Patient Speak

Raju Khandelwal

When I initially began dialysis, my life was extremely difficult as I was always under tremendous stress for managing fluid balance. I was constantly facing problems of breathlessness, raised BP and swelling in legs. Initially, limiting weight gain was highly challenging.Thereafter, I was sent for counseling to a dietician who helped me almost memorize all the rules for limiting fluid intake.

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Herewith would like to point out guidelines that helped in managing my weight gain:
  • Always bottle up the prescribed amount of water and avoid exceeding that limit.
  • Weigh yourself daily and check your feet daily for swelling, if you find swelling, stop intake of all liquids.
  • Keep your salt intake to minimum. Take salt only in recipes which cannot be eaten without salt, example gravies, dals, pulses, etc.
  • Take saltless rotis, parathas, etc.
  • If you feel breathless, immediately call up your dialysis staff and ask if you can preponed your dialysis.
After keeping these few things in my mind, now I am living like any other healthy, normal person. I am back to my routine. I attend my work, travel & party without any fear or guilt. Now I am no more facing problems of breathlessness, too much weight gain, high BP, etc. Now I can easily climb stairs, FOB (Foot Over Bridge) of railways, etc.

Thanks to dialysis, I have got a new lease of life and a new purpose in life making it more meaningful & interesting & all this with regular dialysis, little medication and some dietary restriction. Small efforts but BIG REWARDS.

Bijal Shah

When I was diagnosed with kidney disease in 2013, the first symptom that I felt was severe nausea and vomiting. This led to drastic weight loss. I would barely manage to eat 1 - 2 chapatis a day. Finally, in 2014, I was advised to begin dialysis which was obviously shattering.

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I was struggling hard to deal with the stress of undergoing dialysis and accepting it. This was the time when my doctor asked me to undergo diet counseling.

When I had the first diet session, initially I was shocked and surprised to learn that now I could eat much more than before. This meant that I was unnecessarily burdening myself with thought that I would be bombarded with additional restrictions due to dialysis.

The first thing I was told was that, “I should eat and eat well!”

This was because I had lost a lot of flesh weight which needed to be regained, healthily. Slowly and gradually, with the help of diet support I regained my weight. This was motivating as now I was having a healthy feeling. Now I decided to take my hands on experience in cooking and started exploring new recipes. Eventually, I managed this task so well that now I can, not only prepare main course but also several make mouth-watering delicacies and relish them.

Herewith are my inputs on how to make dialysis diet more palatable, attractive and appealing:
  1. If you are not a diabetic, then you may relish on homemade easy-to-prepare desserts and sweets like:
    • shrikhand (sweet yogurt),
    • rasagullas,
    • Sandesh,
    • Mishti doi (sweetened curds),
    • halwa (lauki/ gajar),
    • sheera (rawa/ dalia),
    • chikkis (rajgira or kurmura),
    • puddings,
    • custard.
    If you are a diabetic, you may add an artificial sweetener and relish these recipes.
  2. As we all know that we need to eat less salt, herewith are certain guidelines for making diet more tastier with less salt:
    • Use lime juice/ vinegar in salads to compensate for salt,
    • Use onion and garlic, ginger paste in gravies to make them tastier (avoid onion/ garlic salt),
    • Use amchur powder or tamarind pulp in dals and pulses.

By following these tips, I started enjoying my meals and now I no longer feel that I am losing on anything in my diet. I am eating to my heart content and am performing all my daily activities. I do marketing, shopping, grocery, etc along with cooking.

Finally, I conclude that, diet support is extremely essential to remain active, healthy and independent on dialysis. Now, I am no longer a helpless patient, but a proud, positive and confident personality!
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