Thirst Quenching Tips for Dialysis Patients

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WALTHAM, Mass.—With temperatures heating up nationwide, Fresenius Medical Care has sent out a news release with some tips for how dialysis patients can quench their thirst during the summer.

The dialysis provider said patients need  to closely monitor their fluid intake. “The kidneys help regulate the body’s hydration and water balance, so for those with kidney failure on dialysis, maintaining the proper fluid levels in their body is critical because their kidneys can no longer remove excess liquid waste,” Fresenius wrote in a July 29 news release. “When dialysis patients consume too much fluid, it can end up in their lungs, making it hard to breathe.”

Symptoms of fluid retention, according to Fresenius, include: weight gain, higher blood pressure, or swelling. Over time, too much fluid can also hurt the heart and lead to heart failure.

Below are some tips from Fresenius on how to limit fluids, and help control thirst.

  • Pass on the salt! Do not add salt to food, and keep the salt shaker off the table.
  • Brush your teeth more often to feel refreshed.
  • Suck on a lemon wedge. You can freeze it first if you like.
  • Add lemon to water and ice for a thirst-quenching effect.
  • Suck on a few ice chips. Ice stays in your mouth longer than water.
  • Eat sugar-free sour candy or chew gum to wet your mouth.
  • Eat frozen fruit like grapes, peaches, or pineapple chunks (make sure to count these as part of your fruit allowance).
  • If you have diabetes, keep your blood glucose (sugar) levels at the level your physician prescribes.

"When summer rolls around, the natural temptation to drink more can make it harder for people on dialysis to keep their fluid levels under control," said Barbara Zebrowski, MS, RD, CSR, LDN, corporate dietitian, Fresenius Medical Care. "Patients should talk with their doctor and dietitian to learn how much fluid they can drink every day, how to limit fluid intake and what signs and symptoms to look for if too much fluid is building up."

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