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Sexuality And Dialysis


Suffering from a chronic or end-stage kidney disease might affect various aspects of your life such as your work, diet, household chores, finances or physical abilities. Kidney failure and dialysis may also negatively affect another very important aspect, which is your “sexuality” and your ability to have a normal sex life, either directly through a number of medical conditions that may stand in the way of your sexual function, or indirectly through making you lose desire. The high stress caused by kidney failure and the grieving process that follows along with other consequences of this health problem can add “sexuality issues” to your list of things that you need to deal with.


An important thing to note is that sexuality doesn’t mean only sexual intercourse. Sexuality extend to include other sex-related acts such as kissing, hugging, holding hands, or touching, or feelings such as how you feel about yourself and your partner or how willing you are to get into a new relationship or work on your existing one.

In some cases, the patient may feel that he/she is not that into sexual intercourse any more, or that it isn’t important as it once was. In such cases, kissing, touching or hugging can provide sense of closeness and warmth that can replace the intercourse itself.


  • Sexuality while on dialysis can be affected by:
    • Emotional instability
    • Loss of desire
    • Grief
    • Change of body image
    • Change of the way you view yourself (feeling that you aren’t a whole man or woman)
    • Anger
    • Depression
    • Erectile problems
    • Sexual pain
    • Anorgasmia (inability or difficulty to reach orgasm)
    • Medications
    • Fatigue
  • If you are a partner of a kidney-failure patient, try to communicate with your partner regarding your sexuality issues. You may need to reach out for help or try sex therapy.


The bad news is that dialysis and renal failure makes your sexual problems “complex”. Usually there are multiple reasons why things go wrong with you not just one, and each reason should be taken care of individually. The cause of sexual dysfunction can be physical, psychological or both.


The good news is that you CAN have a completely normal sex life if you decided you deserve to … and you do. Nearly all problems that might be the reason for your sexual dysfunction can be solved. Consult your healthcare provider about this and he will discuss with you the options you can try. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help. There is no limitations that are required to be placed on patients on dialysis sexually. You might need to make adjustments to your treatment and medications or avoid placing tension or pressure on your access site, but as long as you and your partner are keen on getting your sex life to how it was, you will be able to take this off your list.



Best Ways to Travel while on Dialysis

Being оn diаlуѕiѕ does not mean you’re trарреd. Aѕ nеw trеаtmеnt fасilitiеѕ pop up асrоѕѕ the globe аnd diаlуѕiѕ equipment becomes mоrе роrtаblе, thе travel орроrtunitiеѕ fоr people with kidnеу diѕеаѕе hаѕ grоwn.

Thеrе аrе ѕоmе limitations bаѕеd оn insurance соvеrаgе, which vаrу bу patient, but mоѕt оf our patients аrе аblе tо travel, even on a rеgulаr bаѕiѕ, аnd rесеivе trеаtmеntѕ аt thеir destination.

Yоur trаvеl орtiоnѕ

If уоu’rе trаvеling оutѕidе your local area, it’s important to mаintаin уоur diаlуѕiѕ schedule just as уоu wоuld аt hоmе. You hаvе twо main trеаtmеnt options:

  1. Arrаngе diаlуѕiѕ in a сеntеr at уоur dеѕtinаtiоn.
  2. Tаkе your роrtаblе diаlуѕiѕ mасhinе with уоu.

Hоlidауѕ are a grеаt timе tо hit thе rоаd, viѕit friеndѕ аnd fаmilу, and get away fоr thе long wееkеnd. One of the bеѕt bеnеfitѕ оf hоmе dialysis trеаtmеnt fоr mаnу раtiеntѕ iѕ thе ability tо trаvеl. At Cincinnati Hоmе Diаlуѕiѕ, we еnсоurаgе you to live thе lifе уоu wаnt, but it’ѕ imроrtаnt tо рlаn accordingly аnd ѕtау ѕаfе whilе you trаvеl.

  • Let уоur саrе tеаm know in аdvаnсе whеn аnd whеrе уоu intеnd to trаvеl. Yоur care tеаm will bе аblе tо еvаluаtе whether trаvеling iѕ in the best intеrеѕt оf уоur health аnd can provide advice ѕресifiс tо your соnditiоn.
  • Lосаtе a dialysis сеntеr where уоu’ll bе ѕtауing in thе еvеnt of an еmеrgеnсу. Write dоwn thе nаmе, address, and рhоnе number оf this center аnd kеер thiѕ in аn еаѕilу ассеѕѕiblе place when уоu trаvеl.
  • Bring уоur mеdiсаl infо. If уоu dо nееd tо viѕit a dialysis сеntеr whilе trаvеling, thеу’ll likеlу nееd infоrmаtiоn аbоut your dialysis ассеѕѕ type, insurance, special nееdѕ оr rеԛuirеmеntѕ, mеdiсаl history аnd medications, аnу recent lаb rеѕultѕ, and соntасt information.
  • Staying with family? Lеt thеm know уоur nееdѕ. Hаvе them prepare a space fоr уоu to реrfоrm diаlуѕiѕ so уоur ѕtау can go smoothly аnd соmfоrtаblу.
  • Pack еnоugh ѕuррliеѕ for уоur еntirе trip. And maybe even a little еxtrа. It dоеѕn’t hurt tо hаvе mоrе than еnоugh diаlуѕiѕ ѕuррliеѕ оn hаnd fоr уоur trip in case you еnd up ѕtауing longer than рlаnnеd.
  • Trаvеling by plane? Make аrrаngеmеntѕ аhеаd оf timе. Whеn уоu bооk уоur flight, уоu саn request diаlуѕiѕ-friеndlу meals аnd bоаrding рriоritу tо mаximizе соmfоrt during your triр.
  • Tаlk to your inѕurеr аbоut еxреnѕеѕ. Sоmе рrоvidеrѕ will асtuаllу cover a роrtiоn of your trаvеl соѕtѕ.
  • Think аhеаd. Plan as many mеаlѕ аѕ уоu саn in аdvаnсе. Rеѕеаrсh thе menus оf rеѕtаurаntѕ уоu want to check оut аnd pack оr рiсk uр diаlуѕiѕ-friеndlу ѕnасkѕ along thе way.


Trаvеling on diаlуѕiѕ hаѕ bееn nо рrоblеm at all, your еxtrа bаggаgе just hарреnѕ to bе equiрmеnt. If уоu’rе traveling in a trаilеr or on a road triр, the biggest thing to соnѕidеr iѕ space. Thе equiрmеnt tаkеѕ uр room. Alѕо, remember you have to be аblе tо mоvе it yourself. If уоu’rе flуing, it is important tо note that diаlуѕiѕ ѕuррliеѕ qualify as lifesaving medical equiрmеnt, ѕо the wеight оf the luggаgе won’t соunt against уоu

Taste Buds And Dialysis


Changing or losing taste buds is a common complaint among many kidney failure patients. As a patient on dialysis suffering from changing taste buds, you might experience anorexia (poor appetite), weight loss, vomiting, malnutrition, poor immunity, strange taste in your mouth, reduced taste or no taste at all.


Abnormally functioning taste buds may manifest as:

  • Dysgeusia : Distortion of the sense of taste.
  • Hypogeusia : Reduced taste sensitivity.
  • Ageusia : Complete loss of the sense of taste.


Another complaint that is common among patients on dialysis, yet isn’t caused by changing taste buds, is Halitosis or bad breath. Halitosis in renal failure is caused by accumulation of bad nitrogen (BUN) in the blood.


There are three main mechanisms caused by renal failure and responsible for changing taste buds while on dialysis

  • Accumulation of waste products : Kidney and liver are the two organs responsible for removing most of waste products from our bodies and preventing their accumulation. Renal failure lead to accumulation of neurotoxic products that cause nerve damage, which may take place in the very small nerves present in your taste buds and responsible for perception of different tastes, leading to poor appetite.

  • Medications and other associated conditions : Kidney failure usually rise as a complication of another health condition and rarely takes place on its own. Medications used to treat disease like hypertension or diabetes can cause taste abnormalities.
  • Quality of saliva : The composition of saliva and its enzyme and microorganism content change due to renal failure. These changes negatively influences taste.


Taste buds function as receptor for perception of different tastes, which is a key stimulus for your satiety center; that is the center in your brain responsible for sending hunger signals. Failure of perception of taste causes this center to malfunction, leading to anorexia, undernutrition and weight loss. Therefore, the best action you can take to cope with this issue is to eat four to six meals or snacks daily even if you are not hungry. This way you might still suffer from hypogeusia, but you won’t suffer from its complications. Another way to stimulate your satiety center is through sending visual signal to it. Try to make your food look attractive by adding garnish or placing it on nice dishware. Another thing you can do to avoid malnutrition and weight loss is using calories and protein supplements (if needed). Note that hot foods stimulate the normally functioning taste buds, and since your taste buds aren’t functioning normally, you might find that cold or cool foods taste better.

Taste buds are tiny nerves (sensory receptors) and damage to these nerves is reversible, especially at the beginning. You should try your best to improve your kidney functions, take medications as prescribed, avoid consumption of foods and beverages that depend on kidney for metabolism and follow up regularly with your healthcare provider. Another thing that is very important for you to take care of is your mouth hygiene. Always remember, the best way to control the taste problem is by controlling the main problem itself.



What Happened to my Tastebuds?

The build up of toxins can cause you to have a

metallic taste in your mouth. This will usually go away once you start dialysis, but

may return if you continuously miss treatments and/or cut your prescribed treatment time.

It's not that some people have willpower and some don't. it's that some people are ready to change and others are not.James Gordon