Temperatures are dropping and it’s time to prepare for winter and ensure your health and safety by taking the necessary precautions. Winter storms can bring extreme cold, freezing rain, snow, ice, and high winds. We find a lot of people around us, who feel under the weather during this time or often complain about cold, cough and fever. This usually happens because of the extreme drop down in the temperatures causing health problems like breathing trouble, viral fever, pneumonia and so on. Amidst all these, weather-related emergencies pose a significant risk for dialysis patients and they need to pay extra attention to their health as they are prone to catch infections, other respiratory problems, infectious diseases, even influenza. Many studies have established the link that urinary tract infections occur mostly in the winters which in turn affect our kidneys.
According to a new Austrian study presented at the European Renal Association, most of the dialysis patients follow a seasonal pattern having higher death rates during the winter season than in summers. The researchers have concluded that extra care and attention needs to be taken to adapt with the preventive measures like seasonal vaccines and intensive control of cardiovascular risk factors. It is also advisable to the healthcare providers to keep in constant touch with the dialysis patients in order to maintain a database of their health records.
Here are a few tips to make sure that you can lead a healthy winter:
- Get your vaccinations on time: When the flu season has started, it is extremely important to keep a track on the vaccines that need to be taken. Dialysis patients suffer from weak immune systems therefore, getting the vaccinations on time can help them protect themselves from influenza or any serious complications. In this on-going pandemic, it is even more important to consult with a nearby clinic and maintain the record of the vaccines taken. Getting immunized during winters or weather emergencies is an important part of the kidney care and should not be avoided.
- Get the winter diet ready: Having a winter platter ready with the seasonal winter food choices can add variety to the kidney friendly diet. Patients on dialysis should consult a doctor for a winter diet plan. It is important for them to include necessary vitamins, minerals and more because they are at a greater risk of deficiency and hence it is recommended to include the necessary items in their diet.
- Maintain hygiene and keep your medicines in stock: Washing hands is the most important step of maintaining our personal hygiene that needs to be taken care of during the winters and especially in this on-going pandemic situation.It helps to reduce the risk of getting a gastrointestinal illness or respiratory infection. Alongside, dialysis patients need to keep their medications ready for winter. Winter can pose serious weather emergencies which might lead to shutting down of the medical stores.Therefore a prior consultation with the doctor is a must to stock up the medical cabinet. Syringes, insulin and glucose monitoring strips are a few things which should be in the list. Alongside, the patient should also consult with the doctor on the necessary medicine doses.
- Keep the body warm: Dialysis centres are always cold and the patients feel even more cold. It is a necessity to keep our body warm during the sessions and even after that. Extra attention needs to be paid to the clothing, like one can carry a jacket, sweater, sweatshirts, gloves, thick socks and so on. Heating Pad also helps to prevent one from shivering in the cold temperature inside the clinic. While one is still cold after bundling up, contact the medical expert and their team to check with the dialysate temperature or the reasons behind the same. While reaching back home, a warm bath is necessary with a liquid disinfectant to cleanse the body and keep the germs at par.