Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) find it very disconcerting and scary when they experience involuntary movements such as twitching, continual restlessness and tremors. KidneyBuzz.com never offers individual medical advice and always recommends that you discuss your specific health problems with your Nephrologists who can take your overall health into consideration. That said, many KidneyBuzz.com's viewers have inquired about this condition, and there are several causes of involuntary movements in ESRD patients (before and after transplant) that can adversely impact their quality of life if left untreated.
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Medication: Can cause a drug-induced tremor which is a muscle response to certain medications such as blood pressure drugs, heart medicines and immunosuppressants. If this is your issue, you will likely experience involuntary shaking in your hands, arms, head, or eyelids. It rarely affects the lower body and may not affect both sides of the body equally. A drug-induced tremor will usually go away when you stop taking the medicine. You may not need treatment or changes in medications if the tremor is mild and does not interfere with your daily activity. However, you should never stop taking any medicine without first talking to your Nephrologists.
Mineral Build-Up: As minerals build up in the blood, ESRD patients may notice muscle twitching, tremors, or even seizures. Medications can be given to prevent seizures and treat them if they occur. Gentle massages can relieve discomfort caused by muscle twitching or spasms. If the issue is persistent your doctor will likely recommend extending your time on dialysis to improve your cleaning.
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Overactive Thyroid: Tremors may be a result of an overactive thyroid. Symptoms include a rhythmic shaking in the hands, arms, head, legs; shaky voice; difficulty writing or drawing; or problems holding and controlling utensils. Some tremors may be triggered by or become exaggerated during times of stress, strong emotion or when you are physically exhausted. If you believe that this may be an issue that has not yet been medically addressed then you should bring it to your Nephrologists' attention.
Arterial Flow Rate: Some patients have noted that high dialysis arterial flow rate (rate the dialysis machine pumps your blood) causes their heart rate to increase after dialysis and causes them to feel shaky. Most patients have stated that they return to their normal state a few hours after their treatment. Although pumping your blood too slowly can cause clots, you should discuss with your dialysis nurses about reducing your blood pump rate to a more manageable level during treatments. Note that reducing pump rates may result in the need for increasing dialysis time to receive an equally efficient cleaning.
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Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS): Is a common condition for CKD patients in which they feel an uncomfortable sensation in their legs and are compelled to move them. It often disturbs CKD patients' sleep patterns and makes it difficult to relax. You can find relief by taking warm baths, applying warm compresses to your legs, and exercising.
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If none of these issue seem to match your symptoms and your are still experiencing involuntary movement, you should talk to your Nephrologists about allergic reactions which you may be having from your dialysis treatments. KidneyBuzz.com shares daily news and information relating to improving the quality of your life and getting a Kidney Transplant Sooner. If you liked this article please share it with your CKD friends on social media, email, blogs, etc. Also like us on Facebook and Twitter (buttons below). Also visit our Shop section for must have products (more products coming soon).
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"Tremor Fact Sheet." Http://www.ninds.nih.gov/. : National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).
"Drug-induced Tremor: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia." U.S National Library of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
"Restless Leg Syndrome and Chronic Kidney Disease." Http://www.davita.com/. DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc.
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