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Thirst Starts in the Mind!

By Ian Stewart

I've been dialyzing since 1968 (present age 54) and would agree that fluid restriction is one of the most difficult problems for kidney patients. At one time or another, I've tried most of the methods of coping as set out in the tip called "When Your Thirst Is at Its Worst," and they have their uses. However, some of these methods have the down side of always reminding you that the restriction exists, which can reinforce the desire for "one more little drink."

For me, the only reliable method is to establish my own pattern of drinking. For example, I've learned how many cups of fluid I can tolerate per day, and I drink my beverages at regular times. It's a matter of creating balance, and finding out how much fluid you can handle versus how much you can comfortably give up—then stick to this amount. Once I determined a reasonable compromise and a "normal" pattern for myself, I was no longer obsessed with restricting my fluid intake.

I suggest that you try this approach. After a while, you may find that you think about drinking only when you're really thirsty—not because it's a restriction.

Permission received to post the following information:

Name: Ian Stewart
Cause of renal failure: Unknown
Time on dialysis: 30 years
Treatments used: In-center hemodialysis, Transplant
E-mail: i.m.stewart@btinternet.com
Date: September 1999

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