Kidney Diet Tips

How much fluid weight does a dialysis patient gain between treatments?

Scale The amount of fluid weight gained depends on how much fluid is consumed, how often a dialysis patient has the dialysis treatment (daily versus 3 times a week), and if their kidney is still able to remove water through urine. Some dialysis patients do not urinate at all and others still urinate because they have residual urine output.

Individual goals for weight gain between dialysis treatments must be determined by the nephrologists, and may vary based on small or large body size and other considerations.

The goal for an average sized hemodialysis patient is to keep fluid weight gain at or below 1 kilogram (kg) (2.2 pounds) each day. This equals a 2 kg (4.4 pounds) fluid weight gain when there are 2 days between treatments and 3 kg (6.6 pounds) fluid weight gain when there are 3 days between treatments.

Here is a guideline that can be used to determine how much fluid contributes to weight gain:

2 cups liquid = 16 ounces = 480 ml = 1 pound or 1/2 kilogram fluid weight

4 cups liquid = 32 ounces = 960 ml = 2 pounds or 1 kilogram fluid weight

Sara Colman, RD, CDE

Sara Colman, RD, CDE

Sara is a renal dietitian with over 20 years experience working with people with diabetes and kidney disease. She is co-author of the popular kidney cookbook "Cooking for David: A Culinary Dialysis Cookbook". Sara is currently the Manager of Kidney Care Nutrition for DaVita. She analyzes recipes and creates content, resources and tools for the kidney community. In her spare time Sara loves to spend time with her young grandson, including fun times together in her kitchen.