CKD Patients Who Conduct Dialysis May Be Suffering With Frequent Claustrophobia Without Realizing It

A viewer wrote, "I do not know what it is, but ever since starting Dialysis I have become extremely Claustrophobic.  I can't stand being trapped and tipped back in the Dialysis chair. Is there anything that I can do to correct this issue?" 

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According to Medical News Today, "Claustrophobia is an anxiety disorder in which the sufferer has an irrational fear of having no escape or being closed-in." Claustrophobia is considered a mental health issue and should be a concern for those on Dialysis because it has been shown that poor mental health can have an impact on heart health. In fact, a study in the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology (CJASN) highlighted that Dialysis patients whose mental health progressively deteriorates, also "have a higher risk of developing heart problems and premature death."

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Commonly considered a disorder associated with small closed spaces such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines,  elevators, small rooms or cars (especially if they have central locking); Dialysis patients should know that Claustrophobia is also triggered by being restricted or being confined to one area such as a Dialysis Chair. 

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When Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients suffer a Claustrophobic  event it frequently results in: Intense sweating, accelerated heart rate, increased Blood Pressure, dizziness, dry mouth, hyperventilation (over-breathing), hot flashes, shaking or trembling, stomach butterflies, chills, Panic Attacks, light-headedness, nausea, fainting, headache, numbness, chocking sensation, tightness in the chest, chest pains, an urge to go to the toilet, as well as confusion and/or disorientation.

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Still, there are several solutions to assist in alleviating this life hampering phobia. For instance, Chronic Kidney Disease patients who find conventional closed MRIs difficult to tolerate do not have to suffer anxiety or sacrifice the quality of their images. Now some hospitals are offering, Wide-Open MRIs, which are ideal for those with Claustrophobia so if you are affected, bring this alternative to the attention of your Nephrologists. 

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Also, consider discussing the following options to help relieve Claustrophobia with your Nephrologists:

Drug Therapy - Your Nephrologists may use drug therapy if other interventions have not provided satisfactory results to help manage the anxiety symptoms. However, "it does not deal with the problem itself," suggested Medical News Today. 

Relaxation Exercises - Taking deep breaths, meditating and doing muscle-relaxing exercises are effective at dealing with negative thoughts and anxiety.

Clothing - Some patients with Claustrophobia find their anxiety levels rise when they wear tight-necked clothing. Hence, try to wear looser fitting clothing if your find this to be an issue. 

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Join in on the discussion: Do you struggle with Claustrophobic events? If so, what do you do to combat this complication? Also, for the latest Breaking News and Information which teaches Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients how to better manage and improve their health outcomes, visit KidneyBuzz.com every day.

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References:

"New MRIs Provide Patients with Claustrophobia or Size Constraints a High-quality Imaging Option!" Http://advancedradiology.com/. Advanced Radiology.

"What Is Claustrophobia? What Causes Claustrophobia?" Http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/. MediLexicon International.

"Dialysis Patients' Mental Health Linked To Heart Health And Longevity." Medical News Today. MediLexicon International.