Diet Advice

What can I do if I have lost my appetite?

If your appetite is poor, it is important that you do not lose too much flesh weight (muscle or fat) because this can weaken your muscles, slow down healing and take you longer to recover from illness.

  • Try to eat little and often. Eat smaller portions at mealtimes and have a snack between meals, such as toast, crumpets, biscuits, crackers or cake.
  • Avoid filling yourself up with high fibre and low calorie foods which give you little energy, such as soup, fruit and vegetables.
  • Avoid drinks with meals as they will fill you up very quickly.

What can I do if I am overweight?

If you are overweight and have a good appetite, you should aim to lose some weight. Remember that the amount of food you eat, as well as the type of foods, is important. The benefits of a healthier weight include having more treatment choices. You may not be able to have a kidney transplant if you are overweight because of the pressure the operation will put on your body. The dietitian can help you lose weight while maintaining a healthy diet.

What can I do?

• Follow a healthy, balanced diet. Reduce the amount of salt you eat.

• Be aware of the amount of fluid you drink.

• If prescribed, take your phosphate binders as instructed.

• Exercise regularly. Even gentle walking will help.

• If you are going to see the kidney dietician, bring along the person who does the cooking and food shopping.

There are a number of good resources that can provide more advice including

  • Edinburgh Renal Unit – this site provides comprehensive diet information including suggested recipes and recommendations about what to eat when dining out at the main types of restaurant cuisine (Indian, Italian, Chinese, English etc). It also includes specific advice for haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis patients.
  • Eating well with Kidney Failure - a book written by Renal Dieticians including Helena Jackson, a dietician at St George's. The link is to Amazon. Here you can buy the book new. But if you are looking for a lower cost option checkout the Kindle version and second hand copies also on sale.

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