Food & Drink
Kidney dietitians are an important part of your well being, please don't try to work out for yourself what diet you should follow.
The dietitians will help you to interpret you blood results in relation to your diet, each person is very different, their help and support will ensure you understand what is right for you
Our Kidney Dietitians
Kidney Dietitic Service Lead
Hello, I’m Sharon, Team Lead Kidney Dietitian. I started working as a Kidney Dietitian in Birmingham in 2010 and quickly developed a passion for the job.
I always had the goal of moving home to Taunton and working at RD&E one day; this became reality in 2019. I love working as part of the renal family at RD&E, it’s a fantastic and supportive department and I feel so grateful to be doing a job I love.
I am particularly interested in vitamin D and bone health, as well as research, but the most satisfying part of my job is working closely with, and helping, people.
Hi, I’m Ruth, Kidney Dietitian. I have been working in the RD&E Kidney Dietetic team for many years; last year stepping down into a more part time role.
I really enjoy working closely with our patients and still get a buzz from the challenges of working in a busy area. I feel so lucky to be part of a great dietetic team and wider renal multidisciplinary team.
Team Lead Kidney Dietitian
Hello, I’m Angeline, Kidney Dietitian. I’ve been working at the RD&E as a Kidney Dietitian for the last 10 years.
I absolutely love my job and all the challenges it can bring. I’m lucky to work with so many professional people and wonderful patients. I am particularly interested in transplantation, plant based nutrition in kidney disease and weight management.
I have been fortunate enough to be part of the Kidney Kitchen team (part of Kidney Care UK) formed in 2018 and love creating exciting and interesting recipes that can inspire people to enjoy food on a kidney friendly diet.
Hello, I‘m Stephanie, Kidney Dietitian.
I graduated in 2019 from Plymouth University and worked as a Community Dietitian in Torbay and Exeter before joining the Kidney Dietetic team at RD&E in December 2021.
It has been lovely to join such a wonderful, friendly and supportive team and department.
Hi! My name is Jonah, I am from Hong Kong and have been living in the UK since 2018 (when I moved here to study dietetics).
I have just graduated from Plymouth University and I am new to the Kidney Dietetic team. I mainly see Kidney inpatients and also those coming to Wonford haemodialysis unit.
Please feel free to say hello, I really enjoy meeting new people. I chose to become a Dietitian because I enjoy food and clinical nutrition. I really enjoy cooking and I will be more than happy to chat with you, and our patients, about recipes and being more adventurous with food :-)
Kidney Diet & Exercise Assistant Practitioner
Hello, I’m Sarah the Kidney Diet and Exercise Assistant Practitioner working in the Kidney Dietitians team at the RD&E.
I’m passionate about improving the wellbeing of Kidney patients (and staff if they’re interested!) through diet and physical activity.
I act a resource of support to the Kidney Dietitians and the wider renal unit. I feel extremely lucky to work with such great colleagues, and patients, in a job I love.
Hello, I’m Elspeth, I qualified as a Registered Dietitian (RD) in 2019.
I have had the privilege of working in a variety of settings since graduating including; community, acute (stroke/medical, gastro/surgical wards) coeliac disease service & specialist Tier 3 weight management service.
In August 2022 I was delighted to join the Renal Team at the Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS . My role involves working within a Multi Disciplinary Team, clinic led and dialysis led consultations, developing & reviewing patient literature, patient, student and staff training, helping to develop existing services.
I have a special interest in weight management and kidney disease and really enjoy the variety of Continuous Professional Development/ Research Opportunities available within this exciting career.
I love cooking and designing new recipes in my own time.
Most of all I really enjoying being part of such a wonderful, engaging team and working in a job that I love with an ultimate goal of making a positive impact on our patients’ lives.
Please feel free to say hi if you see me, I’m always happy to talk, listen.
What Does A Kidney Dietitian Consider?
Gone are the days of the traditional 'kidney diet' where one rule (one diet) was applied to all people with chronic kidney disease (CKD). These days, with improved knowledge and understanding, and increased access to specialist dietitians the aim is to treat everyone on an individual basis.
Things to Consider
There are many things to take into account when adapting dietary advice to the needs of an individual and these considerations are highlighted in the example below.
This demonstrates just how important it is that guidance is tailored and appropriate for you. It also shows why it's important to be careful when considering any information that you may have read or heard when talking to others.
It can be really helpful for patients to share their knowledge and experiences. However there are instances, particularly in relation to diet, where information can easily become confusing, contradictory, and in certain cases may be harmful. What suits one person may not be right for another.
Case Study Example
A patient with CKD stage 4 has been referred to the dietitian for low phosphate dietary advice
The dietitian collects all the relevant information (see figure 1)
It is discovered that the patient has lost 3 kg over the past 3 months.
The weight loss is due to a poor appetite
The dietitian finds out what the patient's usual eating habits are and how these have changed.
The patient's bloods results are looked at, and considered, in relation to their symptoms.
High phosphate foods and drinks of low nutritional value are identified in the patient's diet and advice is provided to reduce consumption of these without compromising the overall energy intake
The patient is advised not to restrict; eggs, cheese, (except highly processed cheeses such as cheese strings/triangles), milk, yoghurt, beans/pulses, and unprocessed meats, fish and poultry. This advice is to ensure the patient's protein intake remains adequate.
Suggestions to help improve overall dietary energy intake are given.
The dietitian arranges to see the patient again in order to monitor their weight and recheck their blood results (including blood phosphate levels).
Figure 1; Diagram giving an overview of the considerations that need to be taken into account when providing dietary advice to someone with CKD.
Take Home Messages:
Diet restrictions should be initiated under dietetic guidance ensuring appropriate alternatives are
recommended to prevent over-restrictions and/or unwanted weight loss.
Avoid Needless Restrictions
Unnecessary restrictions are not beneficial to the kidneys and can be harmful in some cases.
We're Here To Help
The Dietitian's role is to help you enjoy your diet whilst keeping you as healthy as possible.