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J Assoc Physicians India. 2000 Jul;48(7):724-30.

Nutrition in dialysis patients.

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Department of Nephrology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi-221 005.


Malnutrition is a common clinical problem in dialysis patients, which is multifactorial in origin. It is most often found in a patient of chronic renal failure (CRF) during the period when the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) falls below 10 ml/min, but dialysis is yet to be started. The loss of proteins, aminoacids and other essential nutrients during the procedure of dialysis may further aggravate the malnutrition. Poor nutrition in dialysis patients is associated with increased morbidity and mortality in the form of delayed wound healing, malaise, fatigue, increased susceptibility to infection and poor rehabilitation. In view of the above consequences, all patients on dialysis must undergo nutritional assessment. It is very vital to maintain good nutritional status in-patients on dialysis by adequate protein and calories intake, appropriate supplementation of iron, calcium, minerals and water-soluble vitamins and, of course, the supplementation should be individualised. Nutritional needs are enhanced in presence of stresses like infection or surgery to limit excessive tissue catabolism and therefore, these are the situations, which demand intensive nutrition therapy. Total parenteral nutrition (TPN) may be required for patients on dialysis in intensive care unit, using a central venous catheter. However, enteral route is always preferred to parenteral ones, whenever possible. Even after adequate dialysis has been given, dietary counselling is often required for both hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis patients to ensure that they ingest the recommended amount of protein, calories and essential micronutrients.

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