How much fluid is enough?
The amount of fluid you should drink will depend on your medical condition. Most people on dialysis will need to limit fluid intake to about 4 to 6 cups each day. Having too much water in your body is called fluid overload or hypervolemia.
Hypervolemia, also known as fluid overload, is the medical condition where there is too much fluid in the blood. The opposite condition is hypovolemia, which is too little fluid volume in the blood.
As a dialysis patient you need to track and control your fluid intake. Furthermore, If fluid overload becomes a concern or issue, talk with your healthcare team about adjusting your dialysis treatment.
To help you measure:
1 ounce of fluid = 30 ml or 30 cc
½ cup or 4 ounces of fluid = 120 ml or 120 cc
1 cup or 8 ounces of fluid = 240 ml or 240 cc
2 cups or 16 ounces of fluid = 480 ml or 480 cc
1 quart or 32 ounces = 4 cups of fluid = 960 cc= about 1 Liter
- To keep track of all the liquid that you drink each day, use a measuring cup to find out the amount of liquid that your favorite glass or mug holds.
- Until you get used to measuring, keep track of the amount of liquid you drink each day on a sheet of paper or notebook.
What counts as a fluid?
Fluids are foods that are liquid at room temperature. All of these foods count toward your fluid intake:
- Water for drinking and taking medications
- Ice cubes and ice chips
- Coffee and tea
- Sodas, beer, alcoholic drinks, lemonade
- Milk, cream, liquid creamer, milk shakes
- Juices, both fruit and vegetable
- Soup and broth
- Popsicles and frozen fruit bars
- Ice cream, sherbet and sorbets
As a dialysis patient too much fluid may cause problems like:
- Swollen feet or swollen ankles
- High blood pressure
- Difficulty breathing
- And Poor dialysis treatment causing cramping or longer dialysis time
What is my “dry weight”?
- Your dry weight is how much you weigh after all the extra fluid is removed through your dialysis.
- One of the goals of dialysis is to remove the extra fluid at every treatment.
- Remember, that for every kilogram (2.2 pounds) above your dry weight, you have about 4 cups of extra fluid in your body.
- Too much weight gain between dialysis visits means that you have gained too much fluid weight and you may need to stay on the dialysis machine longer than you expected to remove the extra fluid.
- If you are very thirsty and are having trouble keeping your fluid gains at the recommended amount between treatments, talk to your Dietitians, Nurses and Doctors. And we will try to help.
What is the proper fluid gain?
- At hemodialysis, your weight is measured in kilograms instead of pounds. Each kilogram = 2.2 lbs.
- Try to limit your fluid gain to no more than 2-3 kilograms (4-6 lbs.) between each dialysis treatment.
- 4 cups of fluid per day, you will gain 2 lbs. or 1 kilogram per day
- 8 cups of fluid per day, you will gain 4 lbs. or 2 kilograms per day
- Firstly, Limit high salt foods, so you will have less thirst.
- Take your pills with your mealtime liquids or applesauce or pureed fruits as allowed.
- Drink from small measurable glasses and cups.
- And drink only when you are thirsty.
- You can also consider, the use of sour candy or gum to moisten your mouth.
- Also you can add some lemon juice to water or ice. The sour taste will certainly help quench your thirst.
- Try swishing your mouth with mouthwash when you are thirsty. Do not swallow it!
- Use ice cubes instead of liquids. (One-cup ice is equal to a ½ cup of water/juice and will last longer!!!)
- Also it helps to freeze 20 grapes to eat throughout the day as one of your fruit servings. And also try frozen blueberries and pineapple tidbits, fruit cocktail and other low-potassium fruits.
- Remember that these foods should also be counted as fluids: Soups, Popsicles, sherbet, ice cream, yogurt, custard, and gelatin.