Dialysis is the treatment option for patients of kidney failure when 85 to 90 percent of the kidney function is lost and the GFR is less than 15. As any urologist would tell you, adjusting to dialysis can be a bit challenging. Here are a few tips to make dialysis easier:

1.   Change your diet

If you are on hemodialysis, you need to make healthy changes to their diet, and stick to ‘dialysis diet’. It’s important to remember that when kidneys fail, the body cannot get rid of excess waste products and fluids, therefore, eating right is crucial for good health.

Dialysis diet restricts the intake of sodium and potassium-rich foods, emphasizing on protein intake and limiting the daily fluid intake. Instead of salt, you may opt for spices and herbs to flavor the food. Moreover, high intake of protein is suggested, with an average of eight to ten ounces of high protein. There is no restriction for carbohydrates; you may take about six to eleven servings of carbs.

2.   Go back to work

Just because you have started dialysis, it does not mean that you cannot return to work or continue your routine. In fact, sticking to your routine and everyday activities is recommended. A sense of normalcy will reassure you and you can talk to your employer or supervisor about adjusting your work according to your treatment schedule.

Even if you have to travel for your work, you can schedule the travel time between breaks. Alternatively, you can plan dialysis ahead at your destination point, and arrange for the new center to receive your health records. The same applies to travel for leisure activities.

3.   Be active in your treatment plan

Involving yourself in your treatment plan will empower you and keep anxiety at bay. If you are unsure about something, researching about it, and asking your healthcare provider for clarification will reassure you. People who stay in the loop make better decisions for their health and minimize their fear about treatment.

4.   Get enough sleep

Sleep means restoration of health and downtime for the body to heal. If you are skipping quality sleep, you are putting your body through the grind. Dialysis patients are recommended to sleep 7 to 9 hours a day. Be sure to skip watching screen at least an hour before bedtime to get sound sleep. If you have trouble sleeping, talk to your healthcare provider.

5.   Monitor your mental health

Chronic illnesses like kidney disease can take a toll on the mental health. If you are feeling depressed or anxious, get help from a professional as this is a vulnerable time for you. Patients with a strong support group, like friends and family to lean on, fare better. Therefore, if you find it helpful, tell your friends and family about how you feel and check-in with yourself to gauge your mood. Some signs of clinical depression include: lack of interest in daily activities, sleep changes, appetite changes, constant fatigue, feeling hopeless and mood changes.

6.   Make the most of your dialysis time

Dialysis time can be your ‘me time’. Read the books you have always wanted to or listen to the podcasts you never found time for. Make the most of the time you are in treatment and you will find that the time will pass pleasantly.

7.   Take it one day at a time

Starting dialysis can be overwhelming. However, most patients say that taking it one day at a time is most helpful for them. Even in this situation, staying positive with a touch of realism is crucial.

For more information about dialysis, get a professional opinion from Best urologist in Lahore.

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