Kidney Diet Tips

Home Dialysis Therapy and Your Dietitian: A Valuable Partnership

Having a close relationship with your dietitian when on home dialysis therapy is a struggle. Perhaps you feel removed from the relationship because you don’t have treatments in a dialysis center three days a week. The saying “out of sight out of mind” comes into play. And perhaps you may enjoy not always having the dietitian aware of your every meal and snack! However, the dietitian is, along with the rest of your team, key in helping you to stay on track and continue to strive for the quality of life you desire.

So how can you find the balance between this obstacle and home dialysis therapy? One of the many benefits of Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) and Home Hemodialysis (HHD) is the freedom with being independent and making your own decisions. The diet is not as strict, and therefore it can be easier to fall off track because of this reason.  Ask yourself some of these questions:

  1. What are the tools and resources available to you, and are you using them?
  2. Do you have a myDaVita account to access the DaVita Health Portal and your blood test results?
  3. Do you have the number and contact information for the clinic where your dietitian spends most of their time, so that you always know where to contact them?
  4. Do you have the written diet materials specific to your needs?

The DaVita website offers you many valuable features. The Health Portal lets you look into your blood work before your clinic appointment. If you see something out of range, you have time to reflect on possible reasons. You can make a call to your dietitian early on and ask for help, guidance or recommendations. There are also many resourceful articles and recipes available on Or if you prefer, ask your dietitian to mail you helpful information like that list of high phosphorus foods. Renal dietitians have multiple resources available at their fingertips that you may not find on the general website.

So stay connected. Be a team player. Be the leader in your own healthcare in every way possible. Help your dietitian to help you create the ideal relationship.  We as dietitians are invested in you! Let’s find a way to partner together and reach that common goal.

Nicole McMullen, RD, LMNT

Nicole McMullen, RD, LMNT

Born and raised in Omaha, NE (which is far more than tractors and sweet corn), Nicole has been a dietitian for over 15 years and has worked with the dialysis population for over 10 years. She enjoys reading, dancing, and relaxing in her spare time and has always had a passion for writing and helping others.