Surgery Program

Fluid Restriction

There are several reasons you may have been placed on a fluid restriction. If you are ordered a fluid restriction, your physician will instruct you on how much fluid you can have in a 24 hour period of time. It is very important to measure the fluid you consume per day. Write everything down in a log. Measure the size of your cups and containers at home so you know how much fluid they hold.

What is considered a fluid?
Anything that is fluid at room temperature is considered to be a fluid. This includes popsicles, soup, broth, ice cream, sherbert, jello, ice and all drinks.

How do I know if I’m getting too much fluid?
You must take into account every fluid you consume, even those you need to swallow your medication.

One way to keep track is to mark a bottle with the amount of fluid you are allowed per day. Every time you consume fluid, pour the same amount of water into the container. Once you fill the container up to the line you can’t have an y more fluid for the day.

Otherwise make sure you add up and subtract from your daily allowance of fluid. Once you reach the limit you cannot consume any more fluid. You cannot carry over any extra fluid to the next day.

To prevent you from consuming too much fluids, here are a few tips. Drain the liquids off any canned goods to decrease the amount of fluids. When you brush your teeth don’t swallow the water.

What other ways can I tell if I’m consuming too much fluid?
If you are on a fluid restriction, it is a good idea to weigh yourself every day. You should do so at the same time every day, dressed in a similar amount of clothing. If you notice that you gain more than two (2) pounds in one day or five (5) pounds in one week, it may be related to water weight. You will need to notify your physician immediately.

Other signs or symptoms you should report to your physician immediately that may indicate too much fluid build-up include increasing shortness of breath or swelling in your hands and feet.

How can I quench my thirst?
There are several ways to help quench or reduce your thirst.

  • Moisten your mouth with hard candy, chewing gum or lemon wedges
  • Avoid salty foods
  • Rinse your mouth or gargle with water but don’t swallow
  • Eat ice but make sure you know how much fluid is in each ice cube
  • Adding lemon juice to the ice will help reduce the feeling of thirst

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