Dialysis and Holidays in Greece: How Can We Achieve Both?
I am on dialysis. No holidays for me?
Of course not! You can still enjoy your vacation AS NORMAL. You will need a little organization beforehand. As well as the holidays of those who do not undergo dialysis! How can this happen; Decide where you want to go. Once this is done, just search (eg on the internet) for a dialysis unit near the site you want to visit, or maybe your home unit can help you with this or a dialysis booking provider. It's a good idea to let the holiday dialysis unit know a reasonable amount of time before your arrival so that your best service is guaranteed. It is advisable to always check holiday dialysis is available at your chosen destination before booking your travel. Find out about your insurance cover for your medical conditions, and also what paperwork is required from the holiday dialysis unit in advance.
Athens, Thessaloniki, Crete, Kalamata, Chalkida, Serres
Is there any special preparation for the trip?
No. It's a good idea to have your medicine in hand luggage (in case your luggage is lost) and to carry a doctor's note or prescription for any medication you are travelling with, as well as the completed medical information from your home dialysis unit (this is also be sent in advance to the holiday unit) Some airlines provide information before the trip for meal preferences during the flight.
And what about the nutrition on vacation? What am I going to do;
You can talk to your treating nephrologist about where to go on holiday and what foods are likely to be available. Together you can make a plan for your food. Don't forget to read the labels on packaged foods, avoiding them with too much phosphorus and potassium. Keep with you in smaller packages (e.g in a small pocket box or pill box), phosphorus binders to take according to the instructions of the treating nephrologist while eating out.
What about liquids? How do I handle them?
With salt restriction, the need for fluids will be limited. However, avoid drinking large sips of water. It is better to drink it slowly. An ice cube in your mouth will help reduce your thirst. Frozen fruits can help (always with your nephrologist's recommendations). Frequent brushing of your teeth freshens your mouth and reduces your need for water.
What should I avoid?
Avoid salty foods because you will be more thirsty. Try to have water instead of soft drinks (which may contain phosphorus, potassium, etc.). Avoid too many fruits if you have a problem with hyperkalemia. Talk to your nephrologist in advance to determine the amount of fruit you can eat per day.
If I eat out, how can I avoid salt?
You can get food that will not have sauce. For example, a steak on the grill that you will ask not to be salted. (this is easy). Υou can ask the hotel kitchen manager to prepare your food without salt.
And what will I do with the heat and the sun?
Wear comfortable, loose, light-colored clothing and a hat. Use air conditioning in the room. The same goes for the car. Try to stay in the shade. Avoid large amounts of alcohol and staying in the sun for a long time. If you do, use sunscreen with a protection degree of 15 SPF and above (preferably 30).
How can I make my trip easier?
Make a checklist with the steps described above so you don't forget something important. It may seem difficult, but it is not. Thousands of kidney patients are enjoying their holidays safely.
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