Tips for Dialysis Patients

Tips for Dialysis Patients

Kidney failure is not the end of life but 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 you can give your patients as a physician 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.

Be aware of blood pressure changes during dialysis. Medications may be adjusted to manage blood pressure, as both high and low blood pressure can occur during treatment

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 to get plenty of rest and eat a healthy, kidney-friendly diet.

Learn About the Different Types of Dialysis

There are two primary types of dialysis treatments: peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis, which can also be performed at home. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages, so you should choose one that fulfills all your needs.

Hemodialysis is a treatment option for people with kidney failure, not specifically because of diabetes or high blood pressure, but for anyone with end-stage renal disease.

For hemodialysis, two needles are typically inserted into a vein in the arm through a special access site, not the leg, groin, or neck, for connection to the dialysis machine.

Blood flows through the tubing into the machine, where wastes and excess fluid are removed and put back into your body through another tube called an arterial line (or catheter).

Know the Signs of Infection or Rejection During Treatment

Be aware of the signs of complications, such as infection or problems with dialysis access, and contact your healthcare provider if these arise.

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

Understanding your medications, including those adjusted due to dialysis, is crucial for managing your health.

As a doctor, you will prescribe medications to restore and improve your patients’ health. Let them know that the medication must be taken at the right time, or else it may not work effectively.

Encourage them to become familiar with their side effects, too, so they will know how to handle them if they occur.

Understand How Blood Pressure Works

Monitoring and managing blood pressure is crucial for kidney failure patients, as it affects heart health and dialysis effectiveness.

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 personal comfort items, like eye masks or earplugs, to enhance their comfort during dialysis sessions.

Final Thoughts

You will likely recommend that patients who are considering dialysis 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.

See Also

Does Medicaid Cover Blood Pressure Monitors

Current Version
March 5, 2022
Written By
Shubham Grover
March 25, 2024
Updated By
Daniyal Haider, MD

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