NUTRITION: The Art of Good Eating
Since you have decided to start Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD) you have probably heard that you do not have to follow a restricted diet. Your diet will be more liberal than before, but you still need to be aware of your sodium, potassium, fluid, and protein intake. Before reading further, take a few minutes to review those sections. This will help you be more familiar with the changes you need to make in your diet now. Turn to the Sodium, Potassium, Fluid, and Peritoneal Dialysis section.
All right. Now that you have refreshed your memory, let's go on.
Because your dialysis will now be 24 hours a day instead of 36 to 48 hours a week, more sodium, potassium, fluid, and protein will be removed. The amount removed is different for everyone, so your diet may be different too. You will have to watch your fluid weight gains, blood pressure, and blood values closely. When you finish this section you will know how to do this, and be able to adjust your diet accordingly.
Sodium, Fluid, and Blood Pressure
With CAPD, sodium and fluid intake usually can be increased. However, too much salt can still make you thirsty and cause you to drink too much fluid. The amount of sodium and fluid you need depends on your fluid weight changes. Watch yourself daily to make sure you are not gaining or losing too much fluid weight. If you are gaining extra fluid weight, cut back on your sodium and fluid intake. If you are losing too much fluid through your dialysis, increase your sodium and fluid intake. Watch your salt intake. If you feel thirsty often, it may be too high.
Some people on CAPD have problems with low blood pressure. If yours is too low, your doctor may tell you to put more salt and fluid in your diet. Some easy and tasty ways to do this follow.
Check the ones that you might try:
Your blood potassium should continue to stay within the low-normal range. Most people find they can add 1 to 2 servings of medium-potassium foods to their diet. But watch your blood values; if your potassium goes too high, cut back. If it is below normal, add 1 to 2 servings and check your blood values again.
Was your last potassium blood test:
Now, choose what you need to do:
Your protein needs will continue to be high, just as with regular peritoneal dialysis. Reread the Peritoneal Dialysis section. Are you eating as much protein as you should? Check your blood values. Is your albumin (Choose one): n normal n low
If your albumin is low, read through the Protein section again for ways to increase it.
With CAPD you will now have dialysis fluid inside you all the time. Because of this, you may have problems with a feeling of "fullness," here are suggestions that may help. Check the ones that you will try:
You may find that you begin to gain tissue ("dry weight") on CAPD. This is because your body is absorbing sugar from the dialysis fluid. The weight gain is helpful if you have been underweight, but gaining too much can become uncomfortable. If you feel you are gaining too much weight, check with your nutritionist. A safe way to help you return to your ideal body weight can be planned.
Why continue to follow a diet on CAPD?
When you start CAPD you start a less restrictive form of dialysis. Your diet will probably be less restrictive too, but this does not mean it is less important. To be successful on CAPD you must stay in good health. This can be done by good nutrition. It is important that you watch your fluid weight gains, blood pressure, and blood values closely so you will know when your diet should be changed.