Summer Tips for Dialysis Patients
Summer is just around the corner, and we can’t wait to spend more time outdoors and make memories! There is no need to miss out on the summer fun if you are on dialysis, but there are a few things to be careful of. Here are some summer tips for dialysis patients so that you can enjoy the sunshine while staying safe!
Be Sun Safe
The sun can be healing, especially with that vitamin D boost, but it can also be damaging. CDK (chronic kidney disease) increases the risk of skin cancer, so it’s important to protect your skin from sun damage. Wear hats, spend time in the shade, and remember to apply (and re-apply) sunscreen. Our eyes can get sun damage too, so wear your shades!
Be Aware of Your Fluid Intake
Fluid intake is a tricky one for dialysis patients in the summertime. The heat can cause dehydration if you don’t drink enough water, but too much fluid can be dangerous if your body can’t remove it properly. Avoid foods that make you thirsty, such as salty foods and chocolate sweets. Drink your fluids more slowly and avoid sports drinks that contain electrolytes.
Find Out if You Can Swim
Whether or not you can safely swim this summer depends on the type of catheter and medical equipment you have. Some catheters need to be dry to avoid infection, while others are only safe for swimming in certain waters. Even if you’re allowed to swim, you may need to take steps to protect and cover your access site. Speak with your doctor before going swimming.
With summer comes barbeques, parties, and patio nights that usually involve alcohol. While it’s fine to enjoy alcohol in moderation, be aware that it contributes to your overall fluid intake and increases blood pressure. Many cocktails are also high in sugar, which you should avoid if you’re on dialysis.