Dialysis can do some of kidneys’ work. They are removing extra fluid and small molecular waste products. However, if too much fluid is removed out of the body during one dialysis treatment, signs of dialysis going below dry weight may appear. Some of them may even threaten their life.
What is dry weight for dialysis patients?
Dry weight describes as patient’s weight without excessive fluid, which usually builds up between dialysis sessions. This may seem quite abstract. If you can’t understand this, you can think dry weight is similar to what the person who has normal kidney function would weigh after he urinates.
It is very important for kidney failure patients to determine their dry weight, because it is the lowest weight that dialysis patients can safely reach after taking dialysis. If patients’ weight is lower than this value, some symptoms and problems will occur easily.
Signs of dialysis going below dry weight
1. Dehydration: If one dialysis treatment moves too much fluid, dehydration is usually the first symptom. Then, patients may suffer from thirst, dry mouth, muscle cramps, nausea and vomiting, rapid heartbeat, etc.
2. Low blood pressure: Besides dehydration, low blood pressure is another sign of dialysis going below dry weight. With the incidence of 20%-40%, low blood pressure does affect many dialysis patients’ health.
3. Further kidney damage: Low blood pressure makes less blood flow into kidneys. If left alone, continuous low blood pressure is more likely to induce ischemia and anoxia. Then, kidney condition may be worsened easily.
Now, we can know how important it is to maintain dialysis patients’ dry weight. If dialysis fails to work, some other blood purification methods can be taken.
Hemoperfusion, plasma exchange and CRRT are blood purification methods that can cleanse the blood more completely and maintain stable haemodynamics. That’s to say, these therapies can prevent low blood pressure and dehydration effectively. What’s more, they are also able to protect remaining kidney function better.