Rethinking the restriction on nutrition during hemodialysis treatment

Brandon M. Kistler, Peter J. Fitschen, T. Alp Ikizler, Kenneth R. Wilund

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The annual mortality rate for patients undergoing maintenance hemodialysis (MHD) treatment in the United States is 20%, a rate higher than most other countries in the world. Poor nutrition status in MHD patients contributes to this adverse outcome as well as poor quality of life. Providing oral nutrition to MHD patients, especially during hemodialysis (HD) treatment has many potential benefits including improvements in nutrition status and attenuating HD-related muscle wasting. However, this practice is generally restricted in the United States presumably because of concerns that include worsening hemodynamic instability, reductions in treatment efficiency, and increased gastrointestinal symptoms. Despite widespread restrictions, few studies have adequately examined the effect of eating during HD on these outcomes, leaving many questions unanswered. This review outlines the current evidence regarding the effects of feeding during HD and provides potential future directions to outline the best practices in this controversial area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-87
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Renal Nutrition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Nephrology


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