Welcome to the second stage of kidney failure series. In this episode, a very pertinent concern regarding fluid intake for patients with kidney failures will be addressed with possible recommendations offered. However, before addressing this topic, a brief description of the main function of a kidney will be discussed.
Kidney helps to regulate the level of fluid that exits the body. However, if the kidney fails, its ability to control the removal of fluid from the body can be hindered thereby resulting in the need to limit the amount of fluid taken into the body.
Excess fluids can lead to shortness of breath, swelling of the body parts and high blood pressure. Any reduction on the quantity of both food and fluid intake can be a tremendous help to a kidney failure patient.
Excessive fluid intake by renal patients can greatly introduce a long lasting damage which could lead to high blood pressure, oedema, breathlessness and heart failure. Having identified the effects of excessive drinkings on renal patients, it is ideal to emphasise that these menace can be greatly managed by controlling the amount of daily fluid consumptions. This is not only beneficial to the holistic well being of the individual, but also sustain cozy dialysis treatment.
People with kidney failure should endeavour to minimise the level of salt intake so as to reduce the rate at which they get thirsty. Also they should endeavour to minimise any fluid and food intake. Renal patients are highly recommended to monitor the quantity of fluid their drinking glass can hold so as to drink proportionately.
The ideal strategy of sticking to the recommended drinking plan is to measure into a container, the total quantity of liquid one intends to drink throughout the day then ensuring to drink only from that container. By adopting this strategy, an individual can properly monitor his/her fluid intake. But the question to deliberate on is thus; can an individual judiciously stick to this plan without drinking any other enticing drinks/fluids during the day?
To a larger extent, it is absolutely difficult to stick to this plan as many uncertain factors can make an individual to either consciously or unconsciously deviate from this plan. Researchers suggest that renal patients undergoing haemodialysis treatment ought to consume only 500-700ml of liquid per day unlike the patients on peritoneal dialysis (PD) as PD’s can be performed everyday while haemodialysis is every other day.
Having said these, one might want to clearly understand what can count as a fluid!
Any food with the ability to become a liquid at room temperature do count as a fluid. Examples include; Milk, Lollipops, alcohols, coffee,wine, beer, tea, cream, ice cubes, gelatin, soup, food and ice cream. On the other hand, foods that are of high water constituents equivalent to fluids include; cucumbers, watermelon, oranges and grapes etc.
Enlisted below however, are few strategies recommended for renal patients to monitor their daily fluid intake;
- To reduce dryness of the mouth, rinse mouth with water.
- Carefully apportion fluid intake during the day.
- Chew gum to keep down thirst.
- Drink cold rather than hot water.
- Eat snacks in between meals.
- Minimise salt and salty foods intake.
- Avoid long exposure to sun.
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