Movement is Life: Advice On How To Make Dialysis Less Tiresome

Joe Cosgrove has previously covered the topic of dialysis from all possible angles. In fact, one of the most important aspects of the things that surround this condition is the need for physical activity, for it has been proven that a dialysis lifestyle with limited or non-existent physical activity can worsen the condition and increase the risk of falling into severe depression, high blood pressure, lower and weaker immune function, heart disease and swelling in both feet and lungs.

Many dialysis patients firmly believe they cannot do any physical activity because the conditions prevent them from carrying out what would be traditionally considered “normal” exercise; however, it has been proven by many institutions, physicians and studies that even a mild and minor workout for short periods ranging from 15 to 20 minutes—of course, tailored to every case—can result in a positive outcome for those patients. Not only can regular physical activity cause a much healthier blood flow, stronger muscles and improve overall immune function, but it also will help maintain healthy tissue which is linked to aiding digestion, absorption, and metabolism in general.

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Dialysis patients must determine with their primary physician the type of workout they should attempt, paying special attention to not overheating during the exercise, for it can lead to increased fluid consumption and overload. Although extreme workouts like weight lifting should totally be avoided due to the fistula, those with heart conditions can definitely find exercise beneficial. It is fine to workout to a point where the individual feels tired and even short of breath to some extent; however, they should pay special attention to not getting past the point of exhaustion. Symptoms such as chest pain and sudden shortness of breath, and even severe muscular pain and joint pain should be enough for individuals to stop every physical activity and seek advice with their primary physicians.

When it comes to the nature of the exercises, there are plenty of choices. There are many indoor workouts and exercises those individuals on dialysis can carry out; however, as mentioned above, the wisest thing to do is to consult with a nephrologist prior to recklessly rushing into it. A doctor can tailor a workout routine that will aid those with this condition. For instance, one of the most important yet disregarded physical activities is stretching. Stretching has proven to be effective at warming up the muscles and ligaments, thusly increasing the blood flow across the body. And, above all, the best part of stretching is that it can be done pretty much anywhere and does not require special equipment.

Stretching is obviously crucial prior to executing more demanding exercises, as well as after a workout. And although it might seem almost pretty much self-explanatory, it is nonetheless advisable to first consult with the nephrologist what kind of stretching activities are best for each stage of the condition. Bear in mind that the idea is to avoid any kind of damage to the vascular access.

Cardiovascular workouts are also of tremendous importance for those individuals on dialysis. Cardiovascular exercises, commonly referred to as simply cardio, is linked to providing important benefits to the heart. People who have a home gym or are looking forward to putting one together should go for either a treadmill or a stationary bike since both are perfect options for cardiovascular indoor exercises. And even though not everybody has got enough space at home to bring in large pieces of equipment, there will always be alternatives such as jogging in place just to get the heartbeat up.

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A very wise thing to do is to keep a journal day after day. It is known that being on dialysis is quite nagging, but things can be improved nonetheless. Logging one’s progress each day by timing how long did the workout last is a way to push oneself towards a new personal mark—which provides emotional support and enhances current mood—. It is important not to disregard the tremendous effect striving to accomplish a goal can have on people under similar conditions. Renal failure, in this case, supposes a daunting challenge: individuals struggle with the condition, and the odds of falling victim of depression are high. However, and as mentioned in the previous paragraphs, not only is exercise beneficial for the condition but also brings along a much greater effect: improves mentality and attitude. No matter how nagging the condition may be, ceasing not to do everything to improve at least something about the whole picture is vital: it makes people mentally stronger while they improve their bodies.

Dialysis is not the end of the road: is quite a speed bump, but it can be made livable by setting the right expectations and internalizing the fact that movement is life. Work out and start making changes today.

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An Introduction to Intrathecal Pumps

 

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Intrathecal Pumps
Image: pentechealth.com

As president, CEO, and director of Pentec Health, Joe Cosgrove oversees a business line of specialty infusion services for patients with intrathecal pumps. Under Joe Cosgrove’s direction, Pentec Health has become the largest specialty infusion group in the United States.

Also known as a pain pump, the intrathecal pump delivers medication directly into a patient’s spinal cord. Surgeons implant the pump itself below the skin of the abdomen, and an attached catheter runs to the area surrounding the spinal cord. There, the medication flows into the cerebrospinal fluid and on into the central nervous system.

This method is most often used for patients who present with chronic or acute pain that other anesthetic and analgesic methods have failed to alleviate. Also used to manage muscle rigidity in patients with conditions that impair muscle control, the pump allows for the consistent dispensation of medication. Most patients with these pumps must visit the doctor every two to eight weeks for a refill of medication. Those with mobility impairments may be eligible for home refills through Joint Commission-accredited companies such as Pentec Health.

5 myth and facts about your kidneys

Nowadays there is a crazy drive among people to avoid any kidney disease at any cost. You hear all types of stories and things to do before you even get a disease to worry about. And yes, it is a good idea to be preventive and to manage your kidney’s health in a good way but it should be done in the correct way using the correct food and treatment to get the most out of your life without worrying about a kidney related disease.

There are some very common myths out there that maybe you have even heard around in random conversations. And there are many that are not evening this list. This time we give you 5 myths about your kidneys that may give you a new perspective about these organs and how you take care f them.

Water will wash out your toxins

The myth is that if you drink eight glasses of water your body will detox. I am sure that many of us have heard this before from a friend or close relative. In the real world, there is no evidence to back this up and the amount of urine the body produces has nothing to do with the performance of the kidney. The idea that if you have more urine means that the kidneys are working even better is something that maybe was deduced. But it has no relation whatsoever.   

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We are not saying that water does not help the kidney function well, but it is not directly related to its performance. In places that are very hot, it is better to drink a lot of water because the body tends to use more water than normal. Or if a person has a background of kidney diseases, water can help with the pain in future treatments. But there are no more uses for water in the kidney’s cleansing process.

Calcium causes kidney stones

It is true that kidney stones are made of calcium and that there is a big belief that it is only calcium that causes kidney stones and that is why this myth is so popular. The big losers here are dairy products because people tend to think that they must avoid calcium-rich products. But in the real world, it is not the excess of calcium but the lack of it that affects the body.

The fact is that kidney stones are made from calcium and from oxalate, a substance that is found in vegetables and fruits. Kidney stones are made from these two materials when they get combined. Also, calcium found in natural products is rarely a cause for kidney stones. On the other hand, calcium from supplements does tend to form kidney stones because it does not combine properly with the oxalate and it does not stay in the gut to later be eliminated via feces. Instead, it is eliminated in the urine and here is where kidney stones are helped by calcium to form.

Alcohol and your kidneys

This myth comes from the belief that if you are urinating a lot when you are out partying is a bad sign of kidney overuse. Again, there is no evidence to back this claim up. Maybe a lot of people just confused the fact that the liver is the one that suffers when people drink too much alcohol and not the kidneys.

Or maybe people tend to think that drinking alcohol can affect your kidneys because alcohol dehydrates you in very big and fast ways and dehydration is, in fact, a cause of kidney disease.

It is easy to know when kidneys are suffering and they are not working properly

In fact, it is not easy and not very noticeable when your kidneys are failing. In fact, people don’t notice the disease until it is a bit late to control it or manage it without an operation. People don’t notice the symptoms up until where only 20% of the kidney is working and this is when they start getting the symptom. Urine does not say much about the kidney’s health so it is not trustworthy measurement.

Preventive medicine does not work in kidney diseases

Many people tend to think that kidneys fail for a reason and that it is just impossible to prevent such diseases. The fact is that kidney diseases can be slowed down if patients and people that are at risk understand what is it that elevate their risk factors to the maximum and avoid such things. For example, diabetes and high blood pressure are sure indicators of kidney diseases; old age, smoking cigarettes and obesity are all factors that accelerate the risk of suffering from kidney diseases. Also, a healthy lifestyle plenty of exercise and a good diet is one of the best recipes to prevent kidney diseases.

Be sure to also read this post about What Peritoneal Dialysis is and the available treatments

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