Diet

The link between diet and how you feel

Various waste products can build up in your blood. Each kind can have different effects on your health.

Salt

Salt can increase blood pressure,so you may be encouraged to reduce salt intake. (Salt also has the effect of increasing thirst, so it makes it more difficult for patients to restrict their fluid intake).

Potassium

Potassium is a mineral which is found in the cells of body tissue, and any excess would normally be removed by the kidneys. Too high a level of potassium is bad for the heart - in extreme case it may even cause it to stop.

Phosphate

Phosphate is a substance that is widely found in foods. It works very closely with the mineral calcium, and the healthy body keeps these two substances in balance. High phosphate levels may be associated with itch and over the longterm can damage blood vessels.

Kidney patients can also suffer from a lack of some nutrients...

Protein

This is an essential nutrient that enables the body to build muscles. Low levels of protein can lead to fluid retention and to a reduction of the body's ability to fight off infections.

Vitamins

Some patients may need vitamin B and C supplements.

Iron

Iron levels may drop and cause anaemia, this can be replaced with iron tablets.

Remember - individual patients have individual dietary requirements. What you need will depend on the stage of your kidney failure, your blood tests, and the kind of dialysis you may be having.

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