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Fluid Intake - Discharge Instructions
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You may be required to increase or decrease the amount of fluids you consume. The physician will instruct you on how much fluid you are permitted to have in a 24 hour period of time. It is very important to keep an accurate record. 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 pudding, popsicles, soup, broth, sauces, gravies, ice cream, sherbert, jello, ice, some fruits and all drinks.

One cup of ice or ice cream is approximately ½ cup of fluid. Popsicles are 90 cc of fluid. If you are eating fruits high in liquid content each ½ cup serving contains approximately 1/3 cup of fluid. This can include citrus, melons, and grapes.

How do you convert into household measurements?
CC's/milliliters Liters Ounces Cups (8 oz) Tablespoon Teaspoon
5         1.0
15       1.0 3.0
30   1.0   2.0 6.0
240   8.0 1.0    
1000 1.0 33.3 4.0    
1200 1.2 40 5.0    
1500 1.5 50 6.25    
1800 1.8 60 7.5    
2000 2.0 67 8.33    

Fluid restriction
There are several reasons you may have been placed on a fluid restriction. You may suffer from a condition that affects your kidneys, heart or liver allowing excess fluid to build up and cause stress to your body. You may have a temporary problem with your digestion or are a surgical patient. If you are ordered a fluid restriction it is very important to measure every drop of fluid you consume per day.

You will want to figure out how many ounces to allow per meal. Some examples are below: 
CC's / Milliliters Breakfast Lunch Dinner Snacks
1000 240 - 8 oz 240 - 8 oz 280 - 9.33 oz 240 - 8 oz
1200 240 - 8 oz 360 - 12 oz 360 - 12 oz 240 - 8 oz
1500 360 - 12 oz 360 - 12 oz 480 - 16 oz 300 - 10 oz
1800 480 - 16 oz 480 - 16 oz 480 - 16 oz 360 - 12 oz
2000 510 - 17 oz 510 - 17 oz 510 - 17 oz 470 - 5.66 oz

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 anymore fluid for the day.

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

To prevent you from consuming excess fluids there are a couple tips. Drain the liquids off of 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 excessive fluid buildup is increasing shortness of breath or swelling in your abdomen or extremities.

How can I quench my thirst?

There are several strategies 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. Sometimes adding lemon juice to the ice will help reduce the feeling of thirst.

Forcing Fluids

At times the physician wants you to increase your fluid intake to at least a certain amount per 24 hours. This may because you are dehydrated, have a urinary tract infection or need to flush a medication or contrast solution out of your body. You should never force fluids if you have a medical condition that contraindicates it.

This information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.