Warm weather is right around the corner, and after months spent indoors during the pandemic, our neighbors across the tristate are anxious to get outside. Many kidney disease patients are diligent about protecting themselves from COVID-19 through physical distancing, mask wearing, and getting vaccinated, but summer requires extra vigilance for those with CKD even in non-pandemic times. Here are a few tips to stay healthy as temperatures are on the rise.
Monitor your fluid intake
Staying hydrated is critical in the summer, but for kidney disease patients, monitoring fluid intake can be challenging. Work with your Nephrology Associates care team to determine how much water you should consume and if that amount should be different on days you spend more time outside. Be aware that while an icy cold beverage might taste great on a hot day, it can cause cramping.
Though kidney disease patients may not be able to consume large amounts of water, it’s still important to take steps to prevent overheating. Drench a towel or cloth in cold water to wear around your neck or under your hat. Giving yourself a light spritz with a water-filled spray bottle can also help you feel refreshed on a hot day. If temperatures are extremely high, it may be best to stick to activities you can do in the comfort of air conditioning.
Take advantage of summer foods
Summer is a great time to enjoy kidney-friendly fruits and vegetables. Portion control is still important, as all produce contains some potassium, but many are low in phosphorus and healthy additions to a kidney diet when eaten in moderation. From peaches to cucumbers, summer fruits and vegetables add color and nutrients to your plate.
Don’t forget sun protection
When you go outdoors, protect your eyes with broad spectrum sunglasses that block at least 99% of UVB rays and 50% of UVA rays. The FDA recommends a minimum SPF of 15 for sunscreen, but SPF 50 is even better to protect again harmful rays.
From all of us at the Nephrology Associates of Greater Cincinnati, we hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable summer!