Fluids and your renal system

Anything that is liquid at room temperature is fluid. This includes ice, gelatine, Popsicles® and soup.

Healthy kidneys remove fluids as urine. When kidney function slows down, you make less urine and fluids build up in your body.

Be careful that you do not consume foods high in salt, because they will make you thirsty, and you are likely to then consume more fluids.

There are easy ways to check if you are retaining sodium and excess fluid. With the same clothes on, weight yourself at the same time every morning after you have urinated and before you eat. Record your weight.

How to calculate your fluid intake:

Fluid allowance for 24 hours = urine passed previous 24 hours plus 500 ml. More fluid can be taken in if you are experiencing vomiting, diarrhoea, fever and excess sweating.

Example:
If you pass 1500ml urine over 24 hours. Your fluid allowance will be: 1500ml (urine passed over 24 hours) + 500ml = 2000ml

Example summary of fluid you can take per day:
500 ml water
3 cups tea (750ml) – no Coffee allowed for at least 3 weeks.
500 ml water or cold drinks
250 ml remaining for fluids in food

What are the symptoms of too much fluid?

  • High blood pressure
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling

If you gain too much fluid, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Cramps
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea

What causes fluid weight gain?

If you are gaining too much fluid weight, some detective work is needed to uncover the cause. The following clues will help you solve the case.

Are you using salt or eating salty foods? These are examples of salty foods you may be overindulging in:

  • Cured meats, such as ham, bacon, sausage, hot dogs, or luncheon meats
  • Frozen dinners, canned soups, or soup mixes
  • Foods in brine, such as pickles, olives, or sauerkraut
  • Bouillon cubes, soy sauce or steak sauce
  • Foods coated with salt, including crackers, popcorn, potato chips or pretzels
  • Foods from Take away restaurants
  • Meat or poultry that has been “enhanced” or “infused” with a sodium phosphate solution
  • Salty seasonings such as garlic salt, onion salt, celery salt, lemon pepper or monosodium glutamate (MSG)-based flavour enhancers

Excess fluid can be harmful to the body and difficult to get rid of when you have kidney disease and need dialysis.Nowthattheclueshavebeenputtogetheryoucanavoidexcessfluidweightgainbetweendialysis treatments.

11 September 2020

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