What Is Dialysis?

To understand the meaning of this term, it is important to know the functions of the kidney. The primary role of this vital organ in the body is to remove waste products through the process of filtering them from the system. This process is what is commonly known as ultra-filtration. Having understood this function of the kidney, it is easier to understand the process of dialysis which is the artificial replacement of the kidneys. Due to renal (or kidney) failure, patients are normally in need of this artificial process for their survival.

There are two types of dialysis treatment

Peritoneal dialysis and Hemodialysis. The latter is done in hospitals where the machine does the process of ultra-filtration and circulates the blood back into the body. For the process to be successful, it is a mandatory for a shunt to be implanted in the arm or chest through surgical means. It is worth noting that it has to be done 2-3 times within a week and for a duration of 3-4 hours. On the other hand, the former can be performed at home due to the portability of the necessary equipment. This should be done on a daily basis.

To whom does this form of treatment apply?

This treatment is important to those people with renal failure commonly referred to as kidney failure. A person with this medical condition has problems in proper filtration of waste and toxins in the blood. Patients with renal failure can be classified into two categories: chronic kidney disease and kidney injury. Drug overdose has been found to be one of the major causes of renal failure. Despite the fact that patients recover from the condition, there are chances that they will suffer from it in the future.

Polycystic kidney disease and diabetes Mellitus are considered as the major causes of chronic kidney disease. A higher percentage of people with the disease have been found it to be in their family history. As opposed to the acute failure, patients with the chronic kidney disease are unable to recover and, therefore, need dialysis treatment for the rest of their lives.

How is life for those under the treatment?

Living under the treatment calls for commitment and sacrificing a lot of one’s time for a healthy body. This is particularly so when one is under the peritoneal type treatment that requires a patient to do the treatment every day. For success in this form of treatment, the patient has the responsibility of ensuring that the surface of the abdomen is always clean. This precaution is normally taken as a measure to ensure that there are no risks of infections.
In general, this form of treatment is associated with strict adherence to a certain form of lifestyle and dietary options. Achieving this is not an easy task as it may seem for it call for fortitude and commitment. Patients with renal failure, however, need to understand that this is possible and one of the crucial techniques for ensuring and guaranteeing a happy life.

Sourced from: dugout
Photo: Thinkstock/Dario Lo Presti

Posted on May 5, 2023