4 Smart-Health Tips for a Renal-Friendly Summer

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More sunny days. More time outside. Vacations. Maybe even a poolside barbecue or trip to the lake or beach. Welcome to summer!

Maybe you’re not travelling far this summer season because of the coronavirus. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the season. There’s still lots you can do (based on following guidelines in your area) to celebrate warmer weather.

But there’s a few things to keep in mind to protect your health when you have renal disease.

1. Be sun smart.

You’ve already got enough to worry about when it comes to your diet and limiting sodium, potassium, phosphorus, and protein. So you don’t need more problems....like a sunburn. Lather up. Wear sunscreen with an SPF 50 rating or better (SPF = sun protection factor). Wear loose-fitting clothing that covers your skin + a hat. Look for shade when you can, and avoid the sun’s ultraviolet rays when they’re the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

2. Stay hydrated.

When you have renal disease, you need to be mindful of your fluid intake. But you also need to make sure you stay hydrated during warmer weather. Stay inside during the hottest times of day and crank up the air-conditioning to help reduce thirst. But drink enough fluids (ice cubes, fruits and vegetables, and chewing gum help, too) to stay hydrated.

3. Cover your access

Depending on the health and remaining function of your kidneys, you may have a vascular access point or catheter. If you plan to go swimming, you’ll need to protect your access point or catheter to prevent infection from bacteria, or damage from tension or trauma. Ask your healthcare team how to do this.

4. Plan ahead

If you do plan to hit the road, take a vacation, and enjoy the dog days of summer, plan ahead. You’ll need enough medication for your trip, and you’ll want to ensure you’ll have access to foods that fit a Renal Friendly diet.