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Why Does Cramps and Shortness of Breath On Dialysis

2013-05-08 10:46

We know that dialysis can cause a series of side effects and complications to the patients. Low blood pressure is the most common one and it is often accompanied by shortness of breath, abdominal cramps, muscle cramps of the hands, legs and feet, nausea, vomiting, anemia, etc.

Here we will learn why dialysis causes shortness of breath and muscles cramps so as to help patients have proper treatment and early preventions.

Muscle cramps and dialysis

The exact cause of muscle cramps in dialysis is not unknown at present, but the following conditions can increase the risk of muscle cramps. If patients experience low blood pressure or the patient is below dry weight when too much fluid is removed from the body within short time or if dialysis uses low sodium dialysis solution. Talk with the dialysis staff to see if it is necessary to do any adjustment of your dialysis treatment. Sometimes muscle cramps can be much relieved by adjusting the duration or frequency of dialysis.

In case of muscle cramps, normal saline, hypertonic saline or glucose can be given to relieve the cramping muscles. Massage can help ease the muscle pains.

To prevent the happening of muscle cramps, patients should try to avoid the above mentioned conditions that can increase cramps. Besides, control body weight during dialysis sessions by following restrictions on salt and fluid intake.

Shortness of breath and dialysis

Shortness of breath can be caused by pulmonary congestion due to fluid retention. Besides, severe disturbance of acid-base and electrolyte balances in the body are also possible cause of shortness of breath, in serious condition, it even be life-threatening. Though dialysis can help remove excess water, electrolytes and mineral from the blood, it is necessary that patients should have regular checks of their serum electrolyte levels so as to have early treatment and prevent more serious conditions.

Though dialysis is life-saving and it can help replace the functions of the severely damaged kidneys to purify the blood and sustain the patient’s life, it will also cause many side effects and it can not prevent the further loss of kidney functions, therefore more effective and natural treatment is needed. Kidney transplant, Micro-Chinese Medicine Osmotherapy and immunotherapy are all good choices.

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