Monitoring Fluid and Nutrition on Dialysis

Fluid Management on Dialysis

Healthy kidneys clear the body of excess fluid. Now that your kidneys are not working properly, excess fluid and unwanted waste have to be removed by dialysis.

Why your fluid intake matters?

Consuming too much fluid may cause fluid overload between dialysis sessions, resulting in the following:

  • Swelling in your feet, face and hands (edema)
  • Trouble breathing
  • Feeling weak
  • High blood pressure that can lead to a stroke
  • Headaches
  • Heart damage
Fluids aren’t just what you drink

Anything you’re drinking out of a cup – water, tea, ginger ale – is easy to identify as a liquid. There are also some foods that contain enough liquid to be considered “fluids” and should be limited accordingly:

  • Soup
  • Ice cream, ice blocks, sorbet
  • Nutritional drinks
Fluid Management on Dialysis - Tracking liquids

Monitoring and tracking your liquids

It is important to monitor your fluid intake. The amount of fluid you should have each day depends on the type of dialysis you are prescribed and your urine output. You should discuss your fluid intake with your doctor or nurse.
Measuring your fluid and nutrition status

Your fluid status will often be estimated and determined by doctors and nurses based on your blood pressure, or other clinical observations.

Find out how many Fresenius Kidney Care centers can determine the amount of fluid in your body using a non-invasive, easy and objective measuring device.

How to handle thirst when limiting fluids

Try these ideal thirst quenchers to help you control your thirst:

  • Eating cold or frozen fruit, like grapes
  • Chewing sugar-free gum
  • Rinsing your mouth with alcohol free mouthwash
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Tips for managing your fluid levels
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Track your fluid intake. Some patients use a measuring cup and keep a daily record.
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Follow fluid guidance from your dialysis care team.
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Cut back on salt and use herbs and spices for flavor. Salty foods can leave you feeling thirsty, so limit fast food and prepared foods that are high in salt.
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Food like gravy, sauces, soups, ice cream, jelly and yoghurt count as fluids too. Monitor your fluid intake from all sources.
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Stay active. Physical activity improves circulation and reduces fluid retention.