People on kidney dialysis have different vitamin and diet needs than the general population. Dialysis “washes out” some vitamins. Other vitamins may build up in your body to unsafe levels. Your doctor may prescribe a supplement, and it is likely to be a special vitamin just for people on dialysis. Check with your doctor before taking any over-the-counter vitamins, herbal supplements, or folk remedies.
How Much Vitamin C Is Too Much?
Some people believe large doses (megadoses) of vitamin C are healthy. But if you are on kidney dialysis, getting too much may hurt you. Vitamin C breaks down in the body into a crystal called oxalate. Healthy kidneys remove extra oxalate, but dialysis is much less effective.
If you are on dialysis, oxalate may build up and cause bone and joint deposits and pain. This is why you should limit vitamin C pills to 60 mg/day, which is generally the amount in multivitamins for kidney patients. If you do daily or nocturnal hemodialysis (HD), you may be able to have more vitamin C because these treatments remove twice as much or more oxalate as peritoneal dialysis (PD) or in-center hemodialysis (HD).
Which Vitamins Do I Need on Dialysis?
Dialysis changes your need for vitamins. (You should not take more than 60 mg/day of vitamin C, for example.) Check with your doctor before taking any over-the-counter vitamins and herbal supplements. Your doctor will prescribe a multivitamin for you that has the right amounts of each vitamin.
Content from Kidney School, a program of the Medical Education Institute, Inc.