The Job of a Renal Dietitian

The Job of a Renal Dietitian

Going to see the Dietitian is certainly not every renal patient’s cup of tea. It can feel like an interrogation and judgement of your diet. Asking a lot of questions about what you eat and even what you don’t. However there is a reason for all this questioning. We’re trying to establish your normal eating pattern, the foods you normally eat, how much and how often you normally eat them. This could be on a renal ward, in clinic, or on the dialysis Unit.

Armed with this information we are then able to assess your diet and advise you appropriately. This advice changes from person to person depending on the stage of disease, whether or not dialysis has started, type of dialysis, blood results, clinical condition and appetite. Therefore your advice might not be the same as the patient in the next bed or the person sat next to you in the waiting room, even though you’re both renal patients.  This is also why we ask not to gain dietary advice off the internet and would prefer you came to see one of us in clinic or request to speak to one of us on the dialysis units.

We offer help and support with salt, fluid, phosphate, potassium, and patients struggling with their intake. We can also help people with diabetes or wanting to lose weight or refer into our more specialised services if needed.

A renal diet is a bit different from the healthy diet everyone imagines, and that’s why it isn’t for everyone. It’s tailored for our patients and specific for you! It can be difficult to stick to and that’s why our role is to be supportive and we’re not here to tell you off if you ‘fall off the wagon.’

We’re a growing department with some new friendly faces. So if you feel you would like an appointment speak to your nurse or consultant about having a chat with us.

Fiona Waddingham
Renal Dietitian
Salford Royal Foundation Trust

One thought on “The Job of a Renal Dietitian

  • Thanks for explaining your role so clearly Fiona, and for detailing the help you and your team can offer renal patients. My early experiences of dietitians weren’t too positive because they seemed to lack the renal knowledge and focussed entirely on my rising weight which was caused more by fluid retention than by my inability to stick to a diet. It’s good to see specialist renal dietitians in place now.

    I hope to be able to read more of your blogs in the future.

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