Fluid overload: So I have a bit of a weird... - Kidney Disease

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Fluid overload


So I have a bit of a weird one. From time to time I suffer from really bad fluid overload who's is usually controlled with 240mg of furosemide and fluid restriction of 750mls which I stick to , which is hard but I am really strict as really want to delay dialysis. I have a fistula and ready to go and my renal function is 7.5%. When I usually get fluid overload it's in both legs and stomach and has been known to be on the lungs too.

Right well this is the weird thing I have fluid overload but just in the right leg and it's very bad lots of pitting and painful too, and worse the more I try and rest it. Has anyone else had this problem? It's 4 kilos, any one got any tips or do we think I need to see my GP or renal consultant or just wait and see?

Any advice much appreciated

Thanks Charlene

15 Replies

Hi Charlene,

It seems pretty serious to me, please don't delay seeing your specialist any longer.


You might look to a vascular surgeon for advice. It could be something related to your veins and as such one leg may be getting worse. At that much extra weight, you could face some serious issues so don't delay in getting professional advice. I get yearly pressure tests on my legs to make sure the problem doesn't happen again. Best of luck.

Well, outside of dialysis which does remove excess fluid:

1) Reduce salt intake to as low as possible. Don't add salt or sauces to your food and avoid processed/packaged food. A high sodium diet can cause your body to retain fluid in an attempt to balance things out.

2) Exercise.

3) Adequate Sleep.

4) No Alcohol.

5) Eat fruit/vegetables that are natural diuretics such as pineapple, blueberries, grapes, cherries, peaches, lemon, cucumbers, asparagus, beets, seaweed, pumpkin and green beans. However, at a GFR of 7.5, you should consult your medical provider as some of these could interact with your medications. Also, some veggies like beets are high in potassium and could cause your serum potassium levels to go too high. Other natural diuretics are leafy greens, artichokes, onions and garlic.

But I think the first thing you should to is to see your GP and/or nephrologist to discuss.

One thing that sort of jumped out in your post above was this: "When I usually get fluid overload it's in both legs and stomach and has been known to be on the lungs too." Getting extra fluid in the lungs can be dangerous. Perhaps it is time to start dialysis. I can totally understand wanting to defer dialysis for as long as possible, but you may want to ask your GP about starting dialysis gradually aka "incremental haemodialysis": nature.com/articles/nrneph....


Thanks for the advise but I do all of the things you mentioned other than the sleep as struggle to get a good night's sleep. I have food allergies so my diet consist of fresh fruit vegetables and unprocessed meat. No jarred sauce so no hidden salt and I don't cook with salt.

I walk for 4 miles at least 4times a week.

I saw my GP today and they were useless so left a message for my consult. Right leg is now got blisters which I am using e45 cream to stop them bursting.

OK, it sounds like you're doing all the right things. Talk to your doctor about possibly increasing the dosage of your diuretic. If that's not an option, maybe dialysis will help. I hope you feel better.

If only in one leg it could also be something else besides your renal function. How’s your blood pressure?? Definitely get to your nephrologist and if he’s unavailable right away, see your pcp.

Saw my GP and they have said I need to speak to my renal consultant. Both legs are swollen just the right is twice the size and has blisters now. Thanks for the advise

BassetmommerNKF Ambassador

Definitely go see your doctor now. You might want to them to check on your blood flow to your legs. My husband has one leg that blows up do to venous insufficiency. He has had surgery and it did help a bit. It is worse when he sits all day with his leg down. The other leg does get a little bigger, but not like his other one.

Good luck.

Doctor was useless so seeing renal consultant tomorrow.

KidneyCoachNKF Ambassador

I've been on dialysis a long time. I rarely get fluid in my legs but when I do its usually in my left leg. I had a blood clot in that leg due to a femoral catheter. Your uneven swelling could be indicative to some serious issues. Please don't delay. Get to your doctor asap. Blessings

I am seeing my renal doctor tomorrow as leg is looking a lot worse this evening. My GP was a waste of time. Hopefully they will be able to sort me out tomorrow

My thoughts were that your condition sounded a lot like Edema. Your symptoms mentioned are typical of many patients with CKD. A consult with a renal physician, a nephrologist, is a good first step but look for a good vascular surgeon if you can because if it's needed they can do procedures like a vein ablation to help restore blood flow and restore normal use of the legs and leg activity.


I'm in the UK, I'm sure it's not a vascular issue as I have good colour and temperature. Hopefully my consultant can sort it out tomorrow

Hi,Charline,in your problem start dialysis immediately.only in dialysis excess fluid accumulated in lega,face belly can be removed.i had also gone through this stage a year ago.My Nephrologist help me for this otherwise your spo2 level might be decreased and its life threting.

Thank you for responding but I posted this 2 years ago, so a little out of date but still appreciated that you took the time to respond.I'm on home haemo dialysis and have been since January 2019.

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