Turn on the TV mid-summer, and there’s a good chance hot weather is in the forecast. It’s great for swimming, picnics, and backyard barbecues. But if you have renal disease, you’ve got to take some precautions to protect your health from the heat wave.
Warmer weather means you’re more likely to sweat. Without adequate fluids, it’s also easier to become dehydrated when it’s hot. And that can take a toll on kidney function. However, with a little planning you can weather the heat wave and stay healthy. Here are some things you can do:
Eat healthy foods
It’s one of the most important things you can do when you have renal disease. You need to follow a healthy diet that’s low in sodium, potassium, phosphorous, and protein. At the same time, you need all the vitamins and nutrients you can get for best health. But it doesn’t have to be hard. At MagicKitchen.com, we’ve created 26 different entrees for breakfast, lunch, and dinner designed specifically for people with renal disease. You’ll enjoy choices like Cheese Omelet, Shrimp & Vegetable Linguine, or Stuffed Peppers. Every meal is made from fresh ingredients, flash frozen, and delivered right to your door.
Pull back the shades so you can see the sun. Then make a plan to get outside for a little exercise. Try taking a walk in the park. A little exercise will help strengthen your heart, lungs, and muscles. And 10 to 15 minutes in the sun without sunscreen helps your skin produce vitamin D your body needs for good health. After that, cover up, apply sunscreen, or spend a little more time outside in the shade.
Protect your eyes
When you head out the door to soak up some summer sun, be sure to protect your eyes. The sun’s ultraviolet rays can not only damage your skin, they can also harm your vision. Much like using sunscreen to protect your skin (sunscreen with an SPF rating of 15 or higher is best), your eyes also need to be protected. When you’re in the sun, wear sunglasses designed to block out ultraviolet rays.
If you plan to go swimming…
If your dialysis treatments are delivered via a vascular access, you may be wondering if you can go swimming. You can, but you have to take precautions to protect the access from infection with a protective dressing. If you’re not sure how to do this, talk to your doctor. You’ll also want to avoid swimming in ponds, lakes, and rivers. These places are more likely to harbor bacteria that can lead to an infection. So where can you swim? Chlorinated pools or the ocean.
Long summer days with plenty of daylight and warmer temperatures can be enjoyable. Make a plan to protect your health, enjoy renal-friendly meals, and get outside.