The importance of strength training on dialysis

I have been on dialysis for almost 21 years now. One thing I have noticed is that my limbs have begun to get a little weak. For example, I am unable to get up without taking support of my hands on the chair. I am also unable to sit without some support. This is more so for chairs and sofas that are low. I am completely unable to sit on the floor.

Kidney failure, especially when present for more than a few years can cause such issues. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid this and even correct it to some extent if it has already happened.

The best thing to do, obviously, is to prevent it from happening. For this, do some kind of exercise that keeps your joints supple and limbs strong. This link from Life Options has an excellent guide on the different kinds of exercise that can be done by those on dialysis. Try to get started on some kind of exercise that suits you. Include some options from all the three kinds of exercise covered in the link - flexibility, muscle strength and endurance. As with anything in Kidney Disease, check with your doctor before beginning anything new.

To me, muscle strength is very important as losing this can cause a lot of problems in doing basic stuff like sitting and standing up. If you don’t take enough care to maintain good muscle strength, you could end up losing it over a period of time.

However, I recently figured by posting a question on the Facebook group of Home Dialysis Central about the loss of muscle strength and I got some very useful responses and help on what could be done to correct it. An old friend and an old hand at home hemo gave me some very pertinent advice. He said that he had had similar problems and he invested in a good Physiotherapist who came home and spent a few months working on him getting him to exercise so that he could achieve his goals which were pretty straightforward - to be able to sit on and and get up from the floor without support. He has apparently made some very good progress over the past few months.

After reading that, I have engaged with a Physiotherapist and am undergoing training under him for my weak muscles. I have completed two weeks and have already begun to see early results.

Many of us assume, wrongly, that these things cannot be resolved. The beauty is that in today’s world, there is hardly any problem which is being experienced for the first time. People before you have definitely had the same problem. So, ask around to check if they’ve found a solution. In this case, people had found a solution and it will help me as well.

So, try to prevent muscles from becoming weak by undergoing some kind of regular exercise and if they’ve already become weak, take action to regain some of the lost strength.


Unknown said…
Sir,i am 23 yr old completed my BTech (2017).My kidneys failed a month after my graduation,I was devastated.Now I am on Hemodialysis in one of your nephroplus centres.My plea is that as I am unemployed just completed studies no job become burden to my olding parents.Like me I think there are many middle class teens doing nothing as we are not offered jobs for our disability.please provide us some opportunity to work to eat some time and support our family.Thanks sir,sorry if anything wrong said
Kamal D Shah said…
We would be happy to do so. Please send me an email with your resume.