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Our Emotions and Chronic Kidney Disease

Ioannis G. Griveas, MD, PhD

W hen patients seek medical attention for CKD, they want relief from the physical anxiety caused by their illness. Mental health care is just as important as physical care. Recognizing feelings that are common to other CKD patients can help you feel less isolated and receive the support you need. Patients are able to tell their doctors what they are feeling physically: pain, fatigue, dizziness, etc. However, many people do not feel comfortable telling their healthcare team what they are feeling emotionally. Your psychological balance is an important part of CKD management. There are common feelings that patients experience when they are initially diagnosed with a chronic illness, although these feelings may be present at any time during treatment.

Fear and anxiety

Fear and anxiety are common emotions when you are diagnosed with a chronic illness such as CKD. We believe that our body has betrayed us. Kidney function is something you take for granted. You no longer have control over your kidney process. You have to rely on dialysis to do your kidney work. You will be wondering how this disease will affect you. You may be worried about the impact on how you take care of your family. Will your loved ones adjust to see you connected to a machine? Will they dislike the constant reminder that you are not as healthy as you once were?


When something bad happens to us, we try to deal with it. We make decisions that can help us adjust or understand what has happened. But when the mental trauma is serious and threatens to overwhelm us, sometimes we deny that something has happened. Although this happens in extreme cases, it can happen if you have been diagnosed with a chronic illness. You can refuse to accept the fact that you are sick, or if you do, you can refuse to believe that you are seriously ill. You may not think that the recommended medications and treatments are necessary.


 Anger feelings are common in patients with CKD. We have gone “crazy” with what has happened to us. We are angry that we are letting our health deteriorate at this point. Sometimes we are angry with the medical community for not taking better care of us or for not diagnosing the disease earlier. Many patients direct this anger at their family members. Anger and resentment can get to the point of adversely affecting your relationship with your family and your healthcare team.

Not feeling well

The feeling of “I’m not well” is a normal part of CKD. Lack of energy and nausea are common symptoms of CKD. But when we feel mentally down, we often feel sad that our body is not functioning properly. We all go through ups and downs in life. But if these feelings develop into despair, frustration or despair and last for more than two weeks, you should tell your doctor. This can be a sign of depression.

 How do I deal with all this?

CKD and the “new” information that accompanies it can “take over” a patient. There is new information you need to know to start a new treatment program. Your energy will be directed to your healing and physical well-being. This can be tedious.

But you also need to control your mental state. You can not let emotions such as fear or anxiety “control” you. Knowledge of CKD and dialysis can help you familiarize yourself with your illness and its treatment. You will not feel so scared or anxious if you know what to expect. A sense of calm can help you sort things out and be able to deal with your illness more effectively. Feelings of denial are a serious problem in your long-term health prognosis. Refusal leads to what is called “non-compliance” – that is, you ignore the health care team ‘s instructions on dialysis treatment, diet and fluid intake. Health professionals at the unit often see patients undergoing dialysis as being at risk, especially if they did not pay attention to what they ate and how much water they drank. But sometimes dialysis can not reverse the effects of non-compliance. Hospitalization may be required.

Do not leave things to chance. CKD is a serious disease. Listen carefully to the team that cares for you and follow their recommendations. If you do not understand something, ask questions. Anger can isolate you and prevent you from seeking help or comfort from people who care about your health. While expressing your anger can help reduce it, it can lead to more frustration because you do not understand its root. You can hit people who are not the cause of your anger. This can limit the relationships with those around you. Talking about why you are angry can help you determine the cause.

Depression can affect how you decide on your treatment. Because a dialysis patient must be actively involved in their daily fluid and nutrition therapy, you need to have a clear mind to make the best decisions. Depression can make you procrastinate, or even deliberately make irrational decisions. If your doctor diagnoses you with severe depression, he or she may prescribe some antidepressants. But first, he must know how you are feeling. He can not know if you do not tell him. Talking to someone about your feelings is essential. Do not feel that you have to find a way to deal with it yourself. Most patients benefit from discussing their feelings with their healthcare team, family, friends and other CKD patients. Help is out there. You just need the courage to make the initial contact.


Exercise and Chronic Kidney Disease

Life with Chronic Kidney Disease Exercise and Chronic Kidney Disease

Physical condition is very important in today’s world. Everyone enjoys the benefits of greater endurance and better body health. Exercise keeps the body healthy and strong.

Can a person with CKD take part in intense physical activity?

Yes. In the past, people with kidney disease were considered unable to engage in strenuous activity. We now know that patients who decide to follow an exercise program are stronger and have more energy.

How can exercise benefit?

In addition to increasing energy, other benefits of exercise may include: improving bodily muscle function better control of blood pressure improving muscle strength lowering blood lipid levels (cholesterol and triglycerides) better sleep better weight control.

Does the patient need to see his doctor before starting the exercise?

Yes. Before starting any exercise program, you should discuss four issues with your doctor:

  • the type of exercise
  • the time you will spend exercising
  • how often it will be exercised
  • how hard you will work during the exercise.

Here are some tips for everyone:

Type of Exercise Choose continuous activity, such as walking, swimming, cycling (indoors or outdoors), skiing, dancing, aerobics or any other activities in which large muscle groups need to move constantly.

Plan your schedule to use low weights and plenty of repetitions, and to avoid lifting heavy objects.

How long will the exercise last?

About 30 minutes per session is a good time. One has to come to this level gradually. If you feel good walking 45 to 60 minutes is a good scenario ..

How often do you exercise?

Exercise at least three days a week. These should be non-consecutive days, for example, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Three days a week is the minimum requirement for achieving the expected benefits.

How “hard” can one exercise?

This is the most difficult answer. Usually, the following ideas are helpful:

  • Breathing should not be so laborious that you can not talk to someone who exercises with you. (Try to get an exercise partner, such as a family member or friend.)
  • You should feel completely normal within an hour of exercising. (If not, slow down next time.)
  • You should not feel so much muscle pain that keeps you away from exercising for the next session.
  • Start each session slowly to warm up, then increase your pace, then slow down again when you are ready to finish. The most important thing is to start slowly and gradually, to allow your body to adapt to increased levels of activity.

When should one exercise?

Try to plan your exercise on a regular day. Here are some ideas on when to exercise:

  • Wait an hour after a large meal.
  • Avoid the very hot hours of the day.
  • Morning or evening seems to be the best time to exercise.
  • It is advisable to avoid exercising less than an hour before bedtime.

When should one stop exercising?

If you feel very tired If you have difficulty breathing If you feel chest pain If you feel “tachycardia”.

If you feel sick to your stomach.

If you have leg cramps.

If you feel dizzy or faint.

Are there times when exercise should be avoided?

Yes. One should not exercise without talking to your doctor in any of the following cases: fever, you have changed your dialysis schedule, you have changed your medication schedule.

Your physical condition has changed. you have eaten too much. the weather is very hot and humid, unless you are exercising in an air-conditioned area.

You have joint or bone problems that get worse with exercise. If you stop exercising for any of these reasons, talk to your doctor before starting again.



Region of Eastern Attica

The region of Eastern Attica is the third most populous area after the urban complexes of Athens and Thessaloniki, according to the 2011 census. Also, the largest airport in the country in Spata, but also two constantly developing ports, that of Rafina and Lavrio, are within its borders.

Patients from all regions of Greece and abroad who want to either spend a few days in Athens before traveling to other destinations or to stay and spend their holidays under the  sky of Athens now have the opportunity to implement their plans without hassle and waste of time.

The “Polyxenia – Renal” Chronic Dialysis Unit is located in the center of the Municipality of Kropia with direct and fast access to all major roads (Attiki Odos, Varis-Koropiou Avenue, Lavriou Avenue). It is just 10 minutes from the largest airport in the country “Eleftherios Venizelos” and 30 minutes from any coastal destination either east or south of the Prefecture of Attica. Its infrastructure but mainly the offer of its medical-nursing staff provide security and a high level of integrated services to patients. If you decide to spend a few days at your holiday home in Saronida, stay a few days in Athens before visiting an island or discover new destinations that will help you relax and rejuvenate without leaving Athens, we are ready to welcome you.

You can come to our Unit easily and quickly from any destination in Attica. You can use the underground parking and safely enter our space in a controlled manner. At the reception, our experienced staff welcomes you and prepares you for joining our unit system. It is willing to answer all your questions about the geography of the place and your access to all the tourist destinations in the area.

The medical and nursing staff prepares your dialysis and guides you in our area, pointing out basic practices of our operation. In our unit the main rule is your safety and the cultivation of a sense of intimacy. Our unit is bright, cheerful, comfortable, with large spaces, providing privacy and use of new, pioneering machinery and equipment in combination with innovative products. Before or after your session you will have the opportunity to use the modern space of our locker rooms so that either you come from a business meeting or you go after an excursion to prepare comfortably and observing all safety rules.

During your stay a network of doctors will be ready to support and care for you at any time.

Key Points of Your Preparation

  • Talk to your unit doctors about your travel plans. A 2-week schedule is recommended. Contact us to prepare your trip in the best possible way.
  • If you travel by plane, inform the company about your needs and if you stay in a hotel, inform about your special wishes (eg food).
  • Make sure you have all the necessary documents of your insurance company (eg, health booklet, health card, etc.).


Vacations can give you a sense of freedom, independence and at the same time meet and spend time with family and friends and visit new places.

The change of environment, the time you will spend in your cottage, in the hotel, the contact with the sea and the sun but also the acquaintance with areas that you have not visited are just some of the opportunities you have living in one of the beautiful areas of Eastern Attica.


Athenian panorma by night under the cloudy sky, Greece


Amphitheater of Acropolis in Athens, Greece


Traditional windmills, the symbol of Mykonos at sunset, Greece

Stavros Niarchos culture center

Foundation of Stavros Niarchos culture center architecture design, Athens, Greece


Mikrolimano harbour and yacht marina, Piraeus, Greece

Athens International Airport

Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos, Greece


Beach and boats!

Rafina port

Rafina port in Athens.

centre dialysis
in Eastern Attica 

  • Easy access

  • Basement PARKING 13 places

  • Perfect operation of the unit with minimization of routes and the excellent relationship between its individual spaces.

  • The creation of a pleasant and friendly environment for the comfortable long stay of patients and attendants.

  • The clear demarcation of the treatment areas from the rest of the unit and the ensuring as much as possible a sense of privacy to patients.

  • Landscaping of the premises in such a way as to ensure the partitioning of the works and to ensure, where desired, isolation to limit the spread of infections.