Thank you for your message. I would like to commend you on taking such an active role in the care of your nephew. The diet for people on dialysis can be difficult to learn and even harder to follow. I am happy to provide you with some general information. However, it is important that the diet is tailored to the needs of your nephew, which depends on multiple factors. The dietitian at the dialysis center should be able to customize the dietary recommendations and provide an eating plan. The diet is based on the current lab results as well as the health of the patient.
Typically, patients on dialysis need to consume more calories and protein (especially protein from meat, chicken, fish, and egg whites). The nutrients that need to be restricted are phosphorus (found in colas, processed meats, most dairy products, nuts, beans, and any food product that has phosphate or phosphorus in the ingredient list), potassium (found in tomato/tomato sauce, bananas and other tropical fruits, oranges/orange juice, dairy products, among other foods), and sodium. Patients often need to follow a fluid restriction because they do not make much urine. You can speak to the dialysis nurses about your nephew's fluid allowance.
You can go the the USDA Nutrient Database to find the nutrient content of foods:
You can refer to www.DaVita.com for resources and recipes for people on dialysis. The dietitian and the social worker at the dialysis center should be helpful at providing you with information and education about things such as diet, kidney transplant, insurance, and the dialysis process.
Please feel free to reach out if you have any more questions.
LeeAnn Smith Weintraub, MPH, RD