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What are the possible side effects of dialysis?

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Quick Answer

According to the National Kidney Foundation, the five most common side effects from dialysis treatment are low blood pressure, nausea and vomiting, muscle cramping, dry itchy skin and restless leg syndrome. Low blood pressure is the most common symptom, and nausea and vomiting are also frequent.

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What are the possible side effects of dialysis?
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Full Answer

A majority of dialysis patients experience low blood pressure at some point during treatment, according to the National Kidney Foundation. One of the causes of this symptom is excessive fluid weight gain. Avoiding salty foods and monitoring the level of fluid intake is recommended. The other cause of low blood pressure is a weakened heart. Nausea and vomiting are common, and patients should consult with a doctor on how to best relieve these symptoms. Anti-nausea medication is one solution to calming the stomach.

Medical professionals don't know the reason why dialysis treatments cause muscle cramping, notes the National Kidney Foundation. An effective remedy for muscle cramping is stretching exercises, which release the pain. Another helpful treatment is placing hot packs on cramped muscles for relief. Some patients experience dry and itchy skin, especially during the winter. To prevent dry skin from escalating into eczema, a more serious skin condition, choose mild soaps for cleansing and use plain skin moisturizers. Uncontrollable leg movements and prickly skin sensations are symptoms of restless leg syndrome. Dialysis patients who experience restless leg syndrome should speak with a doctor about possible treatments.

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