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Muscle Cramps in Hemodialysis

2012-11-18 16:27

Muscle cramp is a common complication of hemodialysis, occurring in 33 to 86 percent patients. The cramps often last for a few seconds but can be very painful. The muscle cramps can also cause problems sleeping. In severe cases, the cramps can be so severe that hemodialysis may need to be stopped. Prevention and management of the symptom should be known by the patients so that they can more effectively control the symptom.

Why muscle cramps occur in hemodialysis? Muscle cramps are caused by muscles contracting or tightening on their own. When it occurs, you can not control this. The cramps commonly occur on hands, feet and the legs.

During dialysis, there are several possible causes of muscle cramps. Low blood volume, or hypotension is one of the main reasons. This happens when a large amount of fluid are discharged out of the body during dialysis treatment. Drinking too much fluid between two dialysis treatments is the most common cause. In some condition, if can happen when you did not get all of the excessive fluid off in your previous dialysis treatment. If a patient is being below dry weight and use low sodium dialysis solution, the cramping can also occur.

Usually, leg muscles are most often affected. Less common muscles that may cramp include the hands, arms and abdomen. To prevent the problem from occurring, you will need to restrict your fluid intake between treatments. Consult your doctor whether he thinks drinking less fluid will help you.

There are some easy steps to help prevent night cramps. Lie face up on a bed with your legs out straight. Gently bend knees up towards your chest while leaving your feet flat on the surface of the bed. When your feet are as close to your buttocks as you feel comfortable, hold for 10 seconds. Then straighten your legs and relax for 5 seconds. Finally repeat the above again. This may help you to prevent the occurrence.

If muscle cramps still trouble you, you may need to consult a doctor to see if any medication can help you. It may take some time to find the most suitable treatment for you. Work with your health care team to for management of your dialysis treatment and reduce occurrence of complications. Our kidney-cares team is dedicated to provide kidney health information to help the patients; for any further question, you are welcome to consult us directly.

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