Dialysis is an efficient and long-term treatment that saves lives of people with renal disease. It is not a one-time treatment, and people on hemodialysis have to attend 3 to 4-hour sessions at least 3 times a week while patients on peritoneal dialysis have to perform dialysis on a daily basis. This can take a lot of time and effort, and needs patients and their family members to make big adjustments in life. It will be overwhelming at the beginning, but patients usually settle down into a routine over time and can start living full and active lives. Here are 5 useful tips to help you deal with dialysis and get the most out of the treatment.
- Become an active member of your dialysis team
Knowledge is power, so read and learn as much about dialysis as you can. Having knowledge about the treatment will help you understand all the treatment options available and will help you play an active role in your treatment decisions. Knowing all the facts will help you cope with the fear and anxiety you have, related to the treatment. When in doubt, write down your questions, and have them answered by your nephrologist or dialysis nurse at your next session. You can talk about your emotional health with the social worker or psychiatrist attached to your treatment center. It is important to get your family members and care-givers involved in the treatment.
- Try to live as normal a life as possible
Dialysis will force changes into your lifestyle once you start the treatment. However, you have to try and balance the treatment and everyday life by keeping your mind stable and planning your activities around your treatment. Try and return to as many normal activities as possible. This will keep you from feeling anxious about your daily life. You can also return to work after your first few sessions, and talk to your employer about the time off you will need for your dialysis sessions. Trying not to feel sick or looking at yourself as a patient will go a long way in keeping your spirits up.
- Make exercise compulsory
Exercise has proven to be one of the best ways to combat fatigue and depression in dialysis patients. You will have to check with your nephrologist about how much exercise and what type of exercise is best for you. Exercise will help reduce mental stress and increase strength and endurance and add to the quality of your life. Exercising with a friend or family member is one of the best ways to keep up the motivation for exercise.
- Use your dialysis time in a way that benefits you
An idol mind is a devil’s workshop, so it’s very important to make the most of the time when you’re hooked up to the dialysis machine. Catch up on work on your laptop or read a book that you couldn’t find time for all this while. You could watch your favorite TV episodes if your dialysis center provides the facility, or listen to music or do guided meditation in order to help you de-stress. Taking advantage of your dialysis time is one way to beat the boredom that comes with the dialysis sessions.
- Stick to a healthy, kidney-friendly diet
It is very important for dialysis patients to avoid foods high in potassium, phosphorus and salt. A renal dietitian will guide you on the foods that are good for you, and decide the amount of fluid intake that is suitable for your condition. You can develop a nutritious diet plan with your dietitian to fill your diet with high-quality proteins and calories that will help keep you feeling healthy and energized.