What are the side effects of dialysis?


Quick Answer

The side effects of dialysis include dry skin, decreased circulation in the muscles, nausea, low blood pressure and restless leg syndrome, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Patients may also experience difficulty sleeping, increased potassium levels or fluid overload.

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Full Answer

Low blood pressure, the most common side effect of dialysis, is a result of the removal of too much fluid from the blood, explains DaVita HealthCare Partners. The constant removal and intake of fluids can cause bloating and muscle cramping. The patient may gain weight as a result of the intake of extra sugar from the dialysis solution. The insertion and removal of the catheter from the stomach can make infection a possible dangerous side effect for dialysis patients. Patients experiencing muscle cramping can receive recommendations from their doctors about fluid intake and special diets to reduce pain or discomfort.

Hemodialysis can be performed in the patient's home or at a dialysis center several times a week. During the process, needles are inserted into a designated area and the patient's blood is filtered through the dialysis machine. Heart rate and blood pressure must be measured during the procedure, states Mayo Clinic. Dialysis is recommended for patients with severe kidney complications that cause high blood pressure, cysts in the kidney or diabetes.

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