by Internet Medical Society

Coping with Dialysis − Staying Healthy and Enjoying Life

Dialysis is the most common treatment for severe kidney failure. If you have lost 85 to 90% of your kidney function, it’s possible that you’ll need to go on dialysis, if you don’t get a kidney transplant. Dialysis can be performed at home or at a dialysis center, and you can even stop with the treatment if you don’t have permanent kidney damage. Alternatively, you’ll need dialysis for the rest of your life, and it’s essential that you learn to live with it and enjoy life in spite of having to undergo a treatment a few times a week.

Learn about dialysis

It’s important that you become an active member of your treatment team and learn as much as possible about dialysis. Understanding all your options and getting to know all the facts about the treatment will allow you to take an active role in treatment decisions and help you cope with any fear or anxiety that you may be feeling. Be curious, ask your doctor about anything that interests you, and don’t be afraid to express your emotional needs as well. Learning that you may need dialysis for the rest of your life isn’t the greatest news, so make sure you turn to your family members or anyone who offers their support and open up about all your worries. Furthermore, work on your nutritional health issues, and try to always look for new information about dialysis.

Stay active

Even though dialysis will force you to make a few changes in your daily schedule, it doesn’t have to mean that you need to give up your exercise or even traveling. Not only will you feel more vigorous after a workout, but you’ll fight depression, relieve stress, and improve endurance and strength too. Just make sure you consult with your doctor about the intensity of workout that’s good for you, and you can enjoy exercising in spite of having to have dialysis a few times a week. If you decide to travel, look for a dialysis clinic with Booknowmed and ensure your treatment in any country in the world. It’s important that you book your appointments in advance, so don’t plan for your trip last minute, because the spaces for your treatment may be limited in some clinics.

Watch your mood

When you need to change your daily routine and adjust to living a life with restrictions, you might find coping with all the big changes difficult. This is the time when you’re likely to become prone to frequent mood swings, that can eventually grow into depression. That’s why you should pay attention to your mood and whether you feel down almost every day. If you start experiencing a lack of appetite, constant sadness, lack of interest in activities you used to enjoy and if your sleeping pattern is disturbed, you are probably suffering from depression. Make sure you seek treatment the minute you recognize all the aforementioned symptoms in yourself because any delay will cause even more severe a state. Also, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep are also some of the side effects of dialysis that can further cause mood swings. Daytime sleepiness and headaches caused by a lack of sleep can lead to depression, so it’s important that you avoid caffeine and alcohol and let your doctor know if you start having sleep problems.

Final thoughts

Dialysis doesn’t have to be a burden if you accept it and learn to live with the fact that your life will have to change a little and adjust to new circumstances. You don’t have to give up all your previous satisfactions – you should embrace the new way of life and still be active, travel and have fun despite this minor setback.

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