Your kidney’s main function is to filter the excess fluid, waste, and toxins from your blood. Lesser known functions of the kidneys include producing blood cells and improving bone health. Due to their importance, it can be harmful if your kidneys aren’t working properly because those substances build up in your body causing high blood pressure and excess fluid in your tissues which may lead to a condition of swelling, called edema. After kidneys fail, the best course of treatment is kidney dialysis.
Types of Kidney Dialysis
Kidney Dialysis is a type of life support treatment using a machine to filter out the salt, wastes, and excess fluid from your blood. This will give you a normal, well-balanced blood count and it should replace most of your kidney’s primary functions. There are two types of kidney dialysis; Hemodialysis and Peritoneal Dialysis. Hemodialysis allows your blood to be filtered using a dialyzer and a dialysis machine. With the Peritoneal Dialysis, the blood is going to be filters inside your body after cleaning your abdomen with a special cleaning solution.
Who Needs Kidney Dialysis?
Anyone who has kidney disease in its end stages or has permanent kidney failure, will need kidney dialysis. Your doctor will inform you if you have a kidney condition that needs dialysis. You also need dialysis if you have lost 85% or more of your kidney function. In some cases, temporary dialysis can also be necessary. Hemodialysis is needed for people with end-stage kidney disease only. Children who require kidney dialysis usually get peritoneal dialysis.
What to Expect
When you’re receiving kidney dialysis, you should not experience any pain or discomfort for the most part. Some patients might have low blood pressure, cramping, headaches, nausea, or vomiting. Other things you may experience are having less energy, feeling more depressed, or feeling like you have less time to get things done. When undergoing dialysis, you will need to stick to a very strict schedule so that you can still have time for everyday activities. You will receive dialysis treatments 3 times a week for 3-5 hours each time. If you’re getting peritoneal dialysis, you have a bit more independence. You should also take care to avoid infections, which are common with catheters used in dialysis. To prevent infection, wash your hands thoroughly before touhing the catheter, wear a surgical mask, use an antiseptic wipe to clean the access site, and check supplies for signs of contamination.