Kidneys that function in a healthy manner are able to maintain the balance of fluid in the body. Unhealthy kidneys however, cannot handle the volume of fluid most individuals will consume in the course of twenty-four hours. It is well noted by the medical community that excessive dietary levels of fluid in the body leads to high blood pressure, which contributes to heart disease as well as kidney disease.
When the fluid content of the body can no longer remain balanced, the excess fluid causes swelling in the body. This swelling is often first seen in the lower extremities may spread upwards over time, or otherwise swelling may be generalised. If left untreated, this fluid will cause the life threatening condition known as pulmonary oedema. As kidney disease advances, the renal system becomes unstable and not able to flush fluids out as urine. This is when restricting fluid intake becomes vital for the kidney patient.
It is difficult to restrict fluid intake because many foods that we eat and certainly everything we drink adds to the fluid levels in the body. Hydration is necessary to maintain a level balance in the healthy body, but this same course of hydration can be extremely dangerous to a patient suffering renal failure or other kidney disorders.
The more able the kidneys are to flush out fluids, the more fluid intake an individual with kidney problems can ingest. Most healthy individuals should ingest at least 1.5- 2 litres of water per day. Those with kidney stones should drink even more to help facilitate the body’s efforts to eliminate the stone or stones, as well as prevent new stone formation.
Whole body wellness depends on balancing diet, fluid intake and exercise in order for our organs to function effectively. Eating foods high in water content and drinking soft drink, alcohol or excessive amounts of water will upset this balance, and even more so in individuals afflicted with kidney disorders. Follow the advice of your healthcare practitioner in regard to your appropriate daily water intake, to avoid overburdening an already ailing kidney function. Remembering to avoid salty foods, prepared foods and foods high in saturated fats in order to help reduce the strain on the kidneys.
Kidney patients are often advised to drink (in water) the total urine output for 24 hours, plus another 600mls (just over half a quart). This will enable each patient to know just how much fluid and water consumption their body can handle the following day. For instance, if your total output of urine was 800mls for 24 hours, you would add another 600mls to get your total fluid intake of 1400mls (1 ½ Quarts) – this seems to be the best rule of thumb fluid measurement for all. Careful monitoring of the daily output of urine as the indicator of a safe level of fluid intake is a good rule of thumb to follow for the kidney patient; put back in what comes out. I hope those tips enable you to manage your kidney disease diet with ease!