Problems with Dialysis

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Fluid Overload

Because you probably do not urinate as much as you once did, fluid may build up in your system between dialysis treatments. Dialysis removes excess fluid from your blood. Still dialysis does not work as effectively as healthy kidneys, so you cannot drink as much as you once did. If you drink too much, you may become quite ill.

Some problems include increased blood pressure, swelling (edema) of your arms/hands, legs/feet, and/or face, and shortness of breath. In severe cases, you may get congestive heart failure and fluid may build up in your lungs requiring emergency dialysis and possibly hospitalization.

However, you play an important part in controlling your weight gain. Acceptable weight gains between treatments vary from patient to patient. So work with your dialysis staff to learn how much fluid you should drink each day.


To learn more about fluid overload:

Treatment Methods for Kidney Failure: Hemodialysis
Details the procedures and equipment involved in hemodialysis. Explains vascular access and dietary issues.

This information is also available in Spanish:
Métodos de tratamiento para la insuficiencia renal: Hemodiálisis


Last updated on: February 22, 2008