A patient wrote to KidneyBuzz.com and asked, "Hello, KidneyBuzz. I have a few questions regarding parties that I need some help with:
1. If a Dialysis patient is going to have an alcoholic beverage what would be the best choice? I know that I need to watch the amount of fluid I consume but I am not sure if one beverage is better than another?
2. As for food served at a party or celebration is there anything I should watch out for or stay away from? Would anything cause me problems or increased thirst?
3.Do you have any suggestions for which sunscreen to use or will provide the best protection? I have been informed of the risk of skin cancer for Dialysis and Kidney Transplant patients.
4. If you have any other suggestions they are welcomed.
Thank you for all your help and support. - KidneyBuzz Follower"
During the summer and other seasonal events during the year, Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients like to kick-back and have fun like everybody else. However, their disease often makes them feel left out of major events and happenings which they would prefer to enjoy (barbecues, concerts, outdoor gatherings, and movie nights). This can cause patients to be more reclusive and even depressed -- feeling as though they are unable to lead a high quality and enjoyable life because of Chronic Kidney Disease. Well, no more! Use the following tips to get the most out of your summer and improve your quality of life while helping to maintain positive health outcomes.
Recommended Reading: How Chronic Kidney Disease Patients Can Successfully Cope With The End Of Summer
1. Alcohol: Fundamentally, KidneyBuzz.com encourages patients to avoid alcoholic drinks and opt for a soda or water which are often better alternatives. However, the second largest Dialysis Organization in the United States, DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc. said, "If you’re on Dialysis, drinking alcohol may be allowable, but it must be counted within your normal fluid allowance and diet, and medicines must be taken into consideration." Again, while KidneyBuzz.com recommends against Dialysis patients drinking alcohol, in any case, talk to your Nephrologist or Dietitian before you drink any alcohol. The issues you should raise with them concern the possible increase in the amount of fluid, ingredients such as Phosphorus and Potassium, reaction to prescribed and over-the-counter medication you may be taking, and possible increased calorie intake.
2. Phosphorus Binders: Little is known about the impact of holiday and other special event gatherings on a Chronic Kidney Disease patient's diet. Still, it is possible that patients are less adherent (someone that sticks to something) with dietary restrictions during such events. Remember to take your binders with you whenever you plan on having anything to eat during an outing. Be prepared with a few extra binders should they be necessary. You may also discuss this with your Healthcare Team in order to determine whether or when to increase the amount of your recommended binders.
3. Sunscreen: Cancer has been a growing concern in the Chronic Kidney Disease Community. Patients, especially those on Dialysis, may find that a water resistant sunscreen will be less likely to come off if they sweat or go swimming. However, still cover up well; and wear a hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from harmful sun damage.
4. Thirst: Even during the blistering heat of the summer, fluid intake must still be monitored very closely by Dialysis patients. Carrying too much extra fluid can make Dialysis increasingly challenging. Thus, in order to curb your thirst, Chronic Kidney Disease patients can: Suck on lemons or add them to their water, use small cups for beverages so it is less likely to gulp the drink, freeze some of their favorite fruits for snacks, brush their teeth to refresh the mouth, use sugar-free candies or thirst quenching gum, and chew on crushed ice.
5. Food Selection: When at a party, most patients do not want to seem as though they are "snubbing" the host's offerings, and they also genuinely want to enjoy the food prepared. However, it is sometimes difficult to determine what meets the renal dietary restrictions. Listed below are items that are okay to eat in moderation when patients are at gatherings, parties, and events:
- Bread sticks
- Carrot sticks
- Celery with dip or cream cheese
- Cocktail meatballs
- Unsalted, boiled or deviled eggs
- Unsalted crackers, pretzels or tortilla chips with sour cream dip
- Lean pork
- Roast beef
- Roasted chicken
- Roasted turkey
- Cornbread or dinner rolls with margarine or olive oil
- Cranberry sauce
- Homemade gravy (no salt added)
- Homemade stuffing/dressing (no salt added)
- Leached potatoes (1/2 cup)
- White rice
- White or rye bread
- Green beans
- Mustard greens or collard greens
- Yellow squash
- Apple or cherry pie
- Jell-O® (sugar-free for people with Diabetes)
- Peach cobbler
- Pound or carrot cake
Hopefully, these tips will help you better enjoy your Summer adventures while avoiding common health challenges. If you need more suggestions or support, remember to like and visit the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Fan Page (click here) and connect with the over 41,000+ friends who would love to share insights with you. Also, ask your Healthcare Team who can think of additional strategies to keep health challenges at bay. Don't forget to share all of your fun stories, and visit KidneyBuzz.com daily 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.