Dialysis Disequilibrium Syndrome (DDS) Quiz

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Reviewed By:

Unnati Patel, MD, MSc

Unnati Patel, MD, MSc (Primary Care Physician)

Dr Patel graduated from the Zhejiang University School of Medicine. She worked in clinical research at the University of Illinois in Chicago and University of Nevada in Las Vegas focused on culturally adapted health interventions for preventive medicine in the community setting. Received her Master's of Science in Global Health (concentration in Health Policy) from Georgetown University, during which she worked with the WHO in Sierra Leone and Save the Children in Washington, D.C. Unnati went on to complete her family medicine residency in Chicago, Illinois at Norwegian American Hospital. | | She is currently working as a primary care physician in the city of Chicago and completing her Master's of Business Administration at the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management and Fellowship in Leadership in Value-Based Care.

Shohei Harase, MD

Shohei Harase, MD (Neurology)

Dr. Harase spent his junior and senior high school years in Finland and the U.S. After graduating from the University of Washington (Bachelor of Science, Molecular and Cellular Biology), he worked for Apple Japan Inc. before entering the University of the Ryukyus School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Okinawa Prefectural Chubu Hospital, where he received the Best Resident Award in 2016 and 2017. In 2021, he joined the Department of Cerebrovascular Medicine at the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, specializing in hyperacute stroke.

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  • Dialysis Disequilibrium Syndrome (DDS) as well as similar diseases can be checked at the same time.

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  • My body is jerking

  • Pulsating headache

  • Twitching

  • Headache on the side of my head

  • Nausea improves with vomiting

  • Headache over the entire head

  • Fever seizures (with fever of >100.4°F / 38°C)

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Learn more about Dialysis Disequilibrium Syndrome (DDS)

Content updated on Jan 19, 2024

What is dialysis disequilibrium syndrome (DDS)?

Dialysis disequilibrium syndrome occurs when a group of neurological symptoms arise in patients on hemodialysis due to the sudden and rapid removal of urea, a waste product, from their blood. These symptoms include nausea, headaches, vomiting, and restlessness. More severe symptoms can lead to seizures and comas.

Symptoms of dialysis disequilibrium syndrome (DDS)

  • Kidney failure on dialysis

  • Headache

  • Seizure

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • My brain is not functioning right now

  • Fatigue

  • Leg cramps

  • Weakness in arms or legs

Questions your doctor may ask to check for dialysis disequilibrium syndrome (DDS)

  • Are you currently on dialysis?

  • Do you have headaches or a heavy feeling in your head?

  • Have you had a seizure?

  • Are you feeling nauseous or have you been vomiting?

  • Do you struggle to focus or feel less aware of your surroundings?

Treatment for dialysis disequilibrium syndrome (DDS)

Your doctor may prescribe fluids and some medications aimed at reducing the pressure in your head to alleviate the symptoms. After that, your hemodialysis prescription will likely be adjusted to prevent future recurrences.

View the symptoms of Dialysis Disequilibrium Syndrome (DDS)

Diseases related to Dialysis Disequilibrium Syndrome (DDS)

References

  • Bhandari B, Komanduri S. Dialysis Disequilibrium Syndrome. [Updated 2023 May 29]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK559018/

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK559018/

User testimonials

Reviewed By:

Unnati Patel, MD, MSc

Unnati Patel, MD, MSc (Primary Care Physician)

Dr Patel graduated from the Zhejiang University School of Medicine. She worked in clinical research at the University of Illinois in Chicago and University of Nevada in Las Vegas focused on culturally adapted health interventions for preventive medicine in the community setting. Received her Master's of Science in Global Health (concentration in Health Policy) from Georgetown University, during which she worked with the WHO in Sierra Leone and Save the Children in Washington, D.C. Unnati went on to complete her family medicine residency in Chicago, Illinois at Norwegian American Hospital. | | She is currently working as a primary care physician in the city of Chicago and completing her Master's of Business Administration at the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management and Fellowship in Leadership in Value-Based Care.

Shohei Harase, MD

Shohei Harase, MD (Neurology)

Dr. Harase spent his junior and senior high school years in Finland and the U.S. After graduating from the University of Washington (Bachelor of Science, Molecular and Cellular Biology), he worked for Apple Japan Inc. before entering the University of the Ryukyus School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Okinawa Prefectural Chubu Hospital, where he received the Best Resident Award in 2016 and 2017. In 2021, he joined the Department of Cerebrovascular Medicine at the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, specializing in hyperacute stroke.

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