Healthy kidneys take out extra fluid (liquid) from your blood. When your kidneys are not working as well as they should, they cannot take out enough fluid. This can cause the extra fluid in your blood to build up in your body.

Having too much fluid in your body can cause problems with your heart and lungs. It can also cause high blood pressure, which is the second most common cause of kidney failure. Controlling your fluid intake can help prevent these problems and lower your risk for further kidney damage.

If your body is holding on to too much fluid, you may notice a faster heartbeat and swelling that starts in your feet and ankles and moves upward. Limiting how much fluid you take in can help you feel better.

Use these tips to limit how much fluid you take in each day and check out our infographic on staying hydrated without overdoing fluids:

  • Follow a low-salt diet. Salt can make your body hold on to more fluid than it should.
  • If you are thirsty, try sucking on an ice cube or a hard candy (sugar-free if you have diabetes).
  • Remember that foods, such as ice cream and soup, count as fluid! Fruits and vegetables also have fluid in them. Each time you eat or drink something that is considered a fluid, write it down. Keep track of how much fluid you take in throughout the day.

Ask your doctor how much fluid you should have. Use the tips above to achieve your fluid goal!