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Probiotics: A PRO for Kidney Patients
Digestive health is often compromised for dialysis patients. Common issues that can pop up include malnutrition and gastrointestinal symptoms such as, nausea and vomiting, indigestion, diarrhea and constipation.
The health and integrity of the gut has been strongly associated with improved immune function and anti-inflammatory effects. With the number of medications a person on dialysis can be prescribed at any one time, this can wreak havoc on the gut. Phosphorus binders often cause constipation, while other medications may cause diarrhea. Antibiotics may be prescribed frequently, which kill bacteria in the gut (good and bad). Therefore, probiotics may be a great benefit by helping to restore the good bacteria in the gut and, thereby, improve immune function and provide anti-inflammatory effects. Studies have shown decreases in GI tract symptoms with probiotic supplementation for patients on dialysis.
Speak with your renal dietitian or nephrologist if you are interested in starting a probiotic in addition to your renal vitamin.