Some Facts About Hemodialysis

Notice and Disclaimer: This site and this article contain informational content that is intended for educational purposes only. We do not offer medical advice and do not claim to know the best way to treat any disease you may have. Discuss this and any other information you get about kidney disease with your personal healthcare provider before embarking upon any self-treatment programs.

Healthy Kidneys are essential for the functioning of the body. They help in keeping the blood clean and removing extra fluids from the body in the form of urine. Unfortunately, sometimes due to chronic kidney disease, the organ loses its capacities to function properly. In such cases, patients are placed on dialysis that helps replace such kidney functions. One type of dialysis is hemodialysis.

What is hemodialysis?

Hemodialysis is a method in which waste products such as urea and creatinine are removed from the body during a renal failure. This is done by removing blood from the body, filtering it and returning the filtered blood into the body. A machine called a dialyzer is used to filter out excess fluids and salt from the body and is the most common treatment during advanced kidney failure.

Before going to hemodialysis, heath care professionals check the weight of the patient to determine how much excess fluid is in the body and how much of it needs to be removed. The patient is then put on a dialyzer. The machine is programmed and treatment begins. The machine acts like a pump that keeps a track of blood pressure, bloody flow and other important information. The fluid in the machine, known as the dialysate removes toxins from the blood and then is flushed out.

Advantages of hemodialysis

This treatment is very beneficial as the patient receives help from trained staff. Medical help is also available during an emergency, which is very essential for patients with end stage kidney failure.

Hemodialysis is preferred over peritoneal dialysis as the patients doesn’t have to carry and store a machine.

Another advantage of hemodialysis is that the treatment is carried out only three times a week, giving a patient a good four days a week to relax.

Disadvantages of hemodialysis

The treatment may have some side effects in case of too rapidly or too much fluid being removed from the body. These side effects include fatigue, low blood pressure, leg-cramps, chest pain, headaches and nausea.

The biggest drawback of hemodialysis is that even one session of the treatment cannot be missed. Also, the treatment cannot be shortened without increasing the risk of death. Hemodialysis also increases the risk of sepsis since it exposes the circulatory system to microbes. This risk of infection varies depending on the clinic and machines used.

Other drawbacks of the treatment include long-term complications like neuropathy, amyloidosis and other heart problems.

Things to keep in mind

Patients on hemodialysis should consult their doctors before making plans for long distance travel. Though travelling is not a restriction, doctors just need to check the patient to see if he or she is physically strong enough to travel.

Also, hemodialysis patients can continue working but may have to change their duties if it includes heavy manual labor. Other than that, 9 to 5 desk jobs and light manual labor poses as no threat to the patient.

If you do not require dialysis just yet, there is still plenty one can do to assist the kidneys in healing. The best treatments to date, in reversing kidney disease, come from natural medicine and dietary changes. One can increase kidney function from simple dietary changes, herbal medicines, and specific nutritional vitamins.

In order to reduce your probability of having increasingly complicated kidney problems, you should visit your health professional or naturopath for advice and treatment. If discovered early enough, kidney disease can be treated effectively using natural medicines. Here is a link to a natural kidney disease treatment program you might find useful: Fight Kidney Disease with Diet and Exercise