Kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that help clear and filter the blood from toxins, excess fluids and waste in the form of urine and support overall fluid and mineral balance in the blood. In case of kidney failure, these functions are no longer performed by kidneys and if left untreated, this will be life-threatening.
Dialysis is a treatment required when you develop end-stage kidney failure. In kidney failure, your kidneys do not carry the regular body functioning.
Dialysis keeps your body in balance by:
Symptoms of Kidney Failure
What are the different types of dialysis?
There are two kinds of dialysis – hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.
FAQs on dialysis
How long the hemodialysis process takes? Is it a day procedure?
A hemodialysis session lasts for 4-5 hours and 3 times a week. It’s a day procedure where you get discharged the same day.
The time taken depends upon the following factors.
Can dialysis cure my kidney disease?
Dialysis is only a temporary arrangement where it performs some functions of healthy kidneys, but it does not cure kidney diseases. To completely cure kidney disease, you will have to undergo dialysis treatments for life or you will have to get a kidney transplant.
Is dialysis painful?
Dialysis is pain-free treatment, but you may experience certain discomfort when the needles are being put into your fistula or graft or during the process, some patients may have a low blood pressure which may lead to temporary sicknesses like vomit, dizziness, headache or cramps.
Do I have to intake a special diet while being on hemodialysis?
Dialysis patients may need a special diet intake depending upon the type of dialysis you are undergoing. You may also have to limit your liquid intake according to your doctor’s prescription.
Can I continue to work after the hemodialysis session?
Yes, dialysis patients can return to work once they get used to the treatment. This may not apply for a job that is labor-intensive.
How long can you live on dialysis?
In the case of kidney failure, you either will have to undergo dialysis treatment for life or you will have to get a kidney transplant. Usually, the average life expectancy for a person undergoing dialysis is 5-10 years but in some cases, the life expectancy goes up to 20 years or more. This depends upon the severity of your medical condition and how well you follow your treatment plan.
Can I lead a normal life with hemodialysis?
Yes, you can lead a normal life with hemodialysis since after every session it makes you feel better as it helps reduce many problems caused by kidney failure. It only during the time of the dialysis process you might feel uncomfortable but with the time you can get used to it.
Dr. Mohammed Imran is a Consultant Nephrology at Sahyadri Narayana Multispeciality Hospital, Shimoga.
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