5 Dialysis-Friendly Ways to Protect Your Health


When you need dialysis treatments to do the work your kidneys can’t, is there anything else you can do to protect your health?

The answer is yes.

Dialysis does the work your kidneys can’t by removing excess fluids and toxins. But there’s a lot more you can do to stay healthy. Here are five tips for dialysis patients to help you protect your health:

1. Get help from a dietitian

Your doctor or healthcare team can help you find a dietitian who specializes in helping people on dialysis. A dietitian can help you create a meal plan that works for you and helps you limit:

  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorus

If you want to make meal planning even easier, check out these Dialysis-Friendly meals made from fresh ingredients.

2. Eat more fruits and veggies

Why? Fruits and veggies are low in calories and high in nutrients. Just be mindful of eating fruits and vegetables with a high water content (like watermelon or oranges).

Limiting fluids when you’re on dialysis is important, and the fluids you consume (not just drink) count, too. Most adults should eat about 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit per day and 2-3 cups of vegetables per day.

FYI: Fresh vegetables are a part of every Dialysis-Friendly meal on the menu.

3. Partner up with your healthcare team

OK. So reading about the latest in dialysis treatments, academic research, and medications, might not be your idea of “fun.” But you can still take time to learn more about your health.

  • Ask your doctor questions diet, exercise, lifestyle habits, and medications than can help you
  • Consult with your healthcare team
  • And follow their advice

4. Make exercise a priority

You don’t have to train for a marathon or climb a mountain. But exercise can improve your health when you’re on dialysis.

Aim for 20 to 30 minutes of exercise 5 or more days a week. Research shows even moderate exercise done consistently, can help:

  • Control blood pressure
  • Regulate blood sugar levels
  • Lower heart disease risk
  • Improve strength and balance to prevent falls…and
  • Improve your mood

5. Focus on your health

When you’re on dialysis, it’s easy to focus on the negative. You know…regular treatments, the amount of time it takes, risk of infection, quality of life.

It’s important to understand what being on dialysis means. But you can still focus on the positive to protect your health. How?

  • Be optimistic
  • Be grateful
  • Be patient
  • Celebrate every healthy choice

You’ll feel better, and be healthier.