Understanding Dialysis: Navigating Treatment and Wellness

Blog Post
By South Valley Vascular
February 27, 2024

Being told that you must undergo kidney dialysis treatment can be overwhelming for most people. This news can be shocking to some people. However, dialysis is also a life-saving treatment that allows affected individuals to regain control over their health and their lives. But this does not mean it’s always easy to navigate the challenges that come with undergoing dialysis treatment. 

Understanding what dialysis is and the common struggles of those receiving the treatment can make it easier to deal with. Let’s take a closer look.

What is Dialysis?

The first question on many people’s minds when they learn about dialysis treatment is, what is dialysis? Kidney dialysis is one of the most effective treatment methods for kidney failure. There are actually three different types of dialysis treatment, but the treatment process is similar in all three. 

Healthy kidneys are responsible for filtering waste out of the bloodstream. Chronic kidney disease and acute kidney injury can prevent the kidneys from performing this vital function, which can quickly result in severe health complications. Therefore, kidney dialysis replicates this process by filtering out all of the unwanted toxins and waste products from the bloodstream.

Kidney failure can be a chronic, long-term problem, or it may only be temporary as the patient recovers. In all cases, it is a very serious condition that should be treated as quickly as possible.

Managing Your Wellness During Kidney Dialysis Treatment

While kidney dialysis treatment is essential and often life-saving, it can be challenging at times. Many patients face both mental and physical hurdles while undergoing dialysis treatment. Here are some tips to help navigate the common struggles faced by dialysis patients.

Understand Dialysis Side Effects

Side effects from dialysis treatment may vary from person to person and depend on the type of treatment received. However, it’s important to remember that certain side effects are common, which can help manage pain and discomfort during and after treatment. Some typical short-term side effects of dialysis include:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Nausea, faintness, or dizziness
  • Chest and/or back pain
  • Headaches
  • Itchiness
  • Muscle cramps or spasms
  • Stomach bloating (in peritoneal dialysis only)

Rest and relaxation immediately after dialysis treatment can help reduce the risk of many of these side effects. If you experience any severe side effects from regular treatment, you should notify your physician.

Prioritize Your Emotional Well-being

In addition to the physical side effects of dialysis treatment, many patients also struggle with the emotional impact of it. Dialysis treatment can be time-consuming and can cause alterations or disruptions to your personal routine. This can result in feelings of depression, helplessness, or isolation in some patients.

Again, it’s important to remember that these emotional side effects are common. The three keys to keeping up with your emotional well-being during dialysis treatment are to stay educated, stay connected, and stay active.

Additionally, educating yourself about the health benefits and effects of dialysis can help you focus on the positive, life-improving aspects of your treatment. It can also help you adjust your lifestyle to achieve the best results during treatment.

Moreover, staying connected, both through support groups and through family and loved ones, can also be a big help when navigating emotional struggles. Lastly, staying as active as you can and maintaining a healthy routine can minimize feelings of depression and anxiety. Light exercise like walking or yoga can be a great way to reduce stress and depression during dialysis treatment.

Dialysis Centers Near Me

If you require kidney dialysis treatment, searching for “kidney dialysis centers near me” is a crucial first step. South Valley residents can find world-class, industry-leading dialysis treatment at South Valley Vascular. Read about our dialysis access care to learn more and decide if South Valley Vascular is right for you.