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Inadequate Dialysis is Dangerous for Your Health

May 03, 2022

Dialysis is a life-saving treatment when your kidneys are no longer able to remove toxins and extra fluids from your body. Because dialysis is a big-time commitment, it may be tempting to skip treatments or cut treatments short occasionally. Maybe it’s a cold and rainy day, or you’re feeling a little under the weather, or you have the chance to leave town for a last-minute vacation. You may think, what’s the big deal if I miss one, two, or even three treatments? 

Skipping dialysis treatments or cutting your treatments short can be very dangerous for your health. The amount of time and how often you need dialysis is determined by your nephrologist to meet your individual needs. Getting adequate dialysis ensures that toxins and excess fluids are being removed out of your body for you to stay healthy.  

When you skip treatments or terminate treatments early, additional fluid will need to be removed at your next dialysis treatment, which can cause uncomfortable symptoms such as cramping, headaches, low blood pressure, or nausea as we try to get you back to your dry weight. You may also feel shortness of breath, which can lead to hospitalization due to fluid overload. Aside from fluid removal, the kidneys are also responsible for managing your blood pressure and keeping a safe balance of key minerals in your body, such as potassium and phosphorus. High potassium can lead to heart problems including irregular heartbeat, heart attack, and death. High phosphorus can weaken your bones over time and increase your risk for heart disease. 

It’s not worth the risk! It’s very important to go to your scheduled dialysis appointments and complete the full treatment as prescribed by your nephrologist. 

10 Good Reasons Not to Skip Dialysis 

  1. Less swelling 
  2. Stronger bones 
  3. Cleaner blood 
  4. More energy 
  5. Transplant eligibility 
  6. Better appetite 
  7. Better sleep 
  8. Quality of life 
  9. Less itching 
  10. Fewer hospital visits 


Raag Shanker, RDN, LD

Renal Registered Dietitian


Raag Shanker, RDN, LD
Renal Registered Dietitian


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