How Chronic Kidney Disease Patients Can Stop Feeling Completely "Wiped Out" After Dialysis Treatment

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Unfortunately, many Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients who conduct Dialysis feel completely "wiped out" following their treatment including having headaches, cramps, nausea, weakness and severe tiredness. One of our readers wrote, "One thing that doesn't help is the wiped out feeling after dialysis. It takes me until 3pm the next day to recover. I go from home to dialysis; recover and go back. I have no life. Sometimes I just feel like stopping dialysis!" Hence, aside from directly negatively impacting CKD patients' quality of life, the feeling of being "wiped out" after dialysis may lead some to stop their treatments all together. 

Recommended Reading: How to Avoid Feeling Nauseous and Lethargic After Dialysis 

Often people are wiped out after dialysis because they take off too much fluid in too short a space of time. The reason for doing so is obvious, to receive the best cleaning while being "tethered" to the machine for as little a period of time as possible. That is why many Nurses and Nephrologists may recommend increasing time and decreasing fluid withdrawal to improve how patients feel after their treatment. However, most people with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) want to limit their dialysis treatment duration as much as possible and opt not to increase their time and as a result suffer the side effects. 

Recommended Reading: CKD Patients Can Increase Their Water Intake And Still Manage Their Fluid Restriction 

Home dialysis is touted as the Holy Grail for Hemodialysis patients to improve cleaning and feel less "wiped out." While a reasonable alternative for some, the majority of dialysis patients still prefer in-center treatments and cannot or choose not to adjust their lifestyle to accommodate Home HD. In which case there are other solutions available to in-center, as well as home HD patients who are continually feeling terrible after their treatments.    

Recommended Reading: Major Changes Approved To How Chronic Kidney Disease Patients Receive In Center And Home Dialysis 

If the issue is as simple as pulling off too much fluid during your treatment, then talk to your Nurses about adjusting your goals which may be too high. Also, you can improve how you feel after dialysis by closely abiding by your fluid restrictions. You may need to discuss with your healthcare team strategies you can use which make it easier to comply if you find that you continually take in excess fluid between treatments. 

 Recommended Reading: Are Survival Rates for Dialysis Patients Considerably Improving? 

Note: More Fluid > Larger Fluid Withdraw Goals > Harder Treatment On Your Body  

Most HD patients are restricted to no more than 40oz of fluid within 24 hrs which means they should only gain 2-3kg between treatments. If you stick to this rule, it may go a long way toward making you feeling better during and after treatments. 

Recommended Reading: Ways to Manage Fluid Gain, and Live Longer 

Also, if your appetite has been more robust than usual then you may have gained "real" weight (body mass and not fluid). If so, your estimated dry weight will need to be raised. You center may use a "Crit-Line," which is attached to your machine to determine if they are pulling off too much fluid and need to adjust your dry weight accordingly.

Recommended Reading: Nutritious Foods Help CKD Increase Metabolism, Maintain Weight, and Reduce Risk of Heart Attack 

If these solutions do not work and you find that you need to spend more time on dialysis, many CKD patients have said that Nocturnal HD in-center is far less drastic a change than traditional home HD or extended in-center times, and they receive better benefits. Offered between 8PM and 5AM in most facilities, Nocturnal HD allows you to have your days and evenings free, improve URR numbers (number used to measure quality of your dialysis treatment), allows you a more liberated diet with both fluid and foods, and a full complement of professionals to assist you. The Rubin Dialysis Center notes, "Most patients find that after they settle into the routine, they are able to sleep and when they are done with their treatment, they do not have that tired, washed out feeling."

Recommended Reading:  Nocturnal Hemodialysis May Offer Best Value for Health Outcomes 

It makes sense to let your Nurses or Nephrologists know that you are having problems with your treatment because they can make the adjustments and recommendations that are necessary to dramatically improve your quality of life. Visit daily for more information about ways you can improve your quality of life and get a transplant much faster. Also, tell your friends about us. We want to help all CKD patients on dialysis and those who are attempting to obtain a new Kidney. 

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Christopher Hoy, M.D. Medical Director, Page Salenger, M.D. Medical Director. "In-Center Nocturnal Dialysis." Http:// The Rubin Dialysis Center. 

"Renal Fellow Network: What Is the "crit-line"?" Http:// Renal Fellow Network, National Kidney Foundation Inc.