patient stories
Peritoneal dialysis at
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A Canada-wide cycling
trip with dialysis
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Coping with CKD
thanks to home dialysis
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What is peritoneal dialysis (PD)?Fluid and diet management
Managing fluids

Fluid weight is the liquid parts of your body. Body weight changes daily depending on what you eat and drink. It is important to keep fluids in balance. Your healthy kidneys were able to balance the amount of fluid in your body. Peritoneal dialysis will help remove some extra fluid but you need to pay attention to the amount of fluids put in and taken out of your body. Your weight and how you feel also depends on your fluid balance.

Your total weight = body weight and fluid weight

What you should do each day to balance your fluids?

  • Weigh yourself
  • Check your blood pressure and write it down
  • Use the correct strength of dialysis solutions
  • Look for signs of swelling and puffiness in your tissues
  • Notice how you feel, i.e. shortness of breath
  • Pay attention to the types of food you eat and the amount you drink
  • There are times when your fluids may need to be restricted

How do you know if you have too much fluid?

Too much fluid means “fluid overload,” which can strain your heart.

Symptoms of fluid overload:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Increase in weight
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Swelling

What can you do if you have too much fluid?

  • Pay attention to your weight, breathing, blood pressure and swelling
  • Reduce fluid intake
  • Reduce your salt intake
  • You can also use a stronger PD solution. If you need to use higher strength solutions than usual, call your unit.
  • Call your unit if you are unsure

How do you know if you have too little fluid?

When you have too little fluid it is called “dehydration.”

Symptoms of dehydration:

  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Lower blood pressure

What can you do if you have too little fluid?

Follow the advice of your healthcare team.

Some options may be:

  • Drink some liquids
  • Use a lower-strength solution
  • Do not skip any exchanges

Managing your diet

Peritoneal dialysis gives you the opportunity to choose from a wide variety of foods.

Your dietitian will work with you on your dialysis diet menu plan. Tips are available for helping you maintain a more normal diet with fewer limitations. Check out the “Get Info” section in Dialysis Snapshot for more information.

Additional resources

For additional resources to try new recipes and to read about trending diets and plant‑based protein please visit this website

Spice it up! is

  • written by registered renal dietitians
  • endorsed by the Kidney Foundation and
  • published in English and French twice a year online and print.