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Dialysis

by Dr. Saurabh Pokhariyal & Dr. Vishal Saxena

Q. When is dialysis needed?
Ans.
  • You need dialysis when you develop kidney failure (stage V CKD), usually by this time kidney function is less than 15 %.
Q. What does dialysis do?
Ans.
  • Dialysis does the following:
  • Removes wastes, salt and extra water building up in the body
  • Keeps a safe level of certain chemicals in your blood, such as potassium, sodium and bicarbonate
  • Helps to control blood pressure
Q. Are there different types of dialysis?
Ans.
  • Yes, there are two types of dialysis- hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.
Q. How long do hemodialysis treatment last?
Ans.
  • The time needed for your dialysis depends on:
  • How well your kidneys work
  • How much fluid weight you gain between the dialysis treatments
  • How much waste you have in your body
  • How big you are
  • The type of artificial kidney used
  • Usually, each hemodialysis treatment lasts about four hours and is done three times per week.
Q. Will dialysis help cure the kidney disease?
Ans.
  • Dialysis only replaces partly some of the functions of the failed kidney. It has no effect on the failed kidney or the disease causing kidney failure.
Q. Is dialysis uncomfortable?
Ans.
  • You may have some discomfort when the needles are put into your fistula or graft, but most patients have no other problems. The dialysis treatment itself is painless.
Q. Do dialysis patients feel normal?
Ans.
  • Many patient live normal lives except for the time needed for treatments. Dialysis usually makes you feel better because it takes care of many of the symptoms and signs caused by kidney failure.
Q. Do dialysis patients have to control their diets?
Ans.
  • Yes. You may be on a special diet. You may not be able to eat everything you like, and you may need to limit how much you drink. Your diet may vary according to the type of dialysis. Usually a salt, potassium and fluid restricted diet is advised. Dialysis patients normally require a high protein diet.

Q. Can dialysis patients continue to work?
Ans.
  • Many dialysis patients can go back to work after they have gotten used to dialysis. If your job has a lot of physical labor (heavy lifting, digging etc.), you may need to get a different job.
Q. Will I have to quit work when I start dialysis?
Ans.
  • No, You should not have to quit work when you start dialysis. Keeping your job provides benefit including, income, health insurance, self-esteem and friendships.

Q. Can I travel on dialysis?
Ans.
  • Yes. With proper planning, you can travel while on dialysis. Plan well in advance with your treating doctor.
Q. What can I do if I am on dialysis and I am thirsty?
Ans.
  • Thirst is a very common problem for people on dialysis, and if you are thirsty, it probably means you are trying to stay within your fluid limits. Good for you, this will help you stay healthier! Here are a few tips.
  • Reduce salt in the diet. Salt makes you thirsty.
  • Follow regular thrice a week dialysis
  • Drink small amounts of water or ice cubes.