Fluid Restriction: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

A buildup of fluid in the body can cause swelling and pain. Your doctor may suggest that you limit liquids, including foods that contain a lot of liquid. Limiting liquids is called fluid restriction. It will help your body get rid of the extra fluid. Your doctor may also recommend that you cut back on sodium in your diet.

Keeping track of the amount of fluids you take in may help you feel better. It may also lower your risk of having to go to the hospital. Your doctor will tell you how much fluid you can have in a day.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Find a way of tracking the fluids you take in that works for you. Here are two methods you can try:
    • Write down how much you drink throughout the day.
    • Keep a container filled with the amount of liquid allowed for the day. As you drink liquids during the day, such as a 175 millilitre cup of coffee, pour that same amount out of the container. When the container is empty, you've had your liquid for the day.
  • Count any foods that will melt (such as ice cream, gelatin, or flavoured ice treats) or liquid foods (such as soup) as part of your fluids for the day. Also count the liquid in canned fruits and vegetables as part of your daily intake, or drain them well before serving.
  • Space your liquids throughout the day. Then you won't be tempted to drink more than the amount your doctor recommends.
  • To relieve thirst without taking in extra water, try chewing gum, sucking on hard candy (sugarless if you have diabetes), or rinsing your mouth with water and spitting it out.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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Current as of: January 27, 2016