Anxiety and Stress Can Interfere with Dialysis Treatments

stress and dialysisJust because you've got a dialysis appointment on your schedule doesn't mean it's going to maintain your health and do the work your kidneys can't. Really?

You may not realize it, but anxiety-related disorders can get in the way of proper care when your kidneys are failing. It's true. In a recent study published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, researchers found that stress and anxiety can interfere with dialysis treatment.

When stress and anxiety are left unchecked, it can cause patients to make irrational decisions, says lead researcher Dr. Paul Kimmel.

Like what? Researchers found that mental-health related issues may cause a dialysis patient to ignore taking medications or follow self-care guidelines. Or a patient may insist on receiving treatment from a specific dialysis machine in a clinic, or demand care from a particular staff member. These kinds of decisions can hinder treatment, lead to missed appointments, and potentially serious health consequences.

Unfortunately, stress and anxiety can lead to irrational behavior that can put your health at risk when you're receiving dialysis treatments. Kimmel says the findings are important for healthcare professionals who deal with dialysis patients to understand. Some patients don't realize stress and anxiety are causing problems with decision making and self-care. And if you know you've been under stress or experiencing anxiety, talk to your doctor about ways to deal with it.

When you have kidney disease, your health depends on consistent dialysis treatments, medication, and smart lifestyle choices, which includes following a dialysis-friendly diet. Need help figuring out what to eat and what to avoid? Check out our Dialysis-Friendly menu that includes entrees low in sodium, potassium, and phosphorus.