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Common Side Effects Of Dialysis

2013-02-02 17:15

Dialysis will be suggested by the doctors for end stage renal disease patients to help remove excessive accumulation of water, electrolytes, metabolic wastes and toxins out of the body so as to lower high creatinine and high BUN, relieve symptoms and complications and sustain the patients’ life.

However since patients have to take maintenance dialysis---usually about 3 times per week. Long term dialysis will cause many side effects and complications.

Low blood pressure

It is one of the most common side effects of dialysis and the incidence is about 20-40%. There are many factors that can cause low blood pressure such as too fast ultrafiltration or inadaptation to acetate dialysis fluid.

Dialysis disequilibrium syndrome

The incidence is about 3.4-20%. Patients can have nausea, vomiting, restless and in serious conditions seizure, coma or even death. In critical conditions, dialysis should be stopped.

High fever

Lowering the temperature of dialysate, proper intake of anti-amine drugs, hormones and febrifuge can be given under the doctor’s guidance.

Muscle cramps

The incidence is about 10-15% and it mainly occurs at feet, upper limbs and abdomen. It can be caused by lack of blood circulation and inadequate oxygen supply to the tissues.


The incidence is about 50% and it is due to imbalances of electrolytes and acid-base. High blood potassium can cause arrhythmia and dialysis patients should avoid eating too much high-potassium fruits and vegetables.

Heart failure

It is one relatively severe side effect of dialysis and patients should have early prevention and timely treatment in such case.

Besides the above mentioned side effects and complications, many dialysis patients can tell you that they have many pains, discomforts and sufferings. Their life quality is not improved as they thought dialysis would bring to them.

What is more, dialysis can not reverse the continuous decline of their kidney functions, therefore it is very important for dialysis patients to seek more effective treatments as soon as possible. For those that just begun dialysis, there is still great chance to improve their kidney functions and help them get rid of dialysis with timely and proper treatments.

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