Fluids Intake In Chronic Kidney Disease


If you ever get stuck on a desert island, there are probable chances to be more thirsty than feeling hungry. As per the studies, we are told since our childhood that 70% of our body is water. An average healthy adult requires up to eight glasses of water everyday to maintain the equilibrium. But what if you are suffering from CKD or any such other kidney disease? Is taking a lot of liquid good for you? If you have any of the kidney problems and are confused regarding the amount of fluid you should intake, do not worry. We are here to help. 

In our present article we are going to discuss the quantity of liquids you can take in different conditions of CKD and nephrotic syndrome, ways to assess swelling by the patient and how does a patient gain weight.

What Should Be The Intake Of Fluids By The Patients In Different Conditions Of CKD?


1. Fluid Intake In CKD If No Swelling:

The main function of the kidneys, as we all know, is to remove the extra waste material from the body. But in case you have CKD or a kidney failure then the filtering ability of the kidney is lost and this leads to the accumulation of harmful substances in the body. If you have CKD and no symptoms such as swelling is there then it is probably a sign that you are at your early stage. Though the problem is not that severe, you still need to be very careful about what you eat and drink.

 If you are at stage 1 or 2 and haven’t undergone dialysis, then it is very important that you drink enough water, 8 glasses each day. It will not only keep your kidneys hydrated but will also enhance their working capacities. You can also include fruits and vegetables that have a good amount of water content but have less sodium, potassium and phosphorus, such as pineapple. If you want to be sure about your fluids intake it’s always preferable to consult a health care expert.

2. Fluid Intake In CKD If There Is Swelling: 

Early stages might show no signs and symptoms. However, if the situation gets worse you might start noticing certain changes. For instance, you may experience problems in breathing and swelling in your legs, which occurs due to the retention of fluids in your body. The kidneys start losing their capacity of removing wastes as a result of which the fluids get collected in your body leading to swelling. If these things occur, then you are now at a later stage of the disease or if you have undergone dialysis, it is a sign that you should consult a doctor and limit the intake of your liquids.

 It is normally suggested that you can take around 32 ounces of water per day. If urination still occurs then you will be advised to take 32 ounces of water  along with the additional amount of water which is equal to the amount of your urination in one day. For instance, if you urinate 10/ounces per day then you can have 32 + 10, that is 42 ounces of water on a daily basis.

3. Fluid Intake In Case Of A Heart Failure In CKD:

Heart Failure In CKD

Heart failure generally occurs at the advanced stages  of CKD. When your kidneys do not function properly, then it might become difficult for your hormone system to send the blood to the kidneys. It becomes problematic for the heart to pump blood for the kidneys which might lead to heart problems and even failure in extreme conditions.

Cardiac arrest is one of the most prevalent reasons for death of the people on dialysis. If you have this condition then it is very important to strictly follow the advice of your doctor and make changes in your lifestyle. As your heart problem starts progressing your doctor might tell you to limit your water consumption to 6-9 cups or 1.5-2 litres per day. If you properly follow the routine no matter how bad the situation is, it will enable you to live a normal life.

4. Fluid Intake In Nephrotic Syndrome, If Swelling:

Nephrotic Syndrome

Nephrotic Syndrome is basically a kidney disorder which leads to the passage of too much protein in the urine and is also known as proteinuria. It occurs due to the enlargement of the pores and the rupture of small blood vessels in the kidneys. It might cause swelling and also lead to other problems if it gets aggravated. 

The children with this problem might have to reduce the amount of sodium and water consumption as they might have problems in maintaining the fluid equilibrium in their body. The diet is basically normal but with a few restrictions. For proper advice regarding the amount of fluid intake you should always consult a doctor.

How To Assess Swelling In CKD? 

Swelling of legs and other body parts in CKD is also referred to as Edema. If you experience pain in the back or lower abdomen, swelling and problems while urinating then there are chances that you might be suffering from CKD and it is the time that you get yourself tested. Amount of swelling you have might help you identify how advanced your problem is. However, if you want to assess swelling then there are several tests for that.

  1. First of all while diagnosing your kidney problem your doctor will ask you about your personal details including your family history, any problems regarding your blood pressure levels, if you are undergoing any kind of treatment and if you’ve noticed anything regarding your urination pattern recently.
  2. Then, you will be asked to undergo the medical examination to identify the symptoms or if you have any heart or kidney disease. Then the neurological text shall be performed
  3. After that, for diagnosing the problem some other tests will have to be performed. These involve:
  4. Blood Tests: This test will help you in finding out the amount of certain useless substances such as urea in your blood.
  5. Urine Tests: The test will help in identifying the reasons for the kidney failure and will also tell the details about the harmful products that are present in the urine whose accumulation has led to the swelling.
  6. Photographic Images Test: It involves ultrasound to get a proper structure of the kidneys, Its size and shape. In case if the kidneys are swollen, the size might appear to be bigger than usual.
  7. Testing A Kidney Tissue: For this, biopsy has to be performed. A thin and long needle is inserted into the kidney and a small tissue is removed which is then sent to the lab for examination. It helps in revealing the root cause of the problem.

How Does Kidney Disease At Different Stages Affect Weight And Lead To Swelling?

Lead To Swelling

If you have a kidney disease you will experience a lot of variations in your weight. For instance, weight gain occurs mainly at the advanced stages of the problem. Let us now see how  the kidney patient gains weight. We all are well aware that removing waste and balancing the body fluids Is the foremost function of kidneys. There are certain situations where you might experience the change in weight.

  • In Early Stages:

Due to the accumulation of certain elements in this body the person starts losing his appetite. He eats less protein food and as a result loses weight.

  • At Later Stages: 

As the kidneys stop working or function poorly, they fail to maintain the fluid balance in the body. Due to this excessive amount of fluid in the body certain parts start swelling up which results in the increase in the body weight. This weight is due to water and not because of muscles. It is very harmful as it might lead to the shortening of breath, increase in blood pressure, heart failure and even death in extreme cases.

  • Patients Undergoing Dialysis:

It is generally believed that after a successful dialysis the weight of the patient decreases and it removes the extra fluid from the body. After this, it is advised by a doctor to follow a strict diet plan to limit the intake of fluids along with sodium, and you strictly need to adhere to it.

The Bottom Line

For those with kidney problems, if they consume too much liquids then the waste might build up in their body and prove to be hazardous. Also if you have undergone dialysis then it helps in getting rid of the excessive waste but is not as effective  as your healthy kidneys.  Hence, if you have any such issue you need to be very careful regarding the fluid intake in your body. After undergoing the treatment if you properly follow the advice of your doctor and health care expert it will definitely help you lead a longer and a happier life.


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