Living with chronic kidney disease can come with many challenges. For some, these challenges include navigating fluid restrictions. Not every kidney disease patient has to restrict their fluid intake, but many who are reaching end-stage renal disease will have to monitor and restrict the amount of fluid they put into their body.
Fluid restrictions can be one of the more difficult challenges faced with chronic kidney disease. Not only do you have to deal with yet another strict dietary restriction, but you start to realize how much fluid is in everything. You don’t just have to limit the amount of beverages you can drink per day, but you must include the amount of fluid in the foods you eat as well.
Navigating fluid restrictions can feel overwhelming and very difficult. There are some techniques you can use to make it a little easier on yourself, however. There are even little tricks that can help you combat thirst and dry mouth so that you are not so uncomfortable and overwhelmed with this important dietary restriction.
First and foremost, it is very important that you understand why you have been put on a fluid restrictive diet. This understanding can help you to follow through with your prescribed treatments and restrictions.
Fluid restrictions are important to end-stage renal disease because your kidneys can no longer process, filter, and expel excess fluid in your body. The buildup of fluid in your system can cause shortness of breath, dangerous swelling, high blood pressure, and other potentially uncomfortable or even life-threatening complications.
Tips and Tricks
Avoid Salty Foods: Aside from the obvious dangers of sodium with chronic kidney disease, salty foods can be quite detrimental to your fluid restrictions. Avoiding salty foods can help you to not feel so thirsty.
Mint: Sucking on a little fresh mint leaf can help to freshen your mouth, helping it to relieve dry mouth discomfort.
Ice Cold: Whenever you do drink your liquids, drink them as cold as possible. Extra cold beverages are more refreshing and the coldness can help to “trick” your brain.
Frozen Treats: As a refreshing snack, you can freeze grapes, berries, or other fruits. They make a delicious and refreshing snack that can help relieve dry mouth.
Keep It Small: Fluids, whether they are liquids you drink or the foods you eat with a high liquid content, can go a long way if you keep them small. For example, drinking your allotted fluids out of a small glass can make you feel like you’re drinking more rather than disappoint you.
Blood Sugar: If you have diabetes along with kidney disease, which is common, keeping your blood sugar levels stable can help you with thirst. Unstable blood sugar can make you feel thirsty.
Mouth Rinse: If you are struggling with dry mouth, there are sprays and mouth rinses that you can try to combat this issue. You can find them in drug stores just about everywhere.
All of these tips and tricks are useful techniques for navigating the hardships of fluid restrictions on a kidney disease diet. You can use these to combat thirst and dry mouth that sometimes accompany fluid restrictions. Talk to your doctor about how much fluid is safe for you to consume and for more ideas on how to make living with fluid restrictions easier.
Need help with grocery shopping and meal planning? We’ve done the work for you! Check out our renal diet meal plans here. You’ll get 7 dinner meals per week with a variety of entrees and sides and grocery lists.