Managing Fluid
Intake on Dialysis

Dialysis works to remove excess fluid from your blood, so its important to manage your fluid intake. Fluids are typically limited on a dialysis diet, but the exact amount you should have each day may depend on your health and the type of dialysis youre on. People on at-home peritoneal dialysis may have fewer fluid restrictions, while people on in-center hemodialysis generally have greater limitations to their fluid intake. Talk to your doctor or dietitian about how to manage your fluids and feel your best.


Find ideas for fluids and foods that fit a kidney diet.
Foods to choose for ESRD

Dialysis Fluid Intake

Why your fluid intake matters on dialysis

Limiting fluids will help you feel better and stay healthier. Once youre on dialysis, you may urinate very little—or not at all. Any extra fluid must be removed by dialysis, and consuming too much fluid may cause buildup between dialysis sessions, resulting in the following:

  • Headaches and low energy
  • Swelling in your face, hands and feet (edema)
  • Trouble breathing from fluid in your lungs
  • Heart damage from stretching your heart with too much fluid
  • High blood pressure that can lead to a stroke

Less salt = less thirst = feeling better

Consuming less salt will help you:

  • Control your thirst.
  • Avoid swelling in ankles, fingers, waist or under eyes.
  • Keep your heart stronger.
  • Breathe easier.

Learn how to cut salt and sodium without sacrificing flavor.

Find simple ways to limit salt

Mida y realice un seguimiento de sus líquidos

Las personas que tienen una dieta de restricción de líquidos de diálisis deberían, por lo general, limitar los líquidos a 32 onzas o menos al día. Su médico o dietista analizará sus requisitos específicos de líquidos. Para ayudarle a monitorear su ingesta de líquidos, anote cuánto está bebiendo o comiendo durante todo el día. También puede ayudar a reflexionar sobre su día para planificar qué y cuándo comerá. Por ejemplo, si tiene una ocasión especial en la noche consuma menos líquidos durante todo el día.

¿Qué aspecto tienen 32 onzas de líquido?


32 onzas

4 vasosgreen-equals

1 cuarto de galóngreen-equals


1 litro aproximadamentegreen-equals

weight management for dialysis


Excess fluid in your body shows up on the scale. Therefore, your body weight can be an important indicator of how well your treatments and fluid management are working together. Your dietitian will teach you how to monitor fluid gains and track what youre drinking to help you feel your best.

5 tips for quenching your thirst and limiting fluids

Controlling how much you drink isn't always easy. Try these ideas for managing your fluid intake.

  1. Eat a piece of cold or frozen fruit, like grapes, strawberries or blueberries.
  2. Freeze your favorite beverage in a bottle and sip as the fluid melts.
  3. Suck on a piece of sugar-free hard candy or chew sugar-free gum.
  4. Drink from small cups or glasses.
  5. Rinse your mouth with mouthwash.

Smart strategies for outwitting your thirst

Beyond considering what you eat and drink, there are other steps you can take to successfully limit fluids.

  • Avoid “fluid traps”—identify situations where you may drink out of boredom or as a social habit.
  • Wait 10 minutes for a fluid craving to pass—call a friend, pick up a magazine or count to 100.
  • Keep cool on hot days—avoid getting overheated by dressing appropriately, staying in the shade and using a mist bottle with a fan.


While water, tea and anything youre drinking out of a cup are obviously fluids, there are also some foods that contain enough liquid to be considered fluids and should be limited accordingly.

  • Soup
  • Ice cream, sherbet, sorbet
  • Nutritional drinks
  • Gelatin (Jell-O®)
  • Ice cubes, ice chips

Tip: Foods that melt or are liquid at room temperature are considered fluids.

Find more ideas for eating well on dialysis.