When coping with kidney disease, good health care is always a team effort.  Since each member of the team at your dialysis center contributes to your care, it is important for you and your family to work together with them.


Renal Diets

What about drinking water and other beverages if my kidneys don’t work?

Healthy kidneys remove fluids like urine. When the kidney function slows down you make less urine and the fluid can build up in your body, especially around the heart. This can put a lot of pressure on your heart causing it to not work as well.

How do you know how much you can drink?

The amount of water or beverages that you can drink is simple. What goes into your body must come back out either through dialysis or your urine. Your fluid allowance is equal to your urine output plus 3 cups of fluid a day which your body needs to function.
Just a few tips to helping you stay on track: Suck on hard candies to cut back on fluids. If you have diabetes, try sugar-free gum instead. Eat ice when you are really thirsty and add lemon on top! Try TRUE LEMON or LIME crystalized powder packs in water or on foods to stimulate taste buds and quench thirst too!

Phosphorus and Kidney Disease

Phosphorus is a mineral that combines with calcium to keep your bones healthy. When your kidneys do not work they are unable to regulate the amount of phosphorus in the blood and you may get too much.  Controlling how much phosphorus you eat, will help you and your bones stay healthy.

Where is Phosphorus found?

It is found in almost all foods, but it’s especially high in milk, cheese, dried beans, liver, nuts and dairy products.

Phosphorus Tip: In addition to the obvious sources of phosphorus in the diet watch food labels for hidden sources.
Table 1: Other words that also mean Phosphate Additives
– Phosphoric Acid – Sodium Polyphosphate
– Pyrophosphate – Sodium Tripolyphosphate
– Polyphosphate – Tricalcium Phosphate
– Hexametaphosphate – Trisodium Phosphate
– Dicalcium Phosphate – Sodium Phosphate
– Aluminum Phosphate

Eating Protein…getting to the Meat of the Matter to Stay Healthy on Dialysis

Prior to starting dialysis patients are often told to watch their protein intake as their kidneys are not able to get rid of the waste products from protein-rich foods.  However, after beginning your dialysis treatments staff will encourage you to eat extra meat and protein. But is it really that important? The answer is yes. It can be the best insurance to keep you healthy.

Protein is used by the body to build and maintain muscle, skin and blood cells necessary to fight infection.  Protein needs are based upon your body size and weight. Your dietitian will give you an individualized plan to meet your needs.

Some sources of protein in the diet include chicken, eggs, fish, pork, beef, soy/tofu, protein bar, seafood, peanut butter, and cheese. Be sure to check with your dietitian or on your individualized plan to see how much your body needs. 
Below is an example of a high protein recipe.

Jello shake: 1/3 cup cottage cheese
1/3 cup jellied gelatin
1/3 cup sherbet
410 calories/12 grams of protein



Nutrition Tips

Starting the new diet for Kidney Disease can seem daunting.  Patients starting on dialysis often face many changes. Diet/Nutrition is often the biggest change. Facing changes in your diet can be a challenge and overwhelming, however, following some simple tips can make the transition much easier.

  • First, make one change at a time. Find out from your dietitian which diet change is the most important and start there.
  • Second, allow time to adjust to the diet change. Habits often take 6 weeks to break. So mark the calendar and allow yourself 1-2 months to adapt to the new diet change.
  • Third, bring a list of your favorite foods and ask your dietitian how they might be fit into your diet. Most times you can continue to eat your favorite foods, just in moderation. 

With a little bit of work, you can start feeling better and adjust easier to the changes happening in your life.  Your OPKC team will continually strive to help you with the changes happening in your life.   

Improving the lives of people affected by kidney disease through services tailored to their unique and specific needs.

Olympic Peninsula Kidney Center

2613 Wheaton Way

Bremerton, WA 98310 

(360) 479-5908 

OPKC North

19472 Powder Hill Place, Suite 100

Poulsbo, WA 98370 

(360) 598-9712 

OPKC Northwest

2500 W. Sims Way, Suite 102

Port Townsend, WA 98368 

(360) 379-9605 

OPKC South

450 S. Kitsap Blvd. Suite 178

Port Orchard, WA 98366

(360) 895-7795 

Corporate Office

2740 Clare Ave

Bremerton, WA 98310

(360) 479-1068