Nutrition is important in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. When you are living with CKD, it is crucial in order to maintain your best life possible. Once you are diagnosed, you will be given resources as to what to eat and how to plan your meals. As your condition or treatment changes, you may need to change your diet again. It is necessary for you to keep track of your nutrition intake for optimum health. Your healthcare provider can refer you to a registered dietitian who will help you design your meals and give you ideas on how to make the best choices for your diet. You will need to be mindful of how various vitamins interact with the medication you will take as well as fluid retention.
Retaining fluid is a major issue when you are receiving hemodialysis treatments. Keep in mind that too much fluid can lead to swelling, shortness of breath, high blood pressure, cramping during dialysis and weakening of the heart. Limit your fluid intake to no more than 32 oz (or four 8oz cups) per day. Consider that liquid includes not only what you drink, but what you eat, e.g., vegetables and fruits. With such requirements, it’s likely that you will need to have ways to control your thirst. We’ve compiled a list of tips from dialysis patients that have found a way to control their thirst.
20 Tips to Control Thirst
- Drink only when you are thirsty.
- Swish your mouth with refrigerated mouthwash; do not swallow.
- Stretch out your water intake throughout your day and divide it between meals and snacks.
- Take your medications with meal time liquids and not with extra water.
- Take sips not gulps.
- Rinse your mouth with water but don’t swallow.
- Use sugarless mints, gum or candy even if you are not diabetic.
- Chew gum with a label that says “helps thirst.”
- Fill an ice cube tray with water and 2oz lemon juice and suck instead of drink water.
- Use lemon slices to stimulate saliva and moisten your mouth when dry.
- Drink from smaller cups and glasses.
- Limit soda and replace with iced tea, lemonade or tonic water.
- Stay active—keep your mind off of your thirst.
- Avoid salt and salty food.
- Review a menu before you dine out to get an idea of your options—once you get there your waitstaff should be able to recommend low-sodium items.
- Enjoy frozen fruit slices.
- Spend time in the shade—exposure to sun can make you thirsty.
- Make popsicles.
- Moisten dry mouth with breath spray.
- Explore dry mouth products like Biotene
For more information visit: http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/KUDiseases/pubs/eatright/index.aspx