Working with a Dietitian

Why do I have a dietitian?

Working with a dietitian is critical in managing your chronic kidney disease (CKD). Your dietitian will monitor your nutritional health and make recommendations to help you balance nutrition. Balancing intake of calories, protein, carbohydrate, fat, sodiumphosphoruspotassiumvitamins  and minerals is not easy to figure out. Let your dietitian coach you to develop the best plan possible.

How will the dietitian help me?

Your dietitian will create an individualized eating plan that addresses your specific health concerns. They will help you plan your meals and give you specific tips on how to make eating an enjoyable and nutritious experience depending on your stage of chronic kidney disease  and the results of your blood work.

What is the job of the dietitian?

Your dietitian will monitor your nutritional health, check your weight and make adjustments to your kidney diet to keep you healthy. They will also create a guideline of the amount of calories you should be eating, the levels of protein, fat and carbohydrates you can eat and the amounts of potassium, sodium, phosphorus and fluid that will be allowed. Your dietitian will provide meal plans, recipes, food lists and other tools to help you meet your nutrition goals. 

Keeping track of the nutrients in the foods you eat and their effect on your health may be a challenge. Your dietitian can help you keep track of this so that you can remain within the recommended guidelines. The dietitian will check your blood work results and make recommendations to keep you in balance. Your dietitian will offer encouragement and support.

If you have problems with what you are or are not eating, you can discuss your concerns with your dietitian. They can help you find nutritious alternatives to make eating an enjoyable experience.

What is a renal dietitian?

A renal dietitian is a dietitian that specializes in the nutritional needs of people with chronic kidney disease. Because the kidney diet is highly specialized, renal dietitians have more training in how diet affects kidney function, bones and the heart. Ask your doctor to recommend a dietitian or renal dietitian, or check the American Dietetic Association website to Find a Registered Dietitian.

Common questions for renal dietitians

Below are some questions people with kidney disease ask dietitians. You may have the same questions as well. Click on the links to reveal the answers.

Related articles on DaVita.com

Download a Cookbook

Get a free recipe collection from the DaVita® kitchen.

Get the Cookbooks

No-Cost Kidney Health Classes

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

Find a Class

Find a Dialysis Center

Advanced Search

Call 1-800-424-6589 now to talk to one of our placement specialists.

New to Dialysis?

Learn which DaVita service may best fit your lifestyle.

Explore Options
Back to Top