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While dialysis can keep the patients alive, the patients often experience many complications. Swollen legs and tiredness are commonly seen during dialysis treatment. What are the causes of these two conditions and how to manage them?
Causes and management of swollen legs in dialysis
Swollen legs can be attributed to a variety of causes. The major culprit is fluid retention in body. Dialysis is performed periodically. It can not be used as efficiently as our kidneys. Between dialysis treatment, fluid will build up in different body parts. The retention of fluid in legs will cause swollen legs.
A more serious cause of swollen legs is heart failure. In kidney disease, over time, the blood vessels that bring blood to the heart can become blocked from a buildup of cells, fat and cholesterol. This can reduce the heart, thus leading to heart disease. Leg swelling can be a sign of heart disease, especially when the patients stand.
To control swollen legs in dialysis, the first step is to find out the specific cause of the condition. If it is due to fluid buildup in body, the patients should have adequate dialysis treatment and even increase dialysis treatment. Also, it is important to cut down fluid intake between dialysis treatments.
If heart disease is the attributor of swollen legs, it can be very dangerous. Medications and treatment should be strengthened to control the heart problem.
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Causes and management of tiredness in dialysis
A major cause of tiredness in dialysis is anemia. Healthy kidneys can produce EPO, a hormone which can stimulate the production of red blood cells. However, the diseased kidneys fail to produce adequate EPO. As a result, the number of red blood cells will decline below normal. Hemoglobulin in red blood cells can distribute oxygen to body tissues and cells. If the body tissues and cells can not get enough oxygen supply, the patients will experience tiredness.
In addition, if extra fluid is removed from body, it will also cause tiredness in dialysis.
Artificial EPO is often prescribed to stimulate the production of red blood cells. If tiredness in dialysis is related to removal of extra fluid, it is important to control the dry weight.
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