Dialysis for Kidney Healing
Dialysis is used to treat people with kidney failure. According to the Mayo Clinic, hundreds of thousands of people use dialysis to keep healthy when dealing with permanent kidney failure. The procedure uses a machine to do the work of a healthy kidney: filter out waste and salt from the blood.
People who need dialysis usually have kidney failure that stems from a chronic disease. These conditions include diabetes, polycystic kidney disease and high blood pressure. When the kidneys cease to function properly the waste, fluid and salt that is usually cleansed from the blood builds up to dangerous levels. According to the Mayo Clinic, people can live without dialysis until the kidneys are only functioning at a 10 to 15 percent level. People will experience symptoms such as nausea and exhaustion sometimes if the kidneys begin to fail. Beyond acting as a proxy for your kidneys, dialysis can also help keep blood pressure in check and help keep fluids and chemicals in balance.
According to the Mayo Clinic, most people have dialysis sessions three times per week, with each session lasting three to five hours. These sessions can occur at home, in a hospital or a special center specifically for dialysis. Two needles will be placed into your arm during dialysis. Your blood will be drawn through one, filtered through the dialysis machine and then put back into the body with the other. There typically no pain during the procedure, but some people some nausea from the loss of fluid. Typically, you are able to read, sleep, talk on the phone or watch television while undergoing dialysis.
Though dialysis is a fairly safe procedure, there are some risks involved, especially since the person’s health is already compromised. One of the most common side effects is a sudden drop in blood pressure, especially for people with diabetes. If this occurs, you will feel nauseous and may find breathing difficult. Other side effects from dialysis include sleep issues, itchy skin and muscle cramps. Rare but severe side effects include infection, high levels of potassium in the blood and pericarditis.