis.

Dialysis is an option given to someone with kidney failure and this may at times lead to having kidney transplant but not always. A patient who undergoes treatment regularly may live a normal life but must have changes in lifestyle. A particular diet schedule must be followed and everyday habits may have major changes, particularly in chores and physical exercise. These changes may also affect occupation, as to not all occupation is advantageous to the treatment.

Dialysis might be painful to both the skin and wallet, so better secure what needs to be reaped in the future.


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Kidney Dialysis

Kidney Dialysis

kidney dialysis and treatment for kidney failureKidney dialysis is the only known treatment for kidney failure. Dialysis replicates the kidneys process of removing water and toxins from the blood and filtering through the vital minerals and nutrients we need. Although the process can increase life expectancy by several years, it puts a strain on individuals with kidney failure. It is taxing both physically and financially and studies have shown that the process diminishes life expectancy.

Kidney dialysis works by filtering through the toxins and waste products found within the blood. Healthy kidney function safely and effectively filters through over 1500 liters of liquid that go through our bodies every day. Without kidney function, waste and toxins would build up in our blood and we would slip into a coma and die. It is therefore, crucial that individuals with kidney failure have access to kidney dialysis treatments and therapy.

While kidney dialysis does replace the kidneys process of filtration and elimination, it doesn’t produce the same effects within the body as functioning kidneys. As a part of the endocrine system, kidneys release certain chemicals and hormones into our body that regulate hormones and even blood pressure levels. As we can see, the kidneys are one of the most important organs in our bodies.

There are several different types of kidney dialysis treatments available. The following is a short list of these treatments.

  • Hemodialysis
  • Peritoneal Dialysis
  • General Dialysis


These varying treatment options provide patients with opportunities to choose how they will live their lives with kidney failure. Each option involves invasive surgery and constant attention. Risks associated with dialysis include infection, infertility, and risks associated with surgery. It is also imperative that patients pay close attention to these treatment options in order to receive the nutrients and assistance that their bodies need.

In the end, while kidney dialysis does improve the lifespan of an individual with kidney failure it also presents a host of challenges and unwanted responsibilities. Kidney dialysis does not guarantee recovery. In fact, it does little else than provide the basic function of the kidneys.


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