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Dry Weight – Strike the Balance

nephroplus | April 21, 2021

By: Apeksha Ekbote, Msc, RD, Chief Dietician, NephroPlus

What is dry weight?

Normal weight without any extra fluid in your body is called “dry weight.” A person with healthy kidneys may urinate up to seven times a day. However, most people on dialysis make little to no urine, because their kidneys are no longer properly removing wastes and extra fluid from the body. Without urination, fluid builds up in the body and can cause swelling, shortness of breath and weight gain. Dialysis filters these waste products developed in your body and the weight post dialysis is termed as ‘dry weight’

How is dry weight calculated?

Dry weight is calculated in Kilograms. The pre dialysis weight is subtracted with the post dialysis weight to get an estimate of the fluid accumulated in your body. It is recommended to restrict this fluid gain to 2-2.25lts when you come for your dialysis. Fluid is removed during dialysis to return the patient to his or her dry weight by the end of the treatment.

What happens if I gain excess fluid?

If your weight after dialysis is excess, i.e, you are having a fluid overload in your body, one may experience shortness of breath, abdominal bloating, high blood pressure, cardiac issues which can even lead to heart failure.

What happens when I lose fluid?

When you lose fluid through the process of dialysis, a person feels more comfortable, light, his blood pressure stabilizes, heart rate is normal, body tends to come back to a normal position. However, a few may experience severe symptoms due to excess loss of fluid which can lead to low blood pressure, dryness of mouth, feeling cold, nausea, cramping and dizziness.

Therefore, it should be clearly understood that-

1.Maintenance of optimal fluid post dialysis is of utmost importance as too much or too little is bad.

  1. Salt restriction is suggested (2g/day) to avoid fluid overload in your body. The higher salt/sodium, packaged foods, processed and preserved foods you consume, the higher your fluid retention and the dialysis process becomes intense.
  2. Drink only recommended level of your daily fluid.
  3. One may feel weak or fatigued during or post dialysis as there is a drop in blood pressure and protein loss. Hence it is advisable to eat or drink restricted fluid during the dialysis process. Preferably consuming a protein supplement drink post dialysis is always helpful.
  4. Maintain your dry weight optimal. If your losing on your dry weight, you’re not getting enough calories and protein that you should.

Consult your dietician for your specific requirements if your facing further issues.

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