Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with Kidney Problems
“Erin go bragh”
\ ˌer-ən-gə-ˈbrȯ , -gō-ˈbrä \
Ireland for Ever
St. Patrick’s Day and kidney problems may not pop up on everyone’s mind during the festivities. After all, St. Patrick’s Day is when people of Irish descent celebrate their heritage with parades, drinking, eating, and comradery. It is a day meant for fun, but if you have kidney problems, you may feel like you can’t join in on the St. Patrick’s Day festivities without worrying-
Can I eat the snacks my friend/family put out for this party?
Can I have a glass of alcohol, or two or three?
What if I get too fatigued at the parade?
Should I even bother going out?
These, of course, are all profoundly personal questions, but we’re going to do our best to help you navigate this St. Patrick’s Day with ease.
Question 1: Can I eat the snacks my friend/family put out for this party?
The best way to circumvent this particular issue is to let your friends and family know what your dietary restrictions are and ask if they plan on getting anything that fits within those restrictions. This video could help them understand grocery shopping for a kidney-friendly diet.
If you feel like this is too much to ask, add that you’ll be happy to bring a dish. But you’ll be surprised to see how many people will take your dietary restrictions into account without feeling put out.
And, don’t forget to bring (and take!) all your medications and including your supplements.
Question 2: Can I have a glass of alcohol, or two or three?
This is something you should speak with your doctor, nutritionist, or renal dietician about. They will take all your labs into account and let you know how much/if any you can drink.
Dr. Julie Highfield – Clinical Psychologist and Beverley Beynon-Cobb, Senior Dietitian, offers some practical advice here.
Question 3: What if I get too fatigued at the parade?
Bring a foldable chair! There’s no shame in sitting. Plus, if you do need to head home, your friends/family will understand that you need rest.
Question 4: Should I even bother going out?
If St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations aren’t your cup of tea, maybe sit this one out and save your energy for something that you genuinely enjoy.
If St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are important to you, try and get out there even if it’s only for an hour or two. Social isolation is a legitimate issue that can have some very real health consequences. According to the American Association of Psychology article, “Social isolation: It could kill you.”
“Lacking encouragement from family or friends, those who are lonely may slide into unhealthy habits,” Valtorta says. “In addition, loneliness has been found to raise levels of stress, impede sleep, and, in turn, harm the body. Loneliness can also augment depression or anxiety.”1
So, don’t let your condition stop you from doing the things you love. If you have to go home early, don’t be disappointed in yourself. Instead, try being proud that you made it out and had some fun.
1 Novotney, A. (2019, May). Social isolation: It could kill you. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/monitor/2019/05/ce-corner-isolation