The symptoms of chronic kidney disease and dialysis can have a major impact on a patient’s social life.
Fatigue, low energy, dizziness, itchy skin, and feeling generally unwell may prevent people from being socially active, reluctant to leave their house. This could lead patients to withdraw from family and friends, which could result in feelings of isolation and loneliness. In addition, dialysis is a very difficult experience, and patients may feel like their friends and family don’t understand what they are going through, which could further lead to feelings of loneliness.
Due to the dietary restrictions of living with kidney disease, it may be difficult to eat outside the home, since it is hard to know the exact ingredients and nutritional information of restaurant food. This can have a dramatic effect on a person’s social life, since food and eating are often a large part of socializing. Rather than going out to restaurants, patients and families can invite friends and family over to their house so that home prepared food can follow the patient’s dietary restrictions. It is important to talk with friends and family so they can accommodate the patient’s dietary needs.
Dialysis sessions take up several hours of the day for patients and families, especially if the patient receives dialysis at a dialysis centre, which requires patients to be on a fixed schedule for their treatments. As a result, people sometimes find that the dialysis schedule interferes with social activities. It is important to be open and honest with family and friends so that they can be more understanding of what you are going through, and so that they can try to be more accommodating to your new health regimen.