Managing fluids for a better life on dialysis


Keep track of fluids in what you eat and drink for a stronger heart

Extra fluid in your blood can raise your blood pressure. This makes your heart work harder. Over time, your heart gets bigger and weaker.

Talk to your nurse and dietitian if:

  • You’re often short of breath
  • You have high blood pressure
  • You’re very tired after dialysis
  • You’re above target weight
  • You have swelling in hands, feet, or eyes
  • You’re gaining +3 kg/6.6 pounds between treatments

Managing fluid intake is important for people on dialysis. When you limit your fluid intake:

  • Your heart may not have to work so hard.
  • It may be easier for you to breathe.
  • Your blood pressure may be easier to control.
  • Dialysis treatments may be more comfortable for you.

Keep your heart healthy. Limit your fluids. Ask your dietitian about the right amount of fluid for you.

Managing fluids and how to get started

Maria, a Satellite dietitian, is an expert at helping people living on dialysis manage their fluids. In about two minutes each, you’ll get some important information and tips you can use today.

Manage fluids for better heart health

Take a look at how hard your heart has to work with extra fluid.

When you're thirsty

Learn about some clever ways to fight thirst without increasing fluids.

A fluid is anything that’s liquid at room temperature, including:

  • Water, milk, juice
  • Coffee, tea, soda, alcohol
  • Ice, popsicles, ice cream, sherbet
  • Soup, jello (gelatin)

dialysis and fluids

Learning from other people on dialysis

A healthy life on dialysis means always learning, always improving. Listen to these stories of real patients and their stories of how they got better control of their fluid management. 

Manage fluids

“I thought my heart was strong”

Mr. Garcia and his mama find a new way to cook delicious meals. 

When you’re thirsty

"I wanted a day off"

Mark learns how to celebrate special occasions without ‘overdoing it’ on salty foods.

Love Your Heart. Be Fluid Smart.

Prevent large fluid gains

  • Weigh yourself daily. Drink less if you’re gaining weight too quickly between treatments.
  • Use hard candy or gum to moisten your mouth.
  • Drink only when you’re thirsty, not out of habit.
  • Measure your fluid intake every day.
  • Rinse your mouth, but don’t swallow.
  • Limit salt and salty foods.
  • Use a small glass.

Reduce thirst

  • Avoid salty foods and adding salt to food. A lower sodium diet is healthier for you and the whole family.
  • Add lemon juice to water and ice.
  • Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free hard candy, especially sour candy.
  • Rinse your mouth with cold mouthwash (do not swallow).
  • If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar in control.
  • If you’re on Peritoneal Dialysis (PD), limit use of high % dextrose solutions (red bags).