For most, summer is a time for Friends, Family, fun and free-time. Yet, summer can be a very treacherous and dangerous season for Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients as well as those with Diabetes (leading cause of Kidney Failure). Research has suggested that the Fatality (Death) Rate of those with Diabetes and Heart Disease (leading cause of death in Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients) increases when the average temperature during the summer months rise. "The heat can be especially dangerous for those with Diabetes, Chronic Kidney conditions and High Blood Pressure," said Dr. Shin Gil-ja. How can patients protect themselves?
STAY INDOORS AND HYDRATED: According to Dr. Gil-ja, "People with such conditions should stay indoors as much as possible and try their best to avoid dehydration." Severe dehydration may cause fainting. Chronic Kidney Disease patients who must abide by water restrictions, should consider sucking on ice to combat dehydration rather than risk over-consuming water and causing further health complications.
NOT TOO HOT OR TOO COLD: After Diabetes, High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) is the second leading cause of Chronic Kidney Disease and End Stage Renal Disease which requires Dialysis or Kidney Transplantation. Hence, for patients with High Blood Pressure, they should avoid both Hot AND Cold showers and air conditioning during the summer since Blood Pressure is affected by sudden changes in temperature.
FORGETTING THE DIET: Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis and Diabetic patients who must abide by restricted diets should recognize that during vacations, patients are often more relaxed and "forget" which foods they are to limit or avoid. Dialysis patients for instance, frequently use fruit as a means to maintain a healthy diet and remain hydrated with the juice found in fruits. However, consumption of certain fruits and vegetables or overconsumption of these foods in general may lead to Hyperkalemia (High Potassium). Such a disorder may cause nausea, weakness, numbness, slow pulse, and in severe cases Heart Attacks. For quick reference, low potassium fruits and vegetables include berries, apples, peaches, green beans, cucumber and zucchini.
WATCH YOUR STEPS: Moreover, Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients with Diabetes should be mindful of their feet because approximately 15% to 20% of patients with Diabetes worldwide end up seeking medical treatment for a foot ulcer or other type of infection. In severe cases, such foot problems may require amputation, noted Yourhealth.com. Dr. Gil-ja offered insight, "Inspect your feet every day, look out for bruises and cuts. Apply lotion to your feet regularly - dryness can also lead to skin damage - and make sure to trim your nails as well." Moreover, Diabetics should always wear socks and footwear even at the beach as well as watch their steps because "There may be unknown particles lying around that can cause harm to your foot," said Yourhealth.com.
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