Does dialysis cause cramping?

Edtrina Moss
Ambulatory Care

Cramping can result from the process of dialysis as it relates to the rapid removal of fluid from the individual by the dialysis process. The cause of cramping is more closely related to hypervolemia or fluid excess/overload. When fluid overload occurs, the dialysis machine is programmed to remove the excess fluid in the prescribed time, usually four hours. The amount of fluid overload is largely based on your "dry weight" as assessed by your physician/provider. The greater the amount of fluid gain in excess of the "dry weight" the faster the machine is required to remove the fluid to help prevent complications such as congestive heart failure or pulmonary edema.

Therefore, it is more important to focus on reducing the amount of fluid gain between dialysis treatments than the dialysis process itself. Reductions in fluid gain between treatments will go far in reducing cramping during treatments.

Continue Learning about Dialysis


Healthy kidneys remove waste from your blood and produce hormones your body needs. If your kidneys fail, you either need a kidney transplant or dialysis. Dialysis is a procedure that uses a machine to perform many of the functions ...

of the kidney. Dialysis can help prevent problems resulting from kidney failure and it allows people with kidney failure to live productive lives. Dialysis filters your blood, and like a health kidney, removes waste from your blood. Patients using dialysis are also required to follow a strict diet in order to stay healthy. There are two types of dialysis: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. There are different advantages and disadvantages with both hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Talk to your doctor about which type of dialysis would work better for you.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.