Lupus Nephritis: How Will My Dialysis Treatments Affect Daily Activities

Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs inside the body). Chronic means that the signs and symptoms tend to last longer than six weeks and often for many years.

Facts about lupus that you should know:

Lupus is not contagious, not even through sexual contact. You cannot “catch” lupus from someone or “give” lupus to someone.

Lupus is not like or related to cancer. Cancer is a condition of malignant, abnormal tissues that grow rapidly and spread into surrounding tissues. Lupus is an autoimmune disease, as described above.

Lupus strikes mostly women of childbearing age (15-44). However, men, children, and teenagers develop lupus, too.

Women of color are two to three times more likely to develop lupus than Caucasians.

People of all races and ethnic groups can develop lupus.

How will my dialysis treatments affect my daily activities?

Dialysis three days a week (the usual frequency) can significantly affect one’s life in several ways.

First, dialysis, as we know, takes 3-4 hours per session 3 days per week. This is a significant time period that most people would rather be doing other things.

Secondly, some people feel quite tired after their dialysis session, while others actually feel better. Depending on how dialysis affects you, this may be more time that is “taken away” from activities and things that you’d rather be doing.

Finally, depending on the vascular access that you have (fistula, graft, or tunneled venous catheter), some activities may be limited. You could imagine that getting a tunneled catheter caught on something could be quite painful and messy. This also provides a portal for infection. Despite all of these things, most dialysis patients end up living very full and productive lives with minimal limitations other than the time commitment.

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