Posted on: 22 June 2018Share
Kidney disease can eventually cause your kidneys to lose all functionality. When this happens, they can no longer remove waste and toxins from your body, allowing them to buildup. At this stage in kidney disease, your doctor will likely recommend dialysis. If you are nervous about starting dialysis, check out these three frequently asked questions.
What Types of Dialysis Are Available?
There are two types of dialysis from which to choose: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Hemodialysis is a process that cleans your blood outside of your body. During treatment, your blood is sent through an external filter, which removes the waste and toxins. The blood is then returned to your body, free from waste. Peritoneal dialysis uses a fluid that is injected into your stomach to remove waste. During dialysis, the fluid is injected and absorbs the waste. Once the waste has been absorbed, the liquid is then removed. This process can be done by hand, but a machine can also do it for you.
Can Dialysis Be Done at Home?
Both types of dialysis can be performed at home. In fact, peritoneal dialysis is almost always performed at home. Thanks to advancements in technology, you can now have your own dialysis machine at home, such as a Baxter dialysis machine. While the initial cost may be expensive, the dialysis machine is actually an investment in your future because it gives you more time to do what you want and to spend with your loved ones instead of at a facility. Plus, without all the travel expenses of frequent trips to the facility, you can actually recoup your investment.
Are There Alternatives to Dialysis?
Dialysis treats final stage kidney disease, which means other treatments have failed to work or slow the progression of the disease. Therefore, the only alternative to dialysis treatments is a kidney transplant. However, the process to get a donor kidney can be long, and while you wait for a donor kidney, you will still need to undergo dialysis to keep your blood and body clean from toxins. If you know someone whose kidney is a perfect match with yours, and they are willing to donate, you won't have to wait. After surgery, you will no longer need to undergo dialysis because the new kidney will begin to work and function like your own kidney. Keep in mind, however, that even with medications to prevent your body from rejecting the donor, it may still reject the new kidney.
If you have chronic kidney disease, and your doctor has told you it's time to start dialysis treatments, you can choose at-home options. By choosing to do dialysis at home, you have the freedom to set your own schedule. If you would like more information about kidney dialysis treatment, contact your doctor today and ask about at-home dialysis.