The symptoms of chronic kidney disease vary. Some patients manage the condition through diet, while others may require dialysis to effectively filter toxins from the body. No matter the patient’s disease stage, it’s important to understand the effects of heat on the body. Summer weather, which causes everything from a spike in temperatures to elevated humidity levels, can take its toll in different ways. Here’s what you should if you or a loved one has kidney disease.

How Does Summer Weather Affect Kidney Patients?

A study found that performing laborious work in the heat could increase the risk of developing kidney disease. It’s one of the many signs that indicate heat stress can take a significant toll on the body. The risk of heat affecting the body increases among kidney patients who are exposed to heat for prolonged periods or take medications that cause dehydration, like diuretics for hypertension and glucose-control drugs for type 2 diabetes. Both diseases are leading causes of chronic kidney disease. 

What Does Heat Illness Do?

chronic kidney disease

Heat can affect kidney patients by causing dehydration. This can further inhibit kidney function, causing serious symptoms like less frequent urination, extreme fatigue, muscle weakness, increased thirst, and constipation. 

Patients with chronic kidney concerns must monitor their fluid intake, and many patients must restrict it in higher stages of the disease. Too much fluid can aggravate kidney health symptoms, causing issues like swelling in the feet and face, abdominal bloating, shortness of breath, and abdominal discomfort. 

Because of this, it’s crucial to seek medical attention if you suspect that you or a loved one with chronic kidney concerns is suffering from heat illness. Professionals will treat each symptom and ensure that you receive the adequate amount of fluid without overloading your metabolic system.

How Can Kidney Patients Cope with Heat?

Drink enough fluids but ensure that you’re not overdoing it or going beyond the limit prescribed by your doctor. Avoid drinking too much caffeine or alcohol, both of which can dehydrate you. Incorporate more refreshing fruits and vegetables that are low in potassium and phosphorus to your diet, such as blueberries, grapes, bell peppers, and lettuce. 

When it’s too hot outside, aim to stay indoors in a cool, air-conditioned environment. Avoid exposure to ultraviolet rays and use a portable fan if you’re going outside and plan to be out and about for a while. Always keep a bottle of cool water with you, too, and sip it slowly to stay continuously hydrated.


Whether you or a loved one have chronic kidney disease, you can trust in the skilled nephrologists at Mt. Auburn Nephrology to provide the quality care you need. Proudly serving patients throughout greater Cincinnati, they offer a range of services for patients with kidney health concerns and hypertension. Visit the website for more information or call (513) 841-0222 to schedule an appointment.