Dialysis is time-consuming and expensive. Not everyone chooses it, particularly if they’re experiencing severe, acute kidney failure.
If you decide not to pursue dialysis, there are other treatment options that may help manage your symptoms. One of these options is anemia management. When the kidneys are working properly, the hormone erythropoietin (EPO) is produced naturally in the body. To help with an under-functioning kidney, you can get an injection of EPO every week.
Maintaining good blood pressure can help slow the deterioration of your kidney. Drink fluids to avoid dehydration. Talk to your doctor before taking any anti-inflammatory drugs, including ibuprofen (Advil) and diclofenac (Solaraze, Voltaren).
A kidney transplant is another option for some people. It’s also a long-term commitment. Talk to your doctor to see if a transplant is right for you. You might not be a good candidate for a kidney transplant if you:
• heavily use alcohol
• are obese
• have an untreated mental health condition
WHEN TO CALL YOUR DOCTOR
Although dialysis side effects are incredibly common, it’s important to keep your care team in the loop about anything you may be experiencing. Seek medical care right away if you experience any of the following symptoms during or after dialysis treatment:
confusion or trouble concentrating
pain, redness, or swelling in the limbs
fever above 101°F
loss of consciousness
These symptoms may be associated with hypotension, hyperglycemia, blood clots, or severe infection and require immediate treatment.