People who suffer from kidney failure or chronic kidney disease often need a dialysis. A dialysis is a form of treatment that provides the function of a kidney, removing waste from the body, maintaining a safe level of some chemicals like potassium and sodium in the blood, and also helping to regulate blood pressure.
Dialysis does not cure the kidney disease; instead, it is a temporary measure that is meant to cease once a successful kidney transplant has been carried out. Without a kidney transplant, a person may be on dialysis for 5 – 10 years, or even more. Going off dialysis without a kidney transplant could lead to serious problems as the body would not be able to function properly.
Although dialysis is a safe form of treatment, care still has to be taken to prevent complications. In today’s article, we would be looking at some health tips that a dialysis patient can observe.
5 Health Tips For Dialysis Patients
Below are some important health tips for dialysis patients that can help them manage their condition and prevent it from worsening.
1. Go On A Dialysis Diet
As a dialysis patient, you have to watch what you eat. There are certain foods you have to limit and some you have to eat more of.
For example, you should eat less of foods that contain potassium, sodium, and phosphorus. You should also keep an eye on the amount of fluid you consume. Consuming excess liquid could result in swelling, weight gain, changes in blood pressure, and buildup of fluid in the lungs, which would make breathing difficult.
It should be noted that ‘fluid’ here includes soups, ice cream, and even some fruits like watermelon and oranges. Instead, you can eat foods like eggs, chicken, turkey, beans, and so on.
Your doctor or dietician is in the best position to formulate a meal plan for you based on your unique needs. Supplements may be recommended for you if you cannot take in enough nutrients through your normal mode of feeding.
2. Do Not Skip Your Medications
People on dialysis often take many medications, often for other conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. Your doctor would be the one to recommend the medications you would use and the exact time and way to take them.
It is very important that you understand the medications you are taking and take them at the appropriate time. This should be according to your doctor’s prescription.
3. Reduce Stress
As a patient on dialysis, you have to greatly reduce or prevent anything that could lead to stress, both physically and mentally. It would be good if you had someone around you to help with chores and other physical activities around the house.
You should also not try to overthink or bother yourself with thoughts you have no control over. Doing this may cause your blood pressure to increase, and this could lead to hypertension.
You may need counselling at this point to keep your thoughts under control or to discuss things that bother you in a way that would help you find relief.
4. Stay Fit
Just because you are on dialysis does not mean you should not work out. Exercising at this point would have a lot of impact on your body as a whole, but you should first talk to your doctor before starting any exercise. It is also important that you do very basic exercises that do not need equipment or a lot of physical strength.
Exercises are not only good for your body but would also impact your mind as well as they would help keep you motivated and free your mind from worries.
5. Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle
Being on dialysis is a very tough period, and one of the things you can do is to make healthy lifestyle changes. You should dump habits like smoking or drinking alcohol.
You can also skip eating processed or junk foods and stick to healthy meals instead. You can also spend more time reading books and engaging your mind in stimulating activities.
Dialysis is a treatment for people whose kidneys can no longer perform bodily functions, such as process of removing excess water, solutes, and toxins from the blood naturally. The above are some important health tips for dialysis patients, which are aimed at helping them stay healthy and deal with their condition better.