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Thriving on Dialysis
Did you know that a healthy lifestyle can help make your dialysis treatments more effective? Feeling better means doing more—and enjoying more. Read on for simple steps to eat healthy, stay active and manage your weight while on dialysis. Plus, learn tips for making the most of your time during treatment, managing your health and thriving.
Managing Your Time on Dialysis
It’s a common belief that dialysis can be all-consuming, but on average, dialysis will only take up about 10% of your time. That leaves a lot of hours for all the other things that are important to you!
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At-home dialysis may be one of the best ways for you to do dialysis. Find out if starting or switching to at-home dialysis is right for you.
7 tips for getting the most out of your time
Allot for your full dialysis session—including travel time to and from the dialysis center, and monthly meetings with your treatment team.
Keep a calendar—electronically or on paper, so you don’t over schedule yourself—or miss out on something important.
Create a routine for the big stuff—take your medicine at the same time, keep a regular bedtime, and make a habit of things like exercising and weekly grocery shopping, in addition to dialysis or doctor appointments.
Schedule some fun things—concerts, dinner parties, art lessons, gardening—if it’s important to you, block out the time for it. Planning simple pleasures like eating a favorite meal or watching a TV show can help brighten a treatment day.
Utilize your treatment time—you’ll have downtime on dialysis, so use it for reading, browsing recipes, listening to your favorite music, going through mail, stretching, or writing in a journal. Some people also prefer nighttime (nocturnal) dialysis either at-home or in-center because it allows them more time during the day. If you’re considering nighttime treatments at a center, check to make sure they offer it.
Every dialysis minute counts
It’s critical to plan enough time to complete your full dialysis treatment that is recommended by your doctor. Even cutting your treatment short by 5 minutes can have a cumulative impact. You may not feel the effects of shortened or missed treatments immediately, but not getting enough dialysis allows waste to accumulate in your body over time—which can cause serious health complications. So make the time for treatment!
Need more reasons to stay for your full treatment?
Make sure you get quality rest
After treatment, you may feel a bit washed out. If you’re not getting enough sleep after dialysis treatments, it can cloud your decision making and throw you off your schedule. So it’s important for you to get a reasonable amount of sound, restorative sleep every night.
How to get the most out of your sleep:
- Go to bed and wake up at roughly the same time every day
- Create an optimal sleeping environment—cool, quiet and dark
- Take a few moments to clear your head before you go to bed
- Don’t nap if you can—especially during dialysis treatment (unless it’s nocturnal dialysis)
- Exercise regularly, several hours before bed
- Eat light meals and drink only small amounts of liquid before bed
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine—they can disturb sleep