Summer tips for dialysis patients

Our region has experienced a very hot beginning to the summer season.

Summer can be a source of fun activities and exciting food.

However, due to the increase in temperature, humidity, and air quality warnings, dialysis patients should take extra precautions to ensure their well-being.

A lot of patients on dialysis and heart failure who have to limit their fluid intake find it difficult

Nevertheless, for individuals receiving dialysis treatment, there are specific factors to bear in mind to maintain a healthy and safe lifestyle during the hot season.

Kidney patients and individuals receiving dialysis should take specific actions and necessary precautions for their well-being.

Here are some valuable recommendations for kidney and dialysis patients to stay healthy during the summer months.

Summer Tips for Dialysis Patients – Staying Cool in Summer

If you are on dialysis, hot days can pose difficulties for you. You might experience dehydration and thirst, but consuming extra fluids is not an effective method to keep yourself cool. It could exceed your prescribed daily fluid intake limit and result in complications.

Stay Cool

To keep cool, it’s advisable to stay indoors during the hottest part of the day, which is typically between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm. You can also use an air conditioner to help maintain a comfortable temperature. Additionally, placing ice-soaked hand towels on your forehead or neck can also help to reduce your body temperature.

Fluid Intake

Hot weather may cause greater thirst, but excessive fluid intake can be harmful – if you are on Dialysis. Consult your nephrologist to determine the appropriate amount of fluid to drink during hot weather. To reduce thirst, avoid consuming salty, sugary, and cool/fizzy drinks which tend to have higher levels of sodium.

 Limit Outdoor Activities

To stay safe in hot weather, it’s recommended to avoid outdoor activities during the hottest part of the day. If you enjoy walking, it’s best to do it in the early morning hours before 8 am or during the evening hours after 6 pm.

Other forms of exercise like yoga, cycling on an exercise bike, and simple stretches can be done at home

Never Sit in a Parked Car

It’s best to avoid sitting in a stationary car, especially if you’ve just finished dialysis. Even if you roll down the windows, the inside temperature can be much hotter than outside, posing a serious risk to your health. Instead, look for a shaded bench outdoors if you need to take a break. If you’re driving, use the air conditioner or open the windows to stay cool.

Additional Tips to Stay Healthy

  • Say no to soft drinks and sports drinks.
  • Avoid salty foods.
  • Reduce the amount of sugar you eat and drink in different forms.
  • Avoid sugar completely if you are diabetic.
  • If you have a dry mouth consult your dentist to know the cause and get the treatment done
  • To avoid thirst, try and suck on ice
  • Drink fresh lemon water or make fruit water by adding cucumber, watermelon, and mint and use it.

Dialysis Patients Should Keep the Following in Mind During the Summer

  • Monitor your blood pressure
  • Wear light-colored and cool summer clothes
  • Keep your room cool (sleep in air-conditioned places)
  • Avoid moving outdoors at peak hours (10 am to 5 pm) during daytime
  • Use sunscreen, with an SPF equal to or greater than 30
  • Avoid drinks containing alcohol, salts, and caffeine
  • Use head and eye protection
  • Drink the amount of fluids recommended by your doctor.

Bottom Line

If you notice weakness and intense fatigue with irregular or accelerating heartbeats and dizziness, then seek an appointment with your doctor immediately.