With summer setting in across the country, the heat brings with it discomfort and changes in our body. We all know that extreme heat affects our whole body and keeping well hydrated is the biggest challenge. Along with it, the food we eat and our activity levels also change. There are certain precautions that everyone should take during the sunny and warm summer months. If you have chronic kidney disease (CKD), you’ll need to take a few additional steps to protect your health in the summertime or when visiting warmer climates.
Keeping these factors in mind, DaVita brings you the ultimate guide to spending a hassle free summer this year!
- Keep moving
If you have kidney disease, be sure to check with your doctor before starting a summer-time exercise routine. Your physician can help you create an exercise plan that will support your health. Even if you feel tired at times, easy exercises may help you feel better. Walking and yoga are two activities that put minimal stress on the body. To reap the benefits of having sunlight and activate vitamin D in your skin, spend 10-15 minutes in the sun during early morning – before applying sunscreen.
- Keep good fluid balance
Check with your dietitian or healthcare team for guidance about your fluid intake and whether it should be adjusted on days that you spend more time outdoors. Be careful of very cold beverages, which can cause stomach cramps. It’s best to avoid drinking caffeine or alcohol or ingesting large amounts of sugar, as these can actually cause your body to lose more fluid. Try to stay cool by wearing a hat or a wet bandana around your neck to help control your thirst.
|FEELING TOO THIRSTY TOO OFTEN?
You might want to carry a small spray bottle filled with lemon water or mouthwash to spray your mouth when you are feeling dry.
- Save your skin from sun exposure
Everyone should wear sunscreen and apply it liberally. Unprotected sun exposure can cause skin damage. Use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Remember to reapply your sunscreen every two hours and also right after swimming or exercising. A water-resistant sunscreen will be less likely to come off if you swim or perspire. You can also protect your skin by covering up with a shirt, wearing a hat or sitting in the shade. You may want to soak up some sun before applying sunscreen to activate some of the vitamin D in your skin. Ten to 15 minutes is all it takes.
- Wear sunglasses
Sunglasses protect your eyes in the same way that sunscreen protects your skin from harmful sun damage. Your sunglasses should block at least 99% of UVB rays and 50% of UVA rays. Wraparound sunglasses and other styles that completely cover the eyes are best.
- Protect your access if you go swimming
If you are on dialysis and have a vascular access, remember to cover it with a protective dressing when you swim. Ask your clinical technician what kind of dressing holds up best in water. When going for a swim, do so in the ocean or a chlorinated pool. Avoid bodies of water that aren’t chlorinated, such as ponds, lakes and rivers which have a greater chance of hosting bacteria that can infect your access.
- Eat healthy summer foods
Research shows that fruits and vegetables are important for good health, yet most people don’t eat enough. Summer is the perfect time to fill your plate with kidney-friendly foods that are low in phosphorus and potassium. Remember to practice portion control as all fruits and vegetables contain some potassium.
Here is a list of fruits and vegetables that can add color and flavor to your kidney diet:
|Watermelon (1 cup per day)||Carrot|
- Plan your vacation to include dialysis
When you’re on dialysis you can still enjoy a summer vacation. To accommodate treatments while you’re away, pre-planning is the key to a successful trip. If you do in-center hemodialysis or home hemodialysis (HHD), ask your physician how you can schedule treatments at a dialysis center close to where you’ll be staying.
Dialysis during holidays
We understand that being on dialysis comes with limitations. Just because you are on dialysis does not mean you have to cut down on travelling to your favorite destinations. You need to plan a bit in advance.
Planning is especially important when you looking forward to a holiday.
With proper planning, you can travel while on dialysis. Start small – with short trips and quick weekend getaways. Then you can build up confidence and work up to longer vacations.
Under DaVita’s supervision –
- You do not need to undergo additional virology tests. Your patient data is shared at all our centers.
- Your nephrologist will be able to monitor your dialysis remotely.
- Experience the same exemplary service at all our centers.
- You can schedule your dialysis at your convenience keeping in mind your plans during your vacation.
Contact a DaVita dialysis center in the city you are visiting at least 2 weeks in advance of your visit to schedule your treatments. Though it is possible to get into a dialysis center with shorter notice, you may have to drive a longer distance or take an inconvenient shift. You can also talk to your dialysis call center team, who will help you arrange for dialysis treatments when you travel.
Call 080 6000 6200 for more information.
Remember to take good care of yourself during these summer months. Although you need to keep yourself hydrated but you also need to be mindful not to consume extra fluid than what you are permitted.
It is only by taking a common-sense approach to summer, you can enjoy long, warm days while you support your kidney health. Taking a few summertime precautions—protecting your skin, staying hydrated, controlling liquid intake and planning a summer getaway—means you can have fun and remain healthy.
Keep in touch with your DaVita dietitian and your treating nephrologist who can guide you in staying healthy and comfortable without hampering your health this summer.