Baby, It’s Hot Out There!

With temperatures of 110 degrees and over here this past week, I got to thinking about why – as CKD patients – we’re warned to be extra careful about this weather and, specifically, exercising in this weather.  I wanted to see how this all came together so I hit site after site with the same result: dehydration is the cuprit.  Of course, then I hit site after site to see just why that was.  I can define it and so can you, but there’s always more, isn’t there?

That’s where WebMD ( http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/tc/dehydration-topic-overview) came in.  I thought this article on their website from Healthwise, last updated February 24, 2010, did a really good job of explaining in a common language we can all understand.  It also discusses babies and older people, which are not necessarily my target groups, but can come in handy should you happen to have a baby or older person in your life.

Keep in mind that as a CKD patient, you are limited to 64 oz. of liquid ( or at least, I am)  no matter how much you sweat.  This amount also includes ice cream, milk, coffee, tea, juice, frozen fruit pops, jello – anything that is or once was a liquid.  Let’s not squander this fluid on perspiration; we need to keep it to help our bodies function.

Dehydration –   Topic Overview    

Dehydration occurs when your body loses too much fluid. This can happen when you stop drinking water or lose large amounts of fluid through diarrhea, vomiting, sweating, or exercise. Not drinking enough fluids can cause muscle cramps. You may feel faint. Usually your body can reabsorb fluid from your  blood and other body tissues. But by the time you become
severely dehydrated, you no longer have enough fluid in your body to get blood to your organs, and you may go into shock, which is a life-threatening condition.

Dehydration can occur in anyone of any age, but it is most dangerous for babies, small children, and older adults.

Dehydration in babies and small children

 

Babies and small children have an increased chance of becoming dehydrated because:

  • A greater portion of their bodies is made of  water.
  • Children have a high  metabolic rate, so their bodies use more water.
  • A child’s kidneys do not conserve water as well as an adult’s kidneys.
  • A child’s natural defense system that helps fight infection (immune system) is not fully developed, which increases
    the chance of getting an illness that causes vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Children often will not drink or eat when they are not feeling well.
  • They depend on their caregivers to provide them with food and fluids.
 

Dehydration in older adults

Older adults have an   increased chance of becoming dehydrated because they may:

  • Not drink because they do not feel as thirsty as younger people.
  • Have kidneys that do not work well. [ note from Gail: you don’t have to be older to have kidneys that do not work well.  We have CKD.  Our kidneys do not work well.]
  • Choose not to drink because of the inability to control their bladders (incontinence).
  • Have physical problems or a disease which makes it:
    • Hard to drink or hold a   glass.
    • Painful to get up from a chair.
    • Painful or exhausting to go to the bathroom.
    • Difficult to talk or communicate to someone about their symptoms.
  • Take medicines that increase urine output.
  • Not have enough money to adequately feed themselves.

Watch babies, small children, and older adults [me again: and CKD patients] closely for the early symptoms of dehydration any time they have illnesses that cause cause high fever, vomiting, or diarrhea. The early symptoms of dehydration are:

  • A dry mouth and sticky saliva.
  • Reduced urine output with dark yellow urine.
  • Acting listless or easily irritated.

This afternoon, I explained to my dear neighbor why I couldn’t go walking in the arroya for  awhile and explained to my fiance why I felt so listless and irritated.  Now that I know how dehydration can disrupt my life in ways I could do without, I’m happy to a. know why I feel this way and b. know I can do something about it  – ust like I can do something about keeping dialysis a long time down the pike by watching the changes I’ve made in my life.

So… be vigilant about the heat and dehyration but enjoy the weekend while you do that.

Keep living your life!

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Published in: on June 24, 2011 at 6:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

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