Concern about flu

The flu season is here upon us, and I was wondering what a person on pd could do to help themself deal with it. Do we go on a lower fluid say 1.5. less exchanges, or what?. thank you!

Excellent question, Jen, and I don’t know the answer to it. In fact, this is such a great question that I’m going to do a bit of homework and see what I can track down to write a Topic of the Month article. I can tell you that so far I’ve learned that prevention is best–get a flu shot every year!

Absolutely use 1.5% dextrose solution if you get the flu and don’t feel like drinking. Monitor your weight daily and adjust as normal. If there is nothign to take off, don’t use a higher dextrose solution. If you get nausea,vomiting or diarrhea you will lose potassium - remember losing potassium through exchanges too is a fact - have your potassium checked and perhaps get a potassium pill if you can’t eat potassium rich foods to supplement. And of course, wear your mask as your home training nurse taught you…but this doesn’t need review because you always use it anyway, right? Absoutely get the flu vaccine, as well as the pneumovax vaccine as well.

The flu is a respiratory illness and doesn’t cause nausea and vomiting in adults (although it can in children)–though that advice is perfect for food poisoning or gastroenteritis (“stomach flu”). :slight_smile:

Nonetheless even with the respiratory flu while you are encouraged to drink sometimes you can’t even get to the refridgerator to get fluids! Been there myself. Also, it’s pretty hard to eat when you can’t breathe. Thus the potassium loss can be an issue when you lose the potassium in the exchanges. Dori, are you an RN too? While you are pretty knowledgeable about alot of things, I didn’t think I saw “RN” in your credentials.

Nope, medical writer, but I just did all the research for the article, and got input from a nurse before I wrote it. Would you have time to review it for me before we post it? If so, send me your email address! (You don’t have to post it here, you could just send it through any of our contact forms). I’d love to have your help. :slight_smile:

Hi Dori, yes I would like to help you out. I am by no means as experienced as you are as a writer, nor as well versed in home dialysis issues as you are. I learn alot from you. So…as soon as I figure out how to privately get my email address to you I will do so. What the heck…learning should be an everyday experieince. Off to work…PD Clinic today!

Great! If you can figure out how to contact me by this evening or so, I’ll send you the file to read. It’s only 3 pages long. I’d like to upload the new file by sometime tomorrow, so that’s my timeline.