Kidney Diet Tips

10 Tips to Help Control Fluid and Thirst

When your kidneys are no longer able to remove extra fluid from the body water builds up causing edema, water weight gain and shortness of breath. As a result, a daily limit on the amount of liquids is prescribed. If a person has no help at all from the kidneys to remove fluid, the limit is usually around 32 ounces (4 cups) a day. This is a challenge, especially during the hot summer months.

Fluid Control Tips

Here are ten tips to try that may help you stay within your daily fluid goal.

  • Salt: If salt intake is reduced, it will help control thirst.
  • Seasonings: Your dietitian can recommend salt-free seasoning ideas and substitutions for high sodium foods.
  • Measure: Keep track of liquids each time you eat or drink them. Spread liquids throughout the day.
  • Use small cups and glasses. Four ounces of juice will seem like more in a small glass than it will in a large one.
  • Fill a bottle with 32 ounces of liquid. Each time a liquid is consumed, remove an amount equal to it from the bottle.
  • Hard candy: Hard sour candy or mint gum can help moisten the mouth and help decrease desire for liquids.
  • Gargling: Rinsing with mouthwash may also be helpful. Some patients find it helpful to chill their mouthwash.
  • Lemon: Adding a lemon wedge to ice water can help quench thirst.
  • Cold Fruits: Try sampling a few frozen grapes or blueberries.
  • Pills: Take pills with soft foods, such as applesauce, instead of liquids.

In addition to the above tips, try using the Fluid Tracker feature in DaVita Diet Helper. You can easily track fluid intake throughout the day on a smart phone, tablet or computer.

Staying cool during hot days and nights can help control thirst and makes it easier to limit fluids. Try one of the suggested ways to stay cool before reaching for a beverage.

Thirst Quenchers

Instead of plain water try one of these thirst-quenching flavored waters. You can also use the water to make ice cubes once the flavors have infused for 24 hours.

Icy cold beverages and desserts help quench thirst and cool you down. Try this 3 ingredient Pineapple-Lime Freeze.

Talk to your doctor or dietitian if you have additional questions about fluid restrictions.

Rasheeda Mustafa, MS, RD, CD-N

Rasheeda Mustafa, MS, RD, CD-N has been a dietitian for 18 years, having worked predominantly with the geriatric population in long term care, short term rehab and home care. She has worked with DaVita almost 2 years, currently practicing in Bronx, NY. What she enjoys best about working in renal is the experience of learning a completely new aspect of nutrition as well as the camaraderie that she shares with her new colleagues and the interactions she has with her patients. Her previous background was in the food service industry, having attended The Culinary Institute of America and working in high end restaurants for such notable chefs as Emeril Lagasse. She enjoys travelling near and far and has been an avid practitioner of yoga for 12 years.