For most Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients, Labor Day simply marks the end of summer. However, did you know that Labor Day has been celebrated as a national holiday in the United States since 1894, signed into law by President Grover Cleveland, and workers' unions chose the first Monday in September to celebrate Labor Day because it was halfway between Independence Day and Thanksgiving? Labor Day has a rich history in the American Culture and it is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. While most later stage Chronic Kidney Disease (Stage 4 and Stage 5) and Dialysis patients are unable to partake in the traditional labor force, they too have a job - managing their health, doing well on Dialysis, and staying alive. Hence, Labor Day is a celebration for Chronic Kidney Disease patients as well. The following tips will help patients improve their safety while boosting their fun, and overall quality of life this Labor Day.
1. BBQ: Labor Day and Barbecue (BBQ) often times go hand-in-hand. When people hear “BBQ,” they often think of only meat. However, low-potassium fruits (plums, pears) and vegetables (zucchini, yellow summer squash, red bell pepper, purple onion) can be a tasty treat on the grill and go a long way in helping patients avoid overeating and maintaining their desired weight during Labor Day. Just a few minutes on the grill really enhances the flavors of these healthy options.
2. Foods to eat: According to the American Kidney Fund, Dialysis patients should try to incorporate foods that are high in antioxidants into their diets because they assist with reducing Chronic Inflammation, Diabetes, Cancer and Heart Disease. Foods that are high in antioxidants which are safe for the Renal and Diabetic diets include berries, cherries, cabbage, cauliflower, garlic, onions, and red peppers.
3. Keep an eye on your plate: While it may be tempting to spoil yourself during the Labor Day festivities with family and friends, remember that any major changes to your recommended Renal or Diabetic diets may result in serious complications and in some cases hospitalizations. Be sure to take extra binders as recommended by your Healthcare Team. Try to limit high phosphorus and potassium Labor Day favorites such as raisins, chocolate, mashed potatoes, potato salad, as well as macaroni and cheese,
4. Beat the heat: It may be September, but the weather can still be scorching. Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients can become dehydrated quickly and overconsume fluids - causing fluid overload. Try to beat the heat and stay out of the sun and in cool rooms. Have access to a few frozen grapes and ice to suck on in case you get thirsty and do not want to exceed your fluid intake.
5. Traveling: A popular Labor Day activity is traveling to spend time at the beach or visiting family and friends. If you are determined to get that last vacation in, then utilize your state's Department of Transportation traffic system which "provides travelers with real-time traffic conditions," said Ragina Cooper Averella (American Automobile Association). Also, make sure you check your tires before traveling and keep an emergency kit in your car. What's more, in the case of an emergency, when traveling long distances things like non-perishable food, flashlights, and blankets could save your life if you get stuck on the road.
How do you stay safe while enjoying your Labor Day? What are your favorite foods? How do you manage your fluid intake? Share your thoughts with the nearly 47,000 Friends who have liked the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Fan Page (click here). Also, follow the approximately 120,000 monthly viewers and visit KidneyBuzz.com every day for the latest breaking news and information which teaches those with Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, Kidney Transplant, Diabetes, and High Blood Pressure how to better manage and improve their lives.