Dialysis treatment is a lifesaving treatment for many patients but there are occasions when a patient may have side effects from the treatment. Refer the following article to know the side effects of dialysis.
Kidneys are the body’s natural filtration system. Daily, they process around 200 quarts of blood, and isolate about 2 quarts of waste products and extra water from it. These waste products and extra water begin to circulate in the body when the kidneys stop functioning properly. Patients in end stage renal failure are kept alive by dialysislifesaving treatment. Dialysis treatment replaces the function of the kidneys. Dialysis treatment removes waste products and excess fluids from the bloodstream through the use of a blood filter and a chemical solution recognized as dialysate while maintaining the proper chemical balance of the blood.
Dialysis treatment is of two types such as hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. The procedure of cleansing of the blood in hemodialysis dialysis is done by a special filter called a dialyzer. During this kidney dialysis process one tube carries blood out of the body into dialyzer which sifts out wastes, extra salt, and extra water. Then the clean blood is returned to the body through another tube. The dialyzer is also connected to one more machine called a hemodialysis machine which monitors the blood flow and removes wastes from the dialyzer. Hemodialysis takes about 3 to 5 hours and needs to be done several times a week. This process is generally done in a medical center but it can be done at home after the physician implants permanent access to a vein and artery.
Peritoneal dialysis engrosses the use of the body’s own tissue cells existent within the abdominal cavity to filter the blood. A special liquid called a dialysis solution goes through a tube into the abdomen by a plastic tube called a catheter. The fluid stays in the body for several hours and helps in the removal of waste products and excess water from the body. Then it is drained and the process is repeated with a clean solution. Three types of peritoneal dialysis are there such as continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD), continuous cycler-assisted peritoneal dialysis (CCPD) and intermittent peritoneal dialysis (IPD).
Risks and Side Effects of Kidney Dialysis
Side effect of hemodialysis Dialysis
Symptoms of itchy skin is experienced by many people receiving haemodialysis. It is due to high phosphorous levels in the body. Dialysis does not effectively remove the phosphorous. Foods with phosphorus are restricted on the renal diet to reduce the frequency and severity of this symptom. Dialysis patients are also prone to dry skin which can be the cause of itching. Using moisturising cream can help to minimize some of the discomfort.
While undergoing hemodialysis patients sometimes experience muscle cramps generally in the legs. These muscle cramps can be uncomfortable or sometimes painful and the exact cause can vary from patient to patient. People experience muscle cramps when fluid is taken out of the body at a fast rate during dialysis or too much fluid is removed during haemodialysis. If these muscle cramps become particularly troublesome, patient should consult with a doctor as medication may be available that can help to cope better with the symptoms.
Low blood pressure:
Low blood pressure is the most common side effect of hemodialysis. When too much fluid is removed from the blood during hemodialysis low blood pressure happen. Low blood pressure can cause symptoms of nausea and dizziness. Before treatment medication for high blood pressure should not be taken unless the doctor prescribes it. This could cause further drops in pressure and more discomfort.
Infection and clotting:
In hemodialysis proper care for the access is significant. The access can become infected or inflamed. Pressure on the access can cause the site to become irritated. Infection can be prevented by keeping the area clean. An access can become clotted with blood and prevents blood flow so that a patient will not be able to get dialysis treatment. Patients are suggested to monitor the access every day by checking for the thrill to ensure it is working properly.
Side Effect of Peritoneal Dialysis
A common side effect of peritoneal dialysis is that the peritoneum becomes infected with bacteria (peritonitis). If the dialysis equipment is not kept properly sterilized, peritonitis can happen. Bacteria presented on the equipment can be passed into the peritoneum. Initial symptoms of peritonitis are lack of appetite and nausea followed by abdominal pain. Other symptoms of peritonitis are vomiting, chills, high temperature, rapid heartbeat feeling thirsty, and not passing any urine, or passing much less than normal. Peritonitis is treated with injections of antibiotics which are injected directly into the tissue of the peritoneum. The most effective way to prevent peritonitis is to make sure that you keep your dialysis equipment clean.
Some PD patients find eating uncomfortable because the dialysis solution in their stomach area makes them feel full. Lesser food intake often translates into poor nutrition which can be harmful to a patient’s health. As the outcome of the treatment, some patients gain weight when their bodies absorb the sugar in the dialysis solution.
In peritoneal dialysis, the muscles of the abdominal wall are weakened by the insertion of the catheter. Pressure produced by the dialysis solution pushing against the already weakened muscles can lead to a tear and it results in a hernia. Symptom of a hernia is the appearance of a lump in the abdomen. The lump may be painless and only be discovered during a check-up. To repair a herni, a surgery is generally needed.
Prevention of Dialysis Side Effects:
- Don’t do anything that increases the intra-abdominal pressure. It could cause hernia.
- Take dietary supplements prescribed by the doctor as dialysis removes necessary nutrients from the body.
- If you observe signs of infection pain or redness around the fistula (hemodialysis) or around the catheter insertions (peritoneal dialysis), take the doctor help without delay. Keep the area clean and dry.
Video of Nutrition & Weight Loss : Side Effects of Kidney Dialysis from youtube: