Dialysis is a treatment that takes over your kidney functions if they are unable to function. If you are slowly losing kidney function over time (chronic kidney disease), you’ll need dialysis or a kidney transplant at some point.
There are two types of dialysis:
- Hemodialysis: Blood is put through a filter outside your body, cleaned, and then returned to you. This is done either at a dialysis facility or at home.
- Peritoneal dialysis: Blood is cleaned inside the body. A special fluid is put into your abdomen to absorb waste from the blood that passes through small vessels in your abdominal cavity. The fluid is then drained away. This type of dialysis is typically done at home.
Dialysis treatments should not be painful, so if you do experience discomfort, tell your doctor right away. Common side effects include low blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, dry or itchy skin, muscle cramps, or fatigue.
A doctor will run a thorough examination to determine if dialysis is right for you. You may choose to start treatment if lab tests show toxic levels of waste in your blood.
When you should start dialysis depends on your age, energy level, overall health, and how willing you are to commit to a treatment plan. Although it can make you feel better and live longer, it involves a lot of your time.
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- 22 Aug 2018
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