The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bread for Dialysis Patients

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shakleford's picture
shakleford

Bread for Dialysis Patients

Does anyone have experience baking bread for a dialysis patient?  My grandmother is about to begin dialysis and is on a hemodialysis diet.  One of the (many!) restrictions of this diet is to limit whole grains, apparently because of their potassium and phosphorus content.  My grandmother is a big fan of whole grain breads, particularly rye bread.  For some reason, while the doctor told her to avoid whole grains, he did say she could eat "rye, white, or sourdough" bread.


Clearly we need more bread-baking doctors to give more precise advice, but in the meantime, I was wondering if anyone had any ideas for what might be most appropriate.  My grandmother is a beginning bread-baking but has expressed interest in sourdough, so I was planning to bring her some starter and teach her how to make a few sourdough rye recipes.  However, I'm not real clear on why whole grains are bad but rye is OK, so I'm not sure what would be most appropriate.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Shakelford.


The dialysis unit serving your grandmother should have a dietiition on their team. I'd suggest you meet with her/him to get a clearer understanding of the dietary restrictions. This is a pretty specialized area of expertise, and you want your information to come from the professional most likely to have the most knowledge.


Good luck.


David

Liam's picture
Liam

could the doctor have meant the liquid "rye???". 


All of the suggestions above are very good ones, perhaps a little humour helps too?


Sincere best wishes for your grandmother's good health


L

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

To stress what DSnyder said, the patient will undoubtably receive personalized counseling for diet from the team of medical professionals overseeing her health care. She will(should have) recieve initial booklets and pamphlets and will contintue to receive more diet literature than she will know what to do with. The blood chemistry is analyzed on each session, and nutrition recommendations adjusted continually as necessary.



 


I took care of my mother for the last 4 years of her life which was shortened by kidney failure. She was on dialysis for about her last six years or so.


That said, like wheat flour, there are several varieties of rye flour. I think there are three types made from just the endosperm, on through to whole grain rye meals/flours. The bran in whole meal flours contain the higher levels of potassium and phosphorus that patients need to limit.


I'm assuming the doctor was referring to the rye flours made only from the endosperm, not whole grain rye.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

http://www.drugs.com/cg/dialysis-diet.html


This site addresses the nutrients people on dialysis have to work around. Every patient is different and so you need to know what she needs to work around.


It seems that whole grains and rye have implications for dialysis patients.I can't find any reference to sourdough having any unique distinction-it is just another type of bread that must be controlled.The talk with the nutritionist may be helpful.


 

LindyD's picture
LindyD

David Snyder is a physician and his recommendations should be followed rather than something on the Internet.

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

My sister is on dialysis and was also told by her doctor that she shouldn't eat wheat. She wanted to eat the whole wheat bread that I make from our organically grown grains that I grind into flour. She asked her doctor why it is that he told her she couldn't have wheat and his reply was that it is not the wheat that dialysis patients can't have it is because most commercial flour mills add phophorus to their flour and it is the phosphorous that causes the problems. He told her that if I am not adding anything to the flour that I make then she can eat all of the wheat bread that she wants. I have been shipping her my bread on a weekly basis and she has been eating it with no side effects.


I think that besides phosphorous being added to the flours along with other things to keep commercial flours " fresh" other factors may also be involved as to why some people can't tolerate commercial flours including GMO wheat varieties and chemicals that are used on most commercial wheat crops.


 

shakleford's picture
shakleford

Thanks for all of the information.  I live on the opposite side of the country as my grandmother, so I'm not always up-to-date on the details of her condition - for example, I had no idea that dialysis restrictions were so patient-specific.  You've given me some good questions for her and more nearby friends and relatives to pass on to her doctors and dietician.