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Anxiety During Dialysis


© 1997 Andrew Lundin, M.D. All rights reserved. Reproduced with permission.

Several patients have spoken of anxiety during dialysis limiting the time they can spend on the machine. I had several patients with this problem and tried the natural medication called valerian which has been discussed in this list before. A nice piece from Andrew Weil provided by Dale Ester gave some background. I was told that valium is the "essential" allopathic ingredient of valerian (anybody know for sure?).

As such is would not be surprising that valium also has more side effects. By the way, the valerian worked very well, so much so that the patients recommended it to family members.

Sometimes problems with staying on dialysis can be due to "jumpy legs". This was a topic of conversation about one month ago. My personal experience is that swallowed air was a major cause of this problem and treatment with coated activated charcoal tabs and/or peppermint were very helpful.

The post-dialysis "wired" feeling mentioned has been a common problem for me, accentuated when I have "something on my mind". It just will not go away. I used to take valium but didn't like the side effects and didn't give satisfying sleep. Valerian also does not seem to work very well.

Other sleeping pills have too many residual effects. I finally took my mother-in-law's advice and tried her favorite sleeping device - acetaminophen or Tylenol. It works like a charm. It works fast and I sleep the whole night. Who has a similar experience?

Peter Lundin, M.D.

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