Living with Dialysis
Living with Dialysis
Kidney disease tend to progress and though there is no cure for chronic kidney disease, the disease can be managed. Treatment aims to prevent and slow down damage to your kidneys, as well as treating the underlying causes such as diabetes and high blood pressure. It involves taking medication and making lifestyle changes to prevent further damage to your kidneys.
Sometimes, we are unable to prevent the progression of the disease and the kidneys fail to function properly or sufficiently. This leads to an accumulation of waste and toxic products, which can irreversibly damage organs and body cells. It is important to manage this well as it is a potentially life threatening condition. Kidney failure may be treated with hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis or kidney transplantation.
A kidney transplants involves surgically placing a healthy kidney from a living or deceased donor into your own body. Kidney transplants have high success rates and is the best means of treatment as the transplanted kidney can almost totally replace the function of the failed kidney. It allows to patient to lead a normal life. Unfortunately, the waiting list of kidney transplant is long. The average waiting time is 9 years and patients would need to remain on dialysis.
Dialysis keeps the body in balance by removing build up of waste, salt and extra water. It also helps to control blood pressure and ensure safe levels of chemicals in the bloods like potassium, sodium and bicarbonate. There are two types of dialysis available – hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis
In Peritoneal Dialysis, a thin tube is placed into the abdomen through a surgery. It makes use of the lining of the abdomen (peritoneal membrane) to help clean the blood as it has many of the kidneys' filtering characteristics. During treatment, dialysis solution fills the abdominal cavity. The dialysis fluid picks up waste products and is then drained out from the body after several hours. Peritoneal Dialysis minimizes the disruption of daily activities and gives patients more control as it can be done at home, at work or while travelling. However, close supervision and cooperation with the healthcare team is essential.
Haemodialysis filters waste and excess fluids from the blood using a machine called “artificial kidney”. Minor surgery is done to create an access into the blood vessels. During dialysis, one needle will be inserted in the access to remove blood. The blood will be pumped from the body to a special filter called the dialyser. Cleansed blood, free of waste products and excess water, is then returned to the body by another larger tube. Haemodialysis treatments are performed three times a week and each session lasts about 4 hours. The access need to be cleaned and taken care of daily to avoid infection.
Most patients need an initial adjustment period when they first start dialysis. However, patients are still able to have a good quality of life with dialysis treatment. Dialysis sessions can be scheduled to fit into their routine and patients are able to continue with their education, work and recreational activities Both methods of dialysis have possible complications and risks, including infection. The stress of repeatedly having to do dialysis can also take its toll on emotional well-being.
Main cause of Kidney Disease?
Will I need to change my diet if I have kidney disease?
Your kidneys help to keep the correct balance of nutrients and minerals in your body. If you have kidney disease, your kidneys may not be able to do this job very well. You may need to control the amount of protein, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium in your diet. Eating a reduced amount of the above may help control the buildup of waste and fluid in your blood. This means your kidneys do not have to work as hard to remove the extra waste and fluid. Note that if you have diabetes or high blood pressure, you will also need to continue to follow a special diet for these conditions.