A healthy kidney has the function of filtering around 1500 liters of blood every day. If the kidneys fail to work properly, waste can accumulate in the blood. This can lead to serious health issues, resulting in coma and even death.
When the kidneys cannot function properly, a person needs to undergo dialysis to keep his/her body in balance. Dialysis performs the of your kidneys until they are functional. The process of dialysis removes waste, salt as well as the extra water, thus preventing them from accumulating in your body. It also ensures to keep certain chemicals in the blood like sodium, bicarbonate, and potassium within optimal levels. Lastly, dialysis also helps in controlling the blood pressure.
Dialysis is mainly of two types; hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. In hemodialysis, a hemodialyzer (artificial kidney) is used for removing the waste and extra chemicals from the blood. The peritoneal dialysis involves a surgery where a catheter is implanted in the stomach area, and a fluid named dialysate flows into the abdomen. This fluid draws out the waste from your abdomen after which it is drained out.
A dialysis can be done in the dialysis unit of the hospital or at your home. The doctor decides on the location based on your preferences and the status of your condition.
There are mainly two types of dialysis treatment that a patient can undergo:
You may need to undergo dialysis in the following conditions:
Dialysis is usually not recommended for the following people:
Dialysis can have the following side effects:
Listed below are some of the post treatment guidelines of a dialysis patient:
The recovery time after undergoing a dialysis varies from person to person. For some it can be 2 hours, for some it is 4 to 6 hours and for few, it takes almost 12 hours to recover completely after the treatment.
The cost of getting a hemodialysis can vary from Rs. 12,000 to Rs. 15,000 per month. A peritoneal dialysis can cost between Rs. 18,000 to Rs. 20,000 per month.
Dialysis can improve the condition of your kidneys and the quality of your life if the damage is in the initial stages. After a few sessions, you can stop the treatment. In the case of a chronic disorder, there is a possibility that you may need to undergo dialysis for the rest of your life.
There are no alternatives to the treatment of dialysis.
The human circulatory system is a highly complex and well-orchestrated system designed with two sets of channels. The arteries are a chain of vessels which carry oxygenated blood to all parts of the body from the heart. The venous system, on the other hand, carries impure or deoxygenated blood from each of the end organs to the heart. These start from minute branches in the distant parts of the body and gradually grow in size until they reach the heart.
These two channels do not interact unless either created artificially or in disease conditions. Naturally, these could be due to developmental anomalies or as a result of an aneurysm and would require a surgical correction. The AV fistula is, however, commonly created naturally in people who have to undergo hemodialysis.
Why an AV fistula: Generally, an artery in the forearm is sewn into a vein in the forearm. This AV fistula may take about 4 months to heal or mature, and a needle is then inserted into the vein during dialysis. When an AV fistula is created, there is a decrease in the peripheral resistance as the blood does not have to exert as much pressure as before, and there is an easy movement of blood into the veins.
How to care for it:
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
A dialysis diet is a special diet that is customized for patients who are or will be starting dialysis within a short period of time. Such a diet is prepared to reduce the waste and fluid levels that keep on accumulating between the dialysis sessions so that the patient remains healthy for the process to be carried out seamlessly.
What can you eat?
Eat foods which are rich in high-quality proteins (poultry, fish, lean meat and egg whites).
Foods high in Sodium
1. Use minimum salt in preparing the dishes; this helps control BP and probable weight gain that might happen between the dialysis sessions.
2. Make use of spices, herbs and other salt-flavored enhancers.
1. Patients on dialysis need to include more of high-quality protein foods in their diet. This will help regulate blood protein levels. Eat about 10 ounces of foods rich in high-quality protein every day.
2. 1 egg, ¼ cup of ricotta cheese, ¼ cup of tuna.
The kidneys are the purifiers of the body; they help in removing the waste from the body through the urine. In those suffering from kidney diseases, the function of the kidney is affected, and so their ability to clear out waste from the body is reduced and completely lost gradually. However, waste continues to form, and therefore, such patients have to undergo dialysis, where the blood is purified through an external device.
The frequency and duration of the dialysis would depend on how effectively the kidneys are still functioning and how much waste has been formed from the time of the previous dialysis session. The person’s overall body mass index (BMI) and the water weight gained are also considered.
Once it is decided that a person’s kidneys are damaged and dialysis is required, the person has to prepare for a long-term process. The following outlines what to expect before, during, and after the dialysis sessions.
Before the session:
Since most people prefer to get it done at a dialysis centre, it is preferable to plan for it, three treatments a week on an average, with each session lasting about 4 to 4 hours.
During the session:
After the session
The same site is used each time for the dialysis, so for the first couple of sessions, there could be discomfort. There could also be nausea, diarrhoea, cramping, and headaches.
The treatment needs to be adjusted based on symptoms, so please let the doctor know if you experience any symptoms.
Call the doctor if you are facing the following:
Though initially uncomfortable, once you get into the dialysis schedule, you will notice the difference of how cleansed you will feel after each session.
Chronic kidney disease is categorized under various stages and your doctor will periodically assess the severity of kidney damage. Thankfully, the good news is that kidney disease progresses slowly and early detection will help to deter further complications.
How stages of Chronic Kidney Disease are Determined?
The stages are determined by glomerular filtration rate or GFR that measures kidney function. The glomerular filtration rate is a calculation that estimates how well the blood is filtered by the kidneys. It is usually calculated using a formula that takes into account the individual’s age, gender, race and serum creatinine levels. The lower the GFR, the worse the kidney function and more the damage.
Five Stages of Chronic Kidney Disease
The National Kidney Foundation has created a guideline for nephrologists to help identify the severity of kidney damage and provide the right care accordingly. Each stage calls for different tests and treatments:
|Stage||Description||GFR||What Can Be Done|
|Stage 1||Early kidney damage||90 or above||The exact cause of the kidney disease will be determined by your doctor. Your blood pressure and sugar levels are to be constantly watched out for. Opt for a kidney-friendly diet.|
|Stage 2||Mild kidney damage||60 to 89||Continuously monitor your condition and check how quickly the disease is progressing. Manage high blood pressure and diabetes.|
|Stage 3||Moderate kidney damage||30 to 59||Any complications like anemia, bone disease will be checked and treatment will be administered by your doctor|
|Stage 4||Greater kidney damage||15 to 29||Continue treatment and monitoring. If you are progressing towards kidney failure, consult the best treatment options you have based on your condition|
|Stage 5||Kidney failure||Below 15||Start dialysis, consider kidney transplant and choose the right treatment|
How is Chronic Kidney Disease Treated?
The first step is to determine the cause of the disease and then take the right measures to alleviate it. In most cases diabetes and high blood pressure are the prime reasons. So, simple lifestyle changes can help to prevent the progression of the disease and reduce your symptoms. Here’s what you can do:
The first four stages of chronic disease focus on preserving the kidney function for as long as possible. The stages will help you analyze where you stand and what can be done to prevent kidney failure.
Located right under the rib cage, kidneys are a very important organ of the body. They are not only responsible for purifying your blood from wastes and excess fluid but are also involved in maintaining electrolyte balance, regulating blood pressure and producing red blood cell in the body.
In many cases, due to some medical condition, one or both kidneys may stop functioning properly. If not treated in time, it may lead to complete kidney failure and if the kidneys fail completely, dialysis or transplant may be the only treatment options available.
Dialysis is a treatment in which the blood is filtered and purified artificially using machines. This process is beneficial for those whose kidneys are not able to do their job properly.
Need for dialysis
A functioning kidney prevents the accumulation of excess water, impurities, and wastes inside the body. They also work to maintain the blood pressure level and control the presence of certain chemicals like sodium and potassium.
When the kidneys fail to perform these critical functions, maybe because of some disease or injury, dialysis helps to keep up the healthy functioning of the body as much as possible. As without dialysis all the wastes and fluids will accumulate and poison the body, resulting even in death. However, it must be kept in mind that dialysis is not a cure for kidney diseases; it is just an alternative to their functions.
Types of dialysis
Dialysis is an artificial process of purifying your blood using machines. There are two types of dialysis:
This is one of the most common types of dialysis, where an artificial kidney, known as a hemodialyzer, is used to remove waste and chemicals from the blood. The doctor surgically creates a vascular access into the blood vessels allowing the artificial kidney to perform.
This is a surgical procedure, where a catheter is implanted in the belly area. The treatment involves a special fluid called dialysate which is flowed into the abdomen to clean the blood. Once the blood is cleaned, the fluid is drained from the abdomen. The benefit of this treatment is that you can perform it in your home, without going to a hospital.
Risks in Dialysis
Even though either of these two treatment procedures is life-saving and there is hardly any alternative, these two can also come with risks. The risks include peritonitis, abdominal muscle weakening, high blood sugar level, weight gain, low blood pressure anemia, muscle cramping, insomnia, itching, depression, increased potassium level and pericarditis. If you experience any of these symptoms of the risks involved, then immediately consult your doctor and explain in details.
A patient who is going through dialysis for a long time also has a chance of succumbing to the medical condition called amyloidosis. When the amyloid proteins, which are produced in bone marrow, collects in kidneys, hearts, liver and other organs, amyloidosis occurs. This results in joint pain, stiffness and even swelling.