Tips for Coping with Dialysis

Kidney disease is common and can be life-threatening if not treated properly. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), five-to-10 million people die from kidney disease every year, making kidney disease treatment crucial. When diagnosed with kidney disease, your doctor can prescribe you different treatment options based on the disease’s extent. These options can range from medications to dialysis and kidney transplant. In some instances, when the medication is not working as needed, your doctor can recommend dialysis.

Getting started with dialysis can be overwhelming. Here are tips for coping with dialysis.

Learn about dialysis

Undergoing dialysis can sound scary, but you can overcome your fear by getting more involved in the process. Ask your doctor about the details of the procedure to understand different steps and avoid surprises. Discuss why you need dialysis, the process, and ask any questions during your appointment. 

Maintain an active lifestyle

A healthy and active lifestyle is important to coping with any disease. Exercise is a great way to manage the stress and anxiety that dialysis or your disease can trigger. Most kidney disease patients can perform routine exercises. However, always consult with your healthcare professional before making an exercise schedule or carrying out any strenuous activity.

Connect with loved ones

Spending time with your friends and family is essential and therapeutic. Discussing your treatment with your family or friends will help you emotionally and give you strength every time. Video chatting is a great option to maintain social distancing. 

Never skip medication

You will likely be prescribed some medicines along with dialysis. This can get quite overwhelming but ensure that you are compliant with your medication. If any side effects are bothering you, do not just skip the medication; instead, discuss your concerns with your doctor. Your physician will make the necessary changes based on your health.

Aim for a healthy diet and proper sleep

Being well-rested is essential for your physical and mental well-being. Inadequate sleep can trigger or aggravate your stress. Also, it has significant implications for your physical health. Strive for eight hours of sleep per night.

Patients who are on dialysis have special dietary requirements too. Your dietitian will limit the intake of certain foods, such as sodium, potassium, and water. Always stick to the diet recommended by your healthcare team to get the maximum benefit from your treatment.

Utilize your dialysis time

Dialysis is a long-term treatment, and you might need to go through it two to three times a week. Each session can last for hours so try to enjoy this time by doing activities that you love. Try reading a book, watching a movie, turning on some music, or catching up with your friends.

If you have any concerns, always discuss them with a physician.

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