Our bodies use protein to help with repair of tissues and to grow. BUN or blood urea nitrogen (you’ll find this on your lab work) is produced by your body from the protein we eat. After we eat protein, we produce energy and the waste from the foods. When the kidneys don’t work properly, the waste or urea builds up in the blood and can cause you to feel sick – nauseated, weak and sometimes vomit.
When your kidneys fail and you have to go to dialysis, your body is rid of the waste. Dialysis treatments remove BUN and prevent nausea, vomiting and weakness. Often with dialysis, too much protein is removed and you need to eat good sources in your diet to prevent muscle loss. Your dietitian has determined your protein needs and can tell you how many grams you need to eat every day. Protein is measured in grams and most people need about 80-100 grams/day. Protein needs are based on your weight, height and type of dialysis you are taking.
There are a lot of good sources of protein, but we always encourage animal protein (fish, chicken, beef, pork, etc.) because it is considered the best source or a high biological value protein. However, some people don’t eat animal protein, so can use vegetable sources as well. Some great protein sources are: eggs, all meats, fish, milk, cheeses, beans, nuts.
Your dietitian may have a list of good protein sources (Go, Caution and Stop foods) for you and you can find a list on the Food Fitness First website at www.foodfitnessfirst.com