The kidneys filter the blood and remove harmful waste products and excess fluid by transferring them to the urine, which is then discharged out of the body. However, when the kidneys fail, the body becomes saturated with water and waste particles, resulting in life-threatening conditions, known as Chronic Renal Failure (CRF). This is a condition that involves a gradual loss of kidney function and is also commonly known as chronic kidney disease (CKD). So, in order to remove waste products and excess fluid from the blood, Dialysis is performed.
What is Dialysis?
Dialysis is a procedure done when kidneys are failing. When the kidney stops working, the wastes and toxins get built up in the bloodstream. Dialysis does the work of your kidneys and allows people to lead a normal healthy life by removing waste products and excess fluid from the blood. However, the life changes with the inclusion of a few lifestyle and dietary restrictions.
Who Needs Dialysis?
Dialysis may be required for those who have kidney failure or are suffering from end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Kidney disease is caused by injuries and diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and lupus. They might also occur for no apparent reason in some people. Kidney failure can be a chronic disorder resulting in serious illness or damage.
At this point, kidneys work around 10% to 15% of their normal function. To stay alive, you may need dialysis or a kidney transplant. While waiting for a transplant, some people go through dialysis.
Types of dialysis -
Hemodialysis:Hemodialysis is a procedure that involves removing blood from the body, filtering it through a dialyzer (artificial kidney), and then restoring the cleaned blood to the body. This procedures may take 3-4 hour in three times a week in any hospital or dialysis center.
Home hemodialysis is an option as well. At-home treatments may be required four to seven times per week for fewer hours each session. The person can undergo hemodialysis at home while sleeping at night.
Peritoneal dialysis:Peritoneal dialysis is a procedure in which a peritoneal dialysis (PD) catheter is implanted into the abdomen. The peritoneum, a membrane in the abdomen, filters the blood with the catheter. Dialysate, a special fluid, is injected into the peritoneum during treatment. Waste is collected by the dialysate and the waste is drained from the abdomen. This procedure takes a few hours to complete and needs to be done four to six times per day. Fluid exchange, on the other hand, can be done while you're sleeping or awake. Peritoneal dialysis is available in a variety of forms.
The most important is
Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD):CAPD involves filling and emptying your abdomen several times a day. This procedure does not require the use of a machine and must be done while awake.
Continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT):This treatment is generally used in the critical care unit for people who are suffering from acute renal failure. Hemofiltration is another name for it, where blood is pumped through tubing by a machine. The waste products are subsequently removed using filters. This procedure takes 12 to 24 hours a day, on a daily basis
Procedure in Details
Preparation for Dialysis:
Before the first dialysis treatment, the doctor will surgically insert a tube or device to access your bloodstream. This is usually a quick procedure and the person can get discharged on the same day. It is best to wear comfortable clothes during the treatments. Also, follow the doctor's instructions. These can include fasting for a period before treatment.
What Happens Before, During And After The Dialysis?
Preparing for dialysis depends on the type of dialysis you may need. With hemodialysis, a patient must first undergo minor surgery in the arm. The surgery facilitates access of the needles needed to connect the bloodstream to the dialysis machine. This minor surgery forms either an AV (arteriovenous) fistula or an AV graft.
Although the dialysis procedure is painless, the person may experience some discomfort when the needles are inserted and can also have dizziness, a headache, an upset stomach, or cramping. After the first few treatments, these normally go away. Since the lifestyle changes, some people get sad or depressed. Talk to a doctor if any of these worries you.
The dialysis treatment itself is painless. However, some patients may experience a drop in blood pressure, sickness, vomiting, headaches, or cramps. These issues can usually go away with frequent treatments.
Do's and Dont's
|Do’s for Chronic Renal Failure (CRF) Patients||Don'ts for Chronic Renal Failure (CRF) Patients|
|Follow a proper diet:Protein-rich foods such as eggs, salmon, quinoa, soy milk, and almond milk are excellent for kidney diets. To reduce sodium intake, choose lean meat that is free of salt and additional sauces.||Do not consume more than 1200 milligrams of sodium per day and avoid high amounts of sodium. There is a big NO for canned and packed foods.|
|Track the quantity of fluid you drink: Dialysis removes the fluid from the body but if you have excess liquid, then you may feel sick and your blood pressure can fall.||Avoid tomatoes, potatoes, whole-grain meals, and oranges, and consume a healthy diet rich in potassium.|
|Have a proper time schedule:Take a regular walk, get enough sleep, and make sure to take your medications on time.||Do not take medications without consulting a doctor. Make sure you understand each medicine and have it on time!|
|Avoid stress: Have medications and focus on your breathing. This will help you to avoid any unnecessary stress.||Say NO to the consumption of liquids, phosphorous, potassium, and sodium as these can cause serious issues.|
|Consume less salty foods: Consuming salt can cause major health problems due to sodium's ability to raise blood pressure and promote fluid retention.|
What Happens If I Stop Dialysis?
You have the right to stop treatment, but it's important to discuss the decision with your doctor. Dialysis requires a time commitment and can leave some people feeling depressed and frustrated. Changes to your treatment plan may help you feel better, so talk to your care team.
However, you may come to a point when you feel like stopping kidney dialysis. The care team may advise you to speak with a counsellor or other mental health expert before stopping. This can help you in ensuring that your decision to stop is not based on emotional causes or depression, both of which can be handled.
Kidneys are complicated and powerful organs that do many essential tasks to keep you healthy. Watch out for any abnormal symptoms and seek timely medical care to protect your kidneys.
At Medicover Hospitals, we have set up state-of-the-art Dialysis Centres across India with high standards of protocols and world-class technologies. We offer unparalleled kidney care and treatment to our patients delivering superior outcomes each time.