Will I be uncomfortable on hemodialysis?

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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.

Continue Learning about Dialysis

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.
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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.