People who have failed or damaged kidneys normally have difficulties and a rough time when it comes to eliminating waste products from their body. Carrying out the process of kidney dialysis tends to help a lot in these situations. A dialysis of the kidneys keeps your body in balance by removing the extra water and salt from building up in the body. For one to be able to keep a safe level of chemicals in the blood such as sodium and potassium, they have to go through the process of dialysis. This helps a lot in the control of a person’s high blood pressure.
Dialysis replaces the general work of the kidneys. This is also known as a renal placement. There are certain things that a normal kidney can do that doesn’t work with dialysis such as the following:
- Secretion of certain products in the body that are important for metabolism.
- Production and the release of hormones into the bloodstream
- Production of Renin that helps to control blood pressure.
A person who has a healthy kidney should be able to filter in 120 to 150 quarts of blood every day. If the kidneys are not functioning normally as they should, dialysis can be done so as to prevent toxins and other drugs from the blood from building up and becoming hazardous.
Types of kidney dialysis
There are 3 main types of kidney dialysis that can be done:
- Peritoneal Dialysis – This type of dialysis works through diffusion. It involves the removal of impurities that are in the blood by filtering it. It’s a type of dialysis that takes a longer time to eliminate waste products from the body, but it is also known to give the patient the freedom and independence because it can be done at home instead of going to the hospital.
- Intermittent Hemodialysis – This is when the blood gets to circulate outside the body. The blood goes through special machines that have filters. It can be done for 3 to four hours in a day and it is suitable for people that are found to be stable while on dialysis, and those that do not have diseases that can be a threat to the process.
- Continuous renal replacement therapies – This is the type of dialysis that is designed for the intensive care unit. It normally runs for 24 hours.
Risks associated with kidney dialysis
As much as kidney dialysis is known to save lives, there are also certain risks that are involved in the process. A person can be said to be at a high risk of contracting infections. There could also be issues pertaining to weight gain. Other commonly known issues that affect patients that go through kidney dialysis include the following:
- High levels of depression
- Lack of enough blood cells that leads to anemia
- The rise of potassium levels in the body
- Pain in the abdomen cavity and muscles
- Itchy skin
- Difficulties in sleeping
- Pain and swelling of the joints
How diet helps in kidney dialysis
Having a balanced and nutritional diet is very important especially when it comes to patients that are undergoing kidney dialysis. Many patients who are undergoing this process will tend to ask themselves questions such as the following:
What can you eat?
A person or patient undergoing this kind of treatment should ensure that their food has high amounts of proteins in it. Foods that have high levels of proteins in it such as meat and poultry products will provide the patients with the essential amino acids that they might need.
What shouldn’t you eat?
If you happen to be undergoing kidney dialysis, it is not advisable to eat foods that are rich in sodium and potassium. Reasons being to avoid any complications that might arise during the dialysis process. The amount of fluid intake is also recommended to be minimal.
Costs involved in kidney dialysis
In general kidney dialysis setting, a patient is supposed to spare 3 to 5 hours of treatment in a day or on specified days in a week. A one-year dialysis can cost a patient up to US$72,000. This cost is for the treatment that would happen three times a week and for those patients that haven’t been covered by an insurance. A study done by Health Affairs in the US showed that a normal US patient would pay US$114 for kidney dialysis and other related drugs that are involved.
Purpose and benefits of kidney dialysis
It is important for everyone who is undergoing dialysis to know that dialysis isn’t a cure for kidney disease or any other kidney-related problem. The most important reason as to why dialysis is normally carried out is to control the level of chemicals that are in the blood. It is important and advisable that a patient continues to go through dialysis until a kidney transplant can be conducted. It is also important to ensure that the patient has comfortable clothing on them.