Some CKD Patients May Be Experiencing Seizures With Serious Health Consequences And Not Realize It

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A Chronic Kidney Disease patient wrote to KidneyBuzz.com and asked, "Has anyone mentioned having seizures? I did not have the issue before I started Dialysis, but now I am often experiencing small seizures. What can I do?"

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Seizures are not uncommon in Chronic Kidney Disease patients especially those undergoing Hemodialysis. This is due to the fact that Dialysis Treatments may disrupt Chronic Kidney Disease patients' Central Nervous System, and lower the threshold for having a seizure. 

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Although Chronic Kidney Disease patients often think of seizures as a person falling to the ground with convulsions, this is not always the case. While severe seizures certainly occur among Dialysis patients, Petit Mal Seizures (Absence Seizures), cause less obvious symptoms. Petit mal seizures can occur at any age, and may prove difficult to diagnose, because the symptoms are often subtle and they last a short time. 

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The popular online Medical Journal, Up To Date, suggests that many of the causes of seizures are similar in those with and without renal failure. However, some are specifically related to those who conduct Dialysis such as high levels of toxins in your body, too much fluid withdrawn during Dialysis (Disequilibrium Syndrome), Drugs such as Erythropoietin (EPO), Hypotension (Low Blood Pressure), Hypertension (High Blood Pressure), Dialysis dementia due to high levels of Aluminum, and High or Low Potassium and Calcium levels. These factors either alone or in combination, may result in severe or Absence seizures. 

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Petit Mal Seizure symptoms may include an abrupt halt of all conscious activity including suddenly stop talking, trembling/fumbling movements, twitching of eyelids, or even cease of all physical movement entirely. Typically, after 3 to 30 seconds a patient may suddenly resume whatever s/he was doing before the seizure. What is so unfortunate, however, is that most with Chronic Kidney Disease do not remember or recognize that they suffered a small seizure. Therefore, the issue can continue for months before a person may notice and seeks medical attention. You can imagine how this could greatly impact one's treatment, right? 

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When the issue is brought to the attention of your Nephrologists, they tend to prefer prescribing newer (second-generation) Anti-Epileptic drugs because they are associated with fewer side effects and harmful drug interactions. Dosage adjustments will likely be required once the seriousness and frequency of the seizures are determined. If you would like more Daily News & Information regarding ways Chronic Kidney Disease patients can better manage their lives, visit KidneyBuzz.com every day! 

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References: 

"The Use of Newer Antiepileptic Drugs in Patients with Renal Failure."Http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/. National Center for Biotechnology Information/U.S. National Library of Medicine.

"Seizures in Patients Undergoing Hemodialysis." Http://www.uptodate.com/. UpToDate Marketing Professional.

"What Are the Symptoms of Petit Mal Seizures?" Http://www.livestrong.com. LIVESTRONG.