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Kidney Disease: Limiting Fluids

Healthy kidneys balance the amount of fluid that enters and leaves the body. If your kidneys cannot maintain this fluid balance, you may need to limit your fluid intake. This handout can help you take in the right amount of fluid each day.

Bowl of lemons.
To feel less thirsty, try sucking on a lemon wedge.
Hints to Control Thirst

The tips below can help you feel less thirsty without drinking extra fluids:

  • Suck on a lemon wedge when you’re thirsty.

  • Eat sour candy or chew gum to moisten your mouth. Choose sugar-free types if you have diabetes.

  • Control your blood sugar level if you have diabetes.

  • Eat less salt so you will feel less thirsty.

  • Read food labels to find out salt content.

  • Rinse your mouth with water but don’t swallow it.

  • Suck on a few ice chips.

When You Drink

Drink only when you are thirsty. Do not drink to be social or out of habit. When you do drink, follow these tips:

  • Measure out the amount of water you will drink during the day. Put the water in a container, and drink from that container only.

  • Drink from a small glass or cup.

  • Take medications with mealtime liquids.