DaVita Espanol

DaVita.com > Kidney disease education > Diet And Nutrition > Diet Basics > The Diabetic Dialysis Diet

The Diabetic Dialysis Diet

What is a diabetic dialysis diet?

The diabetic dialysis diet is specifically for patients who have stage 5 chronic kidney disease (CKD), also called end stage renal disease (ESRD), in addition to diabetes. The diet’s goal is to manage blood glucose levels and help you feel your best.

What can I eat?

Like the other dialysis diets, the diabetic dialysis diet is filled with nutritious foods. You will work closely with your dietitian to create a balanced eating plan that will feature high quality proteins and the proper balance of carbohydrates and fats to meet your individual needs.

What can’t I eat?

Your diet will have restrictions regarding foods that contain high amounts of phosphorus, sodium and potassium. But because of your diabetes, your carbohydrate intake will be tightly controlled in order to manage your blood glucose levels. High sugar foods increase blood glucose. All carbohydrate containing foods (including bread, cereal, pasta, rice, starchy vegetables, fruits, juices and many sugar-free desserts) increase blood glucose levels. Therefore, the total amount of carbohydrates you eat will be balanced with your medicines and activity level. Your dietitian may teach you a system called carbohydrate counting to keep your carbohydrate intake balanced.

Why do I have to eat this way?

Your dietitian and doctor will advise you to eat this way in order to reduce the risk of other health problems associated with diabetes and kidney disease.

How does it help?

Diabetes affects your entire body. It can cause nerve damage, problems in blood circulation and blindness as well as kidney disease. By following this eating plan carefully, you can control your blood glucose levels and lessen the likelihood of developing other diabetes-related problems. Your body can remain healthy and strong.

Phosphorus is not cleared well through dialysis. It can build to high levels in the bloodstream and cause complications such as weak bones, heart problems, joint pain or skin ulcers. Too much or too little potassium can cause muscle weakness and heart failure. By controlling foods that contain these minerals, you lessen the risk of developing additional complications.

Sodium causes your body to hold on to more fluid and raises your blood pressure. It also makes you thirsty, causing you to drink too much fluid. When you have too much fluid in your body, you may feel uncomfortable and short of breath. When this excess fluid is removed during dialysis, you can feel dizzy and weak afterwards. Eating less sodium and controlling your fluid intake can help you feel comfortable before and after your dialysis sessions.

Uncontrolled blood glucose level can also increase your thirst. You will be encouraged to check your glucose and keep it controlled to help manage your thirst.

What about fluid intake?

Your dietitian will recommend a specific fluid allowance, based on your health, remaining kidney function, level of activity and the type of dialysis you choose.

How long do I have to follow the diabetic dialysis diet?

You will follow the diabetic dialysis diet for as long as your doctor and dietitian recommend.

How do I know if the diabetic dialysis diet is working?

You’ll know if the diabetic dialysis diet is working not only by how you feel, but through lab test results. Diabetics are instructed to monitor their own blood glucose levels through a simple test using a home blood glucose monitoring machine. If you do not have one, ask your doctor for a prescription for a glucose monitoring machine and testing strips. You’ll be able to see whether or not your blood glucose levels fall within an acceptable range at anytime.

Another test, called a hemoglobin A1c or A1c test, is performed by your doctor. This test measures the average blood glucose level over three months. The results can tell you how well your diabetes has been controlled. Your diet may require changes when your A1c level is too high.

In addition to controlling your diabetes, your diabetic dialysis diet is designed to help you with your kidney disease. By sticking to your fluid allowance, eating the recommended foods and watching your phosphorus, sodium and potassium intake, plus taking your prescribed medications, you will eat well and should feel better and stay healthier.

Your dietitian will monitor your health and conduct a nutrition assessment when you start on dialysis and then each year after that. This assessment will check for any signs of nutrition problems, changes in weight and energy levels plus any problems that may interfere with eating. It will include a nutrition plan individualized for your personal needs.

If I follow the diabetic dialysis diet will my kidneys get better?

No diet or treatment can reverse the damage done to the kidneys. The diabetic dialysis diet will keep you healthy by managing your blood glucose levels and lessening the chances of other complications resulting from diabetes and kidney disease.


View All Articles in Diet Basics


Have no fear, Diet Helper is here

Download a Cookbook

Get a free recipe collection from the DaVita® kitchen.

No-Cost Kidney Health Classes

Find a no-cost, in-person class near you.

Find a Dialysis Center

Over 2,000 across the US.

Advanced Search

Or call 1-800-424-6589 now to speak with a placement specialist.

DaVita

© 2004-2014 DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc. All rights reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy of medical information | Web Privacy Policy | Safe Harbor Privacy | FAQs | Site map | Advertise with us
This site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice from a physician.
Please check with a physician if you need a diagnosis and/or for treatments as well as information regarding your specific condition. If you are experiencing urgent medical conditions, call 9-1-1

116