There are many different side effects of kidney dialysis, including the potential for infection, hernias, low blood pressure and itchy skin. Learn side effects for hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis with tips from a licensed dietitian in this free video on renal diets and nutrition.
My name is Christine Marquette, and I'm a registered dietitian with The Austin Regional Clinic, and I'm going to talk to you about the side effects of kidney dialysis. There are many different side effects associated with kidney dialysis, and some of them depend on the type of dialysis that you're getting. There are two main types, hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis, or PD. PD is the type of dialysis that a person can actually do at home or on the job. With this particular type there's actually a couple of other subtypes. One involves basically what is called ambulatory dialysis, and this particular person has a catheter that's been implanted into their abdomen. They are doing exchanges with the diasolate solution where they basically pour in the diasolate solution, go on about their business for four or five hours, and then drain out the diasolate solution, and exchange it with a new solution. The risk in this particular type is infection in that particular area where the catheter is, because again, you have exposure from your outside skin. There could be any source of bacteria that may enter into the diasolate solution, so you have a very high risk of infection, not just on the catheter area, but also inside your peritoneal cavity, or your peritoneum, so there is a very high risk for that source of infection. Another type of side effect that could be associated with PD is actually developing hernias. The reason why is because your muscles in your abdomen become weak when using this form of dialysis, and because you have all of that liquid solution in there it is pushing putting even more pressure on these already weak muscles, so you have a very high risk of developing a hernia. If you're using hemodialysis that's a type of dialysis where you actually are going into a dialysis center about three days a week, and you're in there for about four hours, and there you could also have infection, but more common side effects are things like low blood pressure, having very dry skin, itchy skin, and you can actually also become malnourished if you're not consuming enough high quality protein. And another possible side effect would be actually having excess levels of phosphorus if you aren't following the renal diet that's been prescribed for you. So, there's actually several different side effects that can occur, depending on whether you're using peritoneal dialysis or hemodialysis.