Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis is a "potent risk factor for stroke that is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide," according to a study released in the journal, Blood Purification. The incidence of stroke is substantially higher among Dialysis patients. In fact, they experience a "10-fold higher incidence, with case [patient] fatality rates reaching 90%." Hence, when the journal, Stroke reports that hospitals "initially missed a stroke diagnosis in more than a fifth of patients later found to have had strokes," it is a bit alarming. Moreover, when key symptoms resemble that of post-Dialysis Wipe Out (feeling ill after Dialysis) it is cause for Dialysis patients to remain on alert.
While most are aware of common signs of a stroke (sudden drooping in part of the face, weakness in one arm or trouble speaking) the patients whose strokes were missed "often had less obvious symptoms, particularly nausea and dizziness." These "Posterior Strokes" occur due to blockages to vessels in the back of the brain rather than in the front and account for about twenty percent (20%) of strokes.
Nausea and dizziness are very common symptoms associated with Dialysis. One Dialysis Patient noted, "If I had a dime for every time I was dizzy or nauseous after Dialysis, I would be a millionaire." They are hardly symptoms that most patients would find alarming enough to rush to the hospital; "It's a very difficult problem," said Dr. David Weisman (lead author and Neurologist).
While Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients can have nausea and dizziness for lots of reasons, Dr. Weisman suggested that it is important to notice the company the symptoms keep, "Nausea with gastrointestinal distress isn't a stroke. But nausea accompanied by mild double vision or speech changes is cause for concern." Also, clumsiness on one side of your body, difficulty walking or a wide gait are signs that should trigger red flags of a possible Posterior Stroke. Doctors often misdiagnosed these types of strokes, so be sure to be as clear and specific as possible with your symptoms and concerns.
"Ignoring symptoms and 'toughing it out' can make symptoms worse," reported the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Tell someone or call 9-1-1 if you think you may be having a stroke. The National Kidney Foundation has in part provided the following tips for Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients to reduce the risk of strokes:
- Follow a heart-healthy diet (click here for specific food options).
- Get regular physical activity (click here for Dialysis tailored exercises).
- Work to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control.
- Attempt to keep calcium and phosphorus in balance.
- If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar under control.
- If you have anemia, get treatment for it. Talk to your Dietitian for dietary options to improve red blood count.
- Stop smoking.
- Reduce unnecessary stress as much as you can.
- Try to maintain a healthy weight.
In case you are rushed to the hospital and lose consciousness, be sure to wear your Fistula Protector Wristband. This can be a classic case where a paramedic or nurse realizes you need immediate help but does not realize that your are a Hemodialysis patient and may unknowingly place a Blood Pressure Cuff or IV Line in your Dialysis arm causing it to become damaged or unusable. Click here to order your Fistula Protector Wristband.
Have you ever tried to "tough it out" after a nauseous or dizzy-spell only to find out that it was more serious, what was the outcome? Share your responses with the over 36,200 Friends at the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Fan page (click here). Moreover, consider following the over 115,000 monthly visitors to KidneyBuzz.com for your Number One (#1) source of Daily News, Information, Impact Meals, Inspirational Quotes, and tailored Products and Services which teach Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, Kidney Transplant, Diabetes and High Blood Pressure patients how to better manage and improve their lives