Nutrition & Nocturnal Home Hemodialysis / Short Daily Hemodialysis

Nutrition for Nocturnal Home Hemodialysis / Short Daily Hemodialysis

  • Short Daily Hemodialysis (SDHD) is usually 2 to 2 ½ hours per treatment, 5 to 6 times a week
  • Nocturnal Hemodialysis (NHD) is usually 8 to 9 hours per treatment, 6 nights a week
  • With increased use of hemodialysis, there are less dietary restrictions

When you have chronic kidney disease, nutrition is an important part of your treatment plan. Your Dietitian will help you plan your meals with the right foods and
in the right amounts. Nutrients affecting the kidneys at this stage are: protein, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamins, and fluid.

Kidney Disease and Diabetes

If you have diabetes, you may need to make a few changes to your diabetes diet, with the help of your dietitian. Check your blood sugar levels often and try to keep your levels under control. Your doctor or pharmacist may adjust your insulin or other medications if your kidney disease gets worse.

Renal Dietitian

Your doctor or renal dietitian will monitor your blood work. If any changes are required to your diet, a renal dietitian will work with you to develop a meal plan that will fit within your cultural and lifestyle needs. It is important to remember that dietary changes may vary among people with kidney disease.


Protein | Sodium | Potassium | Phosphorus | Vitamins | Fluids



Some protein is removed from your body during HD. More protein should be eaten when you are on dialysis. Protein comes from:

  • Red meats
  • Poultry (chicken, turkey, duck)
  • Fish and seafood
  • Eggs
  • Milk and cheeses
  • Tofu, legumes and beans

Eating the right amount of protein will help to:

  • Build muscles & repair body tissues
  • Fight infections and helps with healing
  • Prevent wastes from building up in your blood

Note: Milk, cheese, legumes (dried peas, dried beans, and lentils), soy beverage and processed meats are high in phosphorus. These foods should be limited.



Limiting sodium to 2000-3000mg or less (about 1 teaspoon of salt) per day:

  • Helps to reduce fluid build up in the body (swelling of the ankles, fingers, eyes)
  • Helps to control blood pressure within normal ranges
  • Helps to control thirst

Sodium is a mineral and is found in most foods, but is especially high in:

  • Table salt & sea salt
  • Salty seasonings (e.g. soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, garlic salt, and seasoning salt)
  • Most canned foods and some frozen foods
  • Processed meats (e.g. ham, bacon, sausage, cold cuts)
  • Salted snack foods (e.g. chips, crackers, pickles)
  • Most restaurant and take-out foods
  • Canned or dehydrated soups (e.g. packaged noodle soup)


  • Eat foods closest to their natural state (not processed)
  • Read food labels for the amount of sodium
  • Add flavour to your food. Try a dash of:
    — Hot pepper sauce
    — Lemon juice
    — Vinegar
    — Fresh or dried herbs and spices
    — No-added salt blends (Mrs. Dash®, McCormick’s No Salt Added®)

Avoid: Salt substitutes (Half Salt® or No-Salt®)



  • Potassium in your blood is removed with each  hemodialysis treatment
  • Potassium is not restricted in your diet unless the level of potassium in your blood is high



  • Phosphorus may be restricted in the diet
  • Your Renal Dietitian will discuss this with you if you need to lower the phosphorus in your diet
  • Dietary phosphorus may be individually liberalized based on blood work
  • Phosphate binders may or may not be prescribed



  • When your diet is limited you may need to take a special vitamin pill made for people with kidney disease
  • Do not take over-the-counter vitamins
  • Do not take over the counter Vitamin D or calcium pills unless recommended by your kidney doctor
  • Check with the kidney doctor and/or pharmacist about herbal medications.



Fluid intake may or may not be limited and will depend on:

  • Your 24hr urine volume collection
  • If you have fluid buildup (hands, leg, feet, chest)
  • Fluid gains between hemodialysis treatments