Dialysis is a treatment for kidney failure that works by getting rid of your body’s unwanted toxins, waste products and excess fluids by filtering and purifying the blood. While this treatment can help those with kidney failure live a longer, healthier life, patients on dialysis may feel overwhelmed with adapting to this ongoing treatment for their chronic condition.
Here are a few tips that will help you feel a little more in control of your life while on dialysis:
Manage stress and negative emotions
Dialysis is life-changing, meaning that your life is going to be a lot different now compared to before you started your treatment, and you should prepare for that. You may need to give up some activities and responsibilities. Unfortunately, for this reason, depression is common with dialysis.
While feeling down is expected at the beginning of treatment, you want to watch out for depression, especially if you start having changes in your mood, appetite, and sleep pattern. By taking charge of your emotions, you can live a full and rewarding life on dialysis.
Stay connected to your loved ones
Having a great support system is essential to creating a balanced, fulfilling life on dialysis. Reach out for support from your partner, family members or friends and be open with them about what you are going through. Your loved ones want to be there for you every step of the way of your treatment, but they may not know how unless you tell them.
Dialysis can be complicated to understand if you are just beginning your treatment. To ensure the best treatment option for you, you will want to educate yourself and understand all of your options. Taking an active role in treatment decisions will help you cope with any fear and anxiety you may be feeling.
Stick to a dialysis diet
Your diet choices while on dialysis can make a difference in how you feel and can make your treatments work better. Renal dietitians often encourage those on dialysis to eat high-quality protein because it produces less waste for removal during dialysis. You also want to avoid processed foods that contain high amounts of sodium and phosphorus.
When facing any type of chronic illness, the most important thing you can do is stay positive. Start by accepting your situation and thinking of how dialysis helps you live a healthier life. If you can’t get your mind in a positive place, you may want to seek help through this trying time.
Summit Medical’s physicians provide comprehensive care in the diagnosis, treatment and management of patients with acute to chronic kidney diseases, including patients receiving dialysis. Schedule an appointment by calling (719) 630-1006 or visiting our website.