Going through dialysis can be a difficult process, both physically and emotionally. Many patients find that they must take an active role in their own care to ensure they are getting the most out of their treatments.
The most challenging part of dialysis is often the emotional roller coaster that patients endure. It is normal to feel a range of emotions, from sadness and frustration to hope and optimism.
Patients find comfort in knowing that they are not alone in this fight and that there are things they can do to take care of themselves both during and after treatment.
Self-Care Tips for Dialysis Patients
Here are ten tips for self-care that can help make the dialysis process less daunting:
- Establish a support network. Friends and family can be a valuable resource when it comes to dealing with dialysis. They can provide emotional support, practical assistance, and a listening ear. Talking openly about your feelings and experiences can also help you cope better emotionally.
- Seek out information. Learning as much as you can about your condition will help you feel more in control and better understand your treatment options. There are many helpful resources available, including books, websites, and support groups.
- Stay active and eat a healthy diet. Exercise and eating a healthy diet can help you stay strong and improve your overall well-being. It is important to talk to your doctor or dietitian about what type of exercise and diet are right for you.
For dialysis patients, what’s recommended by the National Kidney Foundation is a diet that’s low in sodium, potassium, and phosphorus. It’s also recommended high protein food. It’s also important to drink plenty of fluids. Consult with a dietitian to create a meal plan that meets your specific needs.
- Take care of your skin. Because dialysis can cause dryness, itchiness, and irritation, it is important to take good care of your skin. Use mild soaps, lotions, and laundry detergents, and avoid hot showers and baths.
- Keep your treatments on schedule. Missing even one dialysis treatment can make you feel ill, so it is important to try to keep your appointments. If you cannot make a treatment, be sure to call your dialysis center ahead of time.
- Manage your medications. It is important to take your medications as prescribed and to watch for any side effects. Be sure to tell your doctor about any medications you are taking, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements.
- Handle financial concerns. The cost of dialysis can be very expensive, so it is important to plan ahead financially. There are many resources available to help with the cost of treatment, such as Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance.
- Manage stress. Stress can make all aspects of life more difficult, so it is important to find ways to manage it effectively. Some helpful coping strategies include relaxation techniques, exercise, and talking to a counselor or therapist.
- Plan for the future. It is important to make sure you have all the information you need to make decisions about your care. Get to know about the treatments that are available to you, like Therapeutic Apheresis or Peritoneal Dialysis, and talk to your doctor about what is right for you.
- Seek out emotional support. It is normal to feel a range of emotions when dealing with dialysis, so it is important to seek out emotional support when needed. Talking to a counselor, therapist, or social worker can be very helpful. There are also many support groups available for patients and families.
Dealing with dialysis can be difficult, but there are many resources and strategies available to help make the process easier. With proper self-care, patients can improve their overall well-being and quality of life.
How to Avoid Getting Sick
When you have kidney disease, it’s important to take steps to avoid getting sick. This is because your kidneys are not able to filter out waste and toxins as well as they used to. As a result, you may be more susceptible to infections and other illnesses. This is also part of self-care for dialysis patients.
The CDC recommends steps to prevent infections during treatments. There are several things you can do to avoid getting sick:
- Get vaccinated. Be sure to stay up-to-date on all your vaccinations, including the flu vaccine.
- Wash your hands often. Use soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Clean surfaces that are frequently touched, such as door handles, countertops, and phones.
- Stay away from cigarette smoke.
- Drink plenty of fluids. This will help keep your immune system strong.
- Eat a healthy diet. Make sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Get enough sleep. Adults should aim for at least seven hours of sleep per night.
There are several self-care tips that can help dialysis patients improve their overall well-being. These include following a healthy diet, exercising regularly, taking care of your skin, and managing stress effectively. It is also important to keep your treatments on schedule, plan for the future and take steps to avoid getting sick. Finally, seek out emotional support when needed. By following these tips, you can help make your experience with dialysis more positive.