CKD & Dialysis Patients May Use Ice & Water To Strategically Lose Weight & Improve Quality Of Life


A viewer asked, "I am on Dialysis and my Healthcare Team is constantly telling me to limit my water intake. Since I am trying to remain active on the Kidney Transplant Waiting List I am trying to maintain my weight and even lose a few pounds. Do you have any suggestions?"

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Most Chronic Kidney Disease patients who conduct Dialysis know that if they have to remove too much fluid too quickly during treatments it may cause cramps and low blood pressure. Similarly Fluid Overload (too much fluid) can cause high blood pressure, shortness of breath, and overtime can damage the heart by making it work harder. That is why it is best for most Dialysis patients to limit their fluid intake between their treatments. 

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However, it was one of the hottest summers ever recorded, and for those attempting to lose weight - it is often generally recommended that people take in more water - not less. Given these opposing dynamics, what is a Dialysis patient to do?

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First, Peritoneal Dialysis patients have less fluid restrictions and limits depend on how effectively fluid is removed during exchanges. Given, the fact that Hemodialysis patients often have fluid limits between 32 and 36 Daily Ounces on average, patients may consider implementing a new effective diet strategy. 

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The New York Daily News reported that research from the University of Birmingham "have revealed that drinking 16.9 ounces of water before every meal can help people suffering from obesity to lose weight." Specifically, results showed that patients who drank approximately 16 ounces of water thirty (30) minutes before their daily meals every day for 12 weeks lost 9.48 pounds, "at a moderate and healthy rate." For reference, 16 ounces is the size of a regular water bottle.

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As you can imagine it does not take much effort to integrate this diet alteration into Dialysis patients' busy everyday lives. The biggest obstacle for some Dialysis patients is, however, the water intake. Therefore, patients may consider tailoring these findings to better suit their limitations. Consider consuming ice (in moderation) throughout the day and restricting your actual water intake to just before breakfast/lunch and dinner, but stick to your Healthcare Team's fluid recommendations. Mixed with light physical activity, Dialysis patients may experience similar weight lose results which may improve their energy levels, quality of life, as well as getting and staying active on the Kidney Transplant Waiting List. 

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Ice is a great alternative to water as a thirst quencher since "it may also be perceived as pleasant because oral cooling satiates [satisfies] thirst," suggested a Unilever study. Do you have any suggestions for the viewer? How do you stay hydrated and maintain your fluid limits? Any other weight loss or maintenance tricks you can think of? Click here if you have anything to add or to ask a question of the over 27,000 Friends who have Liked the Facebook Fan Page. 

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