The patients on dialysis often feel thirsty, but they are recommended to control their fluid intake. Therefore, knowing the causes of thirst is very important for the patients so as to find better ways to alleviate their thirst.
First, why patients on dialysis feel thirsty
1. Water and electrolyte disturbance
The retention of water in the patients on dialysis is several times as much
as the normal. So much water will leak into the tissues spaces through blood
capillaries with the help of plasma osmotic pressure and hydrostatic pressure.
As a result, the extracellular osmotic pressure rises, which can cause the
extracellular fluid to stay in dehydration state.
2. Blood volume is insufficient
A large amount of water accumulates in tissues spaces thus causing blood
volume. The osmoreceptors stimulates hypothalamic thirst center thus causing
The metabolic products such as urea nitrogen accumulate in body. The body
only depends on digestive systems to balance and regulate the water intake,
eliminate or dilute the high-concentration sodium and various kinds of toxins in
and out of the cells. Therefore, the patients on dialysis often feel
Second, how to deal with thirst for patients on dialysis
1. The patients on dialysis should avoid eating foods that make them thirsty
including spicy food, salty food and dry food.
2. Sweating can lead much fluid loss for the patients on dialysis. Therefore,
it is very important to keep the dialysis environment cool. Moreover, they
should drink cold liquids instead of hot beverages.
3. If you are Diabetic Nephropathy on dialysis, you should control your blood
sugar within the normal level for high blood sugar level can increase
4. Dry mouth can be uncomfortable. Instead of drinking fluid to refresh your
mouth, try using mouthwash or brushing your teeth. Sucking on hard candy or a
wedge of lemon or lime will also help.
The patients on dialysis should limit their fluid intake strictly and follow
their doctors' guidance for too much fluid intake is dangerous for them. Too
much water intake can cause fluid building up thus causing edema, high blood
pressure and so on.