Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
HUS occurs when a toxic substance is released into your bloodstream and destroys red blood cells. This causes bleeding, blood clots, and kidney damage.
AFTER YOU LEAVE:
You may need medicines to treat other health conditions caused by hemolytic uremic syndrome. Take your medicines as directed. Contact your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your primary healthcare provider or nephrologist as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
You may need to make changes to the foods you eat. Keep a list of foods you can eat. You may need to take vitamin and mineral supplements, such as calcium. Drink liquids as directed. You may need to write down how much liquid you drink and how much you urinate. Your primary healthcare provider will tell you how much of the following you can eat each day:
- Protein: You will need to limit the amount of protein you eat each day to help your kidneys work better. Foods that are high in protein include beef, chicken, fish, eggs, and dairy products (milk, cheese, and yogurt).
- Phosphorus: You will need to limit the amount of phosphorus you eat each day. Damaged kidneys cannot get rid of the extra phosphorus that builds up, leading to low calcium and bone fractures. Foods that are high in phosphorus are dairy products, beans, peas, and nuts. Phosphorous is also found in cocoa, beer, and soda.
- Sodium: You may need to limit the amount of sodium (salt) you eat each day. Sodium can lead to fluid buildup in your tissues and can damage your heart. Damaged kidneys cannot get rid of the extra fluid. Canned foods, processed meats such as sandwich meats and sausage, canned soups, and salted snacks are high in sodium.
- Potassium: You may need to limit foods containing potassium, such as fruits and vegetables. Your kidneys may not be able to get rid of extra potassium. This may cause potassium to build up in your blood. High potassium levels can lead to heart problems.
Prevent foodborne diseases:
Make sure everyone in your house follows these rules.
- Wash your hands: Wash before and after you use the bathroom, change a diaper, cough, or sneeze. Wash after you tend to a sick person or touch animals.
- Keep food surfaces and utensils clean: Clean surfaces before and after you prepare food. Wash cutting boards and utensils after each use and before you prepare the next food.
- Cook food thoroughly: Food is safely cooked when it reaches a temperature high enough to kill bacteria. Ask caregivers for more information on cooking food safely.
- Store food in the refrigerator: Refrigerate leftover food as soon as possible. This can prevent food from spoiling and causing illness.
Contact your primary healthcare provider or nephrologist if:
- You have a fever.
- You have bleeding from your gums, lips, or nose.
- You have bloody or dark bowel movements.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- You are urinating less than usual or not at all.
- You have diarrhea and vomiting.
- You have severe abdominal pain.
- You have a severe headache, trouble thinking, and are confused.
- You have trouble seeing.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.