When patients near end stage renal disease, a decision must be made regarding the next steps to replace the function of failed kidneys. This usually means transplant, or most likely, dialysis. Dialysis is the most common option for the majority of patients in renal failure. Here are a few things to help you with the truth about dialysis.
Why don’t you just have a kidney transplant?
Transplant is not always a viable option for every patient. There are many factors that may make transplant difficult. Sometimes a donor kidney may not be available when needed, the patient may not qualify for a donor list, or it could also be that the patient may not be healthy enough for the transplant surgery. For these reasons and others, dialysis is often the only option.
Why is dialysis necessary?
When a patient has reached end stage renal disease, kidney function must be replaced otherwise the patient could die. The kidneys are a vital organ and perform tasks that are important for the entire body to continue working. This is evident by some symptoms of kidney disease, as symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, nausea, numbness, and more affect the entire body and not just the kidney area.
Simply put, your body can not continue functioning without the important work of the kidneys.
Does dialysis hurt?
Dialysis is a relatively painless procedure, especially compared to the discomfort of failing kidneys. Most dialysis patients find the process to be easy, and some even take naps during their dialysis treatments. There is sometimes mild discomfort, especially in the beginning, but overall it is a gentle procedure that isn't as invasive as you might think. Generally, a port is put in your arm or abdominal area to facilitate the fluid transfer, so you don't even have to deal with needle pricks at every visit.
Will I always need dialysis?
Chronic kidney disease is a progressive illness that has no cure. It is possible to slow or even stop the progression of kidney disease with proper treatment and a strict diet, but there is no pill or treatment that can make kidney disease go away. Any damage sustained cannot be healed and lost function cannot be regained. This means that once you have reached end stage renal disease and require dialysis, you will always need it to replace the lost function of your kidneys. The only way to escape needing dialysis would be a successful kidney transplant.
Dialysis is a lifesaving procedure for people who have reached end stage renal disease, or kidney failure. This procedure replaces the lost function of the kidneys and helps to filter waste from your blood, which otherwise could cause discomfort, a host of major health issues, and even death. Dialysis may seem like a scary thing to go through, but a little research and a talk with your doctor will help you to understand this important treatment. For more information on the truth about dialysis, click here.