Tips for Dialysis Patients
Having kidney failure is not the end of life, but it is the beginning of a new lifestyle. Dialysis is one of the available treatment options for kidney failure.
Now, dialysis does not cure kidney disease but it does help your body get rid of waste products that build up when your kidneys are not working properly.
The following are some tips that you as a physician can give to your patients to help them cope with the life-saving procedure seamlessly every time.
Always Wear a Mask During Dialysis
No matter what time of day it is, either wear a medical mask or keep one handy. This will filter out bacteria and other germs floating in the air around you.
The last thing you want is to contract an infection while undergoing dialysis treatment.
Dress Warmly and Always Have Something Warm to Drink
When you are first starting, the treatment will usually last for several hours at a time. It is important to stay warm during this period because if your body gets too cold, you can develop hypothermia or another type of serious illness.
If possible, ask about getting high blood pressure medication for use during your treatments because, if the blood pressure drops too low during dialysis treatment, it could cause heart damage in some patients.
Take Care of Your Health Before Starting on Dialysis
It is important to stay as healthy as possible and maintain your general good health while you are waiting for a kidney transplant.
While on dialysis, make sure that you get plenty of rest and eat a healthy, kidney friendly diet.
Learn About the Different Types of Dialysis
There are three types of dialysis therapies – peritoneal dialysis, hemodialysis, and home hemodialysis. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages, so you should choose one that fulfills all your needs.
For instance, hemodialysis is used for people who have kidney failure because of diabetes, high blood pressure, or other conditions that cause damage to the kidneys over time.
A doctor inserts a needle into a vein in the arm, leg, groin, or neck and connects it with tubing to a machine (dialyzer) that does the cleaning for about 4 hours.
Blood flows through the tubing into the machine where wastes and excess fluid are removed from it and put back into your body through another tube called an arterial line (or catheter).
Know the Signs of Infection or Rejection During Treatment
You need to be aware of the signs of rejection or rejection of the treatment so that you can contact your doctor immediately you notice them.
This will help you avoid any complications later on down the road.
Go for Regular Checkups
Dialysis is a lifesaving treatment, but you also need to take care of yourself. You must take good care of your body by eating well and getting plenty of rest.
This will allow your body to be in the best condition to fight off disease.
Know About your Medications
Another important thing for your dialysis treatment is to know about all the medications that you are taking.
As a doctor, you will prescribe medications for your patients to restore and improve their health. Let them know that the medication is to be taken at the right time or else it may not work effectively.
Encourage them to get familiar with their side effects too, so they would know how to handle them if they occur.
Understand How Blood Pressure Works
High blood pressure is common among patients who suffer from kidney failure since it’s directly connected to kidney function.
Of course, this can increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and congestive heart failure, so it’s important to let your patients know that they should watch out for symptoms such as headaches, feeling lightheaded or dizzy, chest pain, and shortness of breath.
Be as Comfortable as Possible During the Procedure
Encourage patients to bring any equipment that will make their therapy more comfortable, such as an eye mask or earplugs in case there is too much noise in the room or if other patients are coming through during their session who talk loudly and cause distraction or disruption during their session.
For patients who are considering dialysis, you will likely recommend that they work with a nurse and a dietician.
Although the process is not too complicated, it does require some preparation and that is where your input as a physician comes in.