I was diagnosed with kidney disease before 15 years and since then, I am on dialysis. Undergoing thrice a week hemodialysis was initially like a dull and lifeless job and I knew I was not going to pull off longer. However, my fate had many more things in store for me.
Initially; when I began undergoing dialysis, I had no clue about what was right and what was not for me and my potassium levels were always beyond normal range. I was then advised by my Nephrologist to meet a Dietician in this regards. When I met my dietician, I realized that diet was not something which I could adopt for a week and then forget. Also, it is vital to maintain follow ups regularly as diet is never same throughout. Slowly, after few counseling sessions, I began to develop deep interest in diet and gradually, I mastered it so well that I was then capable of guiding new patients too.
Herewith, I wish to share a few important tips that may help all dialysis patients to keep their serum potassium in normal range:
- You will get a ready list of low, moderate and high potassium ingredients from your doctor/ dietician. Take high potassium ingredients only 5 – 10 gms once in 2-3 months or on occasions only. This will not raise your potassium and will help you relish your meals too.
- Do not avoid partying but avoid binging. Whenever you plan to go for a party, carry some portion of suitable meal for yourself like vegetable pulav, biryani, vegetable parathas or vegetable sandwich and eat it first. This can be followed by little quantity of moderate to high potassium foods.
- Avoid having low sodium salts/ any other salt supplements.
- Refrain from having coconut, coconut based sources and fruit juices completely.
By following these guidelines, I was able to keep my potassium in normal range and thereby I was saved from risk of fatality. This way I gained handsome confidence and now I am totally incharge of my health.
Currently, I am proudly hosting a group on Facebook named “Diet and Recipes for Kidney Patients”. In India, large number of patients has several misconceptions, inhibitions and confusion regarding various aspects of diet and I feel that by making use of social media, we can help them clear their doubts.
Hence, I decided to take an initiative to involve myself in sessions and conferences on diet and now we organize online learning sessions wherein patients from around the globe participate along with expert dieticians. I feel that this is my bit that I can do to help my fellow patients benefit.
Lastly, I wish to only put that it is better the sooner we realize that dialysis diet is not a dead end of a road, however, it’s a new beginning towards healthy survival.