That Twitch Or Cramp May Be More Than Just A Passing Pain For Chronic Kidney Disease Patients

A viewer asked, "What do I do if I suffer cramps and twitching? My left leg cramps-up and jumps on its own sometimes." 

Muscle cramps are very common in Chronic Kidney Disease patients especially if they conduct Hemodialysis (HD) treatments. It occurs in 33% to 86% of people on HD, often resulting in the early termination of their treatment and is a significant contributor to underdialysis (inadequate dialysis cleaning). 

Recommended Reading: A Review of Treatments to Relieve Muscle Cramps in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease on Dialysis

The exact cause of muscle cramps and twitching is not known and can vary from patient to patient. Sometimes when fluid is taken out of the body at a fast rate during dialysis or too much fluid is removed, the muscles react by cramping. These muscle cramps, usually in the legs, can be uncomfortable or sometimes painful.

Recommended Reading: Screening For This Under-Diagnosed Disease Found In CKD Patients Could Save Legs And Lives

At times the cramps can be eased by adjusting the HD "goal" for a lesser amount of fluid withdrawal. Adjusting fluid and sodium intake between your HD appointments may also help prevent symptoms during treatments.

Recommended Reading: CKD Patients improve Muscle Power, Leg Strength and less Fatigued by Exercising During Dialysis

Twitching is associated with inadvertent or uncontrolled movements. Twitches have been connected with low potassium levels. Some patients have also noted symptoms after starting Gabapentin, used to treat insomnia and Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). 

Recommended Reading: CKD Patients Diagnosing And Correcting Twitching, Restlessness and Tremors Associated With ESRD

Twitching and cramping can become continued ailments for people with CKD, and even become worse over time. The best thing you can do if your are experiencing either cramping or twitching is alert your Nephrologists to get help in alleviating the discomfort. S/he will likely be able to recommend some remedies if muscle cramps are making your dialysis treatments uncomfortable.

Recommended Reading: Is Nerve Pain Inevitable Among Chronic Kidney Disease Patients Conducting Hemodialysis?

If you are on Hemodialysis right now then you will want a No BP/No Stick wristband to protect your fistula. A lot of things could go wrong so make sure you are taking every precaution to maintain a high quality of life. KidneyBuzz.com will be here every day, providing Breaking News & Information to teach CKD and Diabetic patients how to better manage their lives. 

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References: 

"Muscle Cramps in Dialysis Patients." Http://www.uptodate.com/. UpToDate, Inc.

"Hemodialysis Risks." Http://www.mayoclinic.org/. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

"Some Physical Side Effects of Dialysis and How to Prevent Them." Http://www.davita.com/. - DaVita.

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