How can a kidney dietitian help me?

If you have stage 4 or stage 5 chronic kidney disease (CKD) you may be supported by a specialist kidney (or renal) dietitian.

What does a dietitian do?

Dietitians are qualified and regulated health professionals who assess, diagnose and treat dietary and nutritional problems.

Food, drink and lifestyle choices are very important for people living with kidney disease. Dietitians can help you make the best choices to support your health.

Dietitians who work with people with kidney disease are called kidney or renal dietitians.

How can a kidney dietitian help me?

Kidney dietitians educate and help people with any kind of kidney condition to make the food and drink related choices that support their health.

This will vary depending on the cause and stage of your kidney disease, the treatment that you are receiving and your blood test results.

What will happen if I see a renal dietitian?

A kidney dietitian will ask you about:

They will also look at your medical records and blood test results. Together, you can discuss any changes to your diet and lifestyle that might reduce the impact that your kidney disease has on your general health.

KK Eggs Peas on Toast Beth Druce cropped

Do I need to change what I eat because of my kidney disease?

Dietary advice is different for everyone. Everyone has different needs, even if they have the same medical problem. It is important that you only follow advice which has been given to you personally.

You may not need to change what you eat or drink. Your kidney team will let you know if you need to make any changes to your diet.

What kind of dietary advice may be helpful for people with kidney disease?

A kidney dietitian will discuss lots of different aspects of food and drink with you. This could include advice on how diet can help to slow down the progression of your kidney disease. They can also advise you on how to reduce the amount of salty food you eat and how to lower your potassium and phosphate levels if they are high. They can also support you in working out the amount of fluid you drink, which is particularly important with advanced kidney disease.

Your kidney dietitian can help if you would like to lose weight, have diabetes, a poor appetite or have specific ethical or religious dietary requirements.

You can still enjoy a healthy and varied diet with kidney disease.

How can a kidney dietitian help me?

How can I see a renal dietitian?

Ask your healthcare team to refer you to a kidney dietitian. Not every hospital or GP service has specialist kidney dietitians, but they may have a general dietitian who will be able to give you initial dietary advice.

Where can I find more information?

Please speak to your kidney dietitian for individual dietary advice, and for information about your specific dietary requirements.

How can a kidney dietitian help me? Download or order Kidney Care UK's information leaflet

You can download our How can a kidney dietitian help me? leaflet for free.

You can also order a printed copy of Kidney Care UK’s leaflet on this topic to be sent to you in the post.

Publication date: 05/2024

Review date: 05/2027

This resource was produced according to PIF TICK standards. PIF TICK is the UK’s only assessed quality mark for print and online health and care information. Kidney Care UK is PIF TICK accredited.

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