Summer is one of the seasons we dialysis patients dread. It’s because the intense heat that this season brings makes us want to drink more water to quench our thirst. This is not possible for us patients because we cannot get rid of the excess water we take due to our malfunctioning kidneys. If we weren’t able to discipline our fluid intake, this might lead to fluid overload or edema. Water would accumulate on parts of your body that has a space in it, such as your ankles, your hands and extremities. But these are only minor cases of edema. Worse, it could develop on your lungs, which is called Pulmonary Edema, or to your heart, which might lead to Congestive Heart Failure if goes unchecked.
Here are some ways for dialysis patients to help beat the heat this summer:
- Try to stay in the shade. Exposure to the sun only causes perspiration and the urge to drink water.
- If really thirsty and you’re considering your fluid intake, try sucking on an ice cube instead of drinking to alleviate your thirst.
- Again, try sucking on a lemon or lime in place of a glass of water to quench your thirst.
- Brush your teeth often. It doesn’t only cleans your teeth, but also freshens your mouth and eliminates the urge to drink.
- If you really have to drink, try taking it in sips rather than gulping the whole glass down.
These things might be a tall order for some, but for us dialysis patients, it’s something we need to abide as often as we can just to avoid fluid overload. I also may sound a bt exaggerated, but once you experienced muscle cramps at the end of a dialysis session due to excess fluid intake, you’ll know what I mean.