Everything you need to know about dialysis

The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that help cleanse and filter toxins, excess fluids and waste from the blood in the form of urine and help maintain overall fluid and mineral balance in the blood. In the case of kidney failure, these functions are no longer performed by the kidneys and if left untreated, it would be life threatening.

Dialysis is a treatment if you have end-stage kidney failure. In kidney failure, your kidneys do not perform normal bodily functions.

Dialysis keeps your body in balance in the following ways:

  • removing toxins, waste, salt and excess water from the body
  • maintaining the balance of certain chemicals, such as potassium, sodium and bicarbonate
  • control blood pressure

symptoms of kidney failure

  • Possible symptoms of kidney failure are:
  • decreased urine output
  • Swelling of ankles, feet, legs
  • unexplained shortness of breath
  • Excessive fatigue
  • frequent nausea and others

What are the Different Types of Dialysis?

There are two types of dialysis: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.

hemodialysis One type of dialysis is where an artificial kidney (called a hemodialyzer) helps remove toxins, water, and extra fluid from the blood. This requires the doctor to perform minor surgery in the leg or arm to access your blood vessels. Sometimes the blood vessels can be accessed by connecting the artery to a vein under the skin called a fistula. In cases where a fistula does not form, the doctor uses a plastic tube to complete the procedure, a process called a graft.

peritoneal dialysis Dialysis is a form of dialysis that cleanses your blood in your body. Here, doctors perform surgery to insert a plastic tube (catheter) into your abdomen and gain access. The abdominal area is then filled with dialysate fluid and additional fluid through a catheter and the waste products are removed from the blood.

Frequently asked questions about dialysis

How long does the hemodialysis procedure take? Is it a one day process?

A hemodialysis session lasts 4-5 hours and 3 times a week. It is a one day process where you will be fired on the same day.

The time required depends on the following factors.

  • age
  • kidney health
  • gain weight between treatments
  • bodily waste

Can dialysis cure my kidney disease?

Dialysis is only a temporary arrangement where it takes over some of the functions of a healthy kidney, but it does not cure kidney disease. To completely cure kidney disease, you must be on dialysis for life or have a kidney transplant.

Is dialysis painful?

Dialysis is a painless treatment, but you may experience some discomfort when the needles are inserted into your fistula or graft or low blood pressure may occur in some patients during this procedure, causing temporary symptoms such as vomiting, dizziness, headache. can be problems.

Do I have to follow a special diet during hemodialysis?

Dialysis patients may require a special diet, depending on the type of dialysis you are undergoing. You may need to limit your fluid intake as directed by your doctor.

Can I continue to work after a hemodialysis session?

Yes, dialysis patients can return to work once they are used to the treatment. This may not apply to a job where the effort is very high.

How long can you dialyze?

Kidney failure requires lifelong dialysis or a kidney transplant. Usually, the average survival rate for a person undergoing dialysis is 5-10 years, but in some cases life expectancy reaches 20 years or more. It depends on the severity of your medical condition and how well you follow your treatment plan.

Can I live a normal life with hemodialysis?

Yes, you can live a normal life with hemodialysis as you will feel better after each session as it helps reduce many problems caused by kidney failure. You may feel uncomfortable only during the dialysis process, but over time you can get used to it.

Dr Mohammad Imran | Consultant – Nephrologist | Sahyadri Narayana Multispecialty Hospital, Shimoga

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