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Will I be uncomfortable on hemodialysis?

When you begin hemodialysis, the needles put in your fistula or graft may feel uncomfortable. Most people get used to this with time. Your dialysis care team will make sure you are as comfortable as possible during your treatment. Symptoms like cramps, headaches, nausea or dizziness are not common, but if you do have any of them, ask your dialysis care team if any of the following steps could help you:
  • Slowing down your fluid removal, which could increase your dialysis time.
  • Increasing the amount of sodium in your dialysate.
  • Checking your high blood pressure medications.
  • Adjusting your dry weight, or target weight.
  • Cooling the dialysate a little.
  • Using a special medication to help prevent low blood pressure during dialysis.
You can help yourself to feel better by following your diet and fluid allowances, since the need to remove too much fluid during dialysis is one of the things that can make you feel uncomfortable during treatment.

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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.