Scopes and Limits of Renal Dialysis
The kidney serves certain purposes in the body. Primarily, its job is to get rid of excess fluid and waste from the blood. It also secretes hormones that regulate certain functions of the body. The body could not function well if abnormalities with the kidney are present.
However, it is a common belief that dialysis can replace the function of kidneys. This might be true because dialysis can filter excess fluid and waste. It can also help the body produce electrolytes. On the contrary, dialysis cannot suffice the kidney’s ability to secrete hormones. Someone with chronic kidney disease will then need medications to provide hormones for his body.
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The ability of kidneys to secrete hormones is vital. The body needs certain hormones to function well. One of the hormones that are produced by the kidneys is Calcitriol. It allows calcium to be absorbed by the body. Another is Erythropoietin. This hormone signals the production of red blood cells. Renin, which aids in normalizing the blood pressure, is another.
The Importance of Consistency in Renal Dialysis
Dialysis is an important factor in kidney diseases. In a way, it compensates for a kidney’s inability to perform its expected role in the body. That role is the filtration of excess fluid and waste from the human body’s bloodstream. Since dialysis fill in a failed kidney’s loss, it is important to have it done consistently depending on the prescribed duration.
The physician’s prescribed duration for dialysis is based on how much excess fluid and waste are there to take out from a body. The sufficiency of dialysis can be ameliorated in three ways. The first is by changing the dialyzer-filter to the most competent version that is available. The next way is to turn into maximum level the blood flow from the access. The third is to elongate the dialysis period. Increasing the dialysis period also give an assurance that a patient can get to his fry weight thus, fulfilling the very purpose of dialysis.
A Background on Peritoneal Dialysis
Peritoneal dialysis is basically introduced in the 1960’s as the substitute for hemodialysis. Although peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis share the purpose of cleansing excess fluid and waste in the bloodstream out of the body, there is a minute difference. In hemodialysis, blood is removed from the body before the excess fluid and waste are filtered in an artificial device coined as dialyzer. However, peritoneal dialysis works inside the body by utilizing the peritoneal membrane and a fluid named as dialysate.
Peritoneal dialysis works because of the peritoneal membrane. It is a semi-permeable membrane so excess fluid and waste are able to pass through it. The glucose in the dialysate then drags excess fluid and waste from the blood vessels by crossing in the course of the peritoneum. The glucose also hinders the excess fluid and waste from going back to the peritoneum. Since this kind of dialysis acts like natural kidneys, it is preferred by more patients.
Pros and Cons of Nocturnal Dialysis
A study, conducted in Tassin, France, shows that longer dialysis period proves to be better and more efficient than short-period dialysis. However, people going under it find it uncomfortable to spend eight hours a day under a medicinal procedure. To cope with this, renal technology gave birth to nocturnal dialysis. It allows patients to undergo dialysis while in the comfort of their sleep.
Nocturnal dialysis gave patients a better control over their lives. Since dialysis take over during the night, they are capable of enjoying things they usually do during daytime. In addition, it also makes them feel more normal. Appetite is also improved while undergoing nocturnal dialysis. On the contrary, it also has its setbacks. The inability to experience a comfortable sleep is one. During nocturnal dialysis, medical technicians need to check the patients constantly. Since appetite is improved while undergoing this kind of dialysis, weight gain can also be a problem.
Benefits of a Slow-paced Renal Dialysis
Dialysis creates a tough impact on the body. In one way or another, it causes internal and external exhaustion to a patient undergoing this medical process. To lessen the fallbacks and to maximize the effect, a slower and longer dialysis is highly recommended by various medical people. This approach proves to be effective and more efficient in various ways.
A slower dialysis creates a gentler impact on the body. Nocturnal dialysis offers a slower rate because patients are dialyzing for an estimate of twice the time it takes to perform dialysis in the morning. Also, chances of patients to be under-dialyzed will be lessened. Toxins are also assured to be taken out of the body when dialysis is longer and slower. In addition, the possibility of low blood pressure and cramping will be diminished. As recorded in Tassin, France, patients undergoing a slower and longer dialysis also have a higher rate of survival.
The Basics of Hemodialysis
The kidney has several vital functions in the body. Among a wide array of functions, the most popular is its job to produce urine. A kidney loses its capability to produce urine when the rate if its function flunks below 10% to 15%. If this takes place, a build up of excess fluid and toxin will occur inside the body. To cope with this problem, modern science allowed the existence of hemodialysis to save the body even if kidneys are deteriorated.
Hemodialysis is a variety of renal replacement therapy. It somehow replaces the functions of a kidney upon its disability. This renal replacement technology removes and filters excess fluid, toxins from the body. In addition, it also balances electrolytes such as sodium, bicarbonate, potassium, phosphate, magnesium, and calcium. This process takes place by removing blood from the body and filtering it through an artificial kidney called dialyzer. The filtered blood will then be returned to the body after the process.
The How of Hemodialysis
Hemodialysis, as it is widely known, is a medical process that compensates for a kidney’s inability to function well. In this sense, it fills in the kidney’s inability to filter excess fluid and toxins from the body’s bloodstream. It works through a dialyzer. A dialyzer is a man-made kidney that filters the blood for excess fluids and toxic wastes. Dialyzers come in different sizes. However, it is usually a hollow tube made out of plastic that stretch to about a foot and three inches in diameter. It also contains minute filters.
A dialyzer is divided into two sections. The first section is for the dialysate. The second section is for the blood. The two sections are separated by a semi-permeable membrane that hinders the two sections from mixing together. That membrane contains microscopic holes that do not allow a number of substances to cross through it. Through these, the excess fluid and toxins are then removed from the blood.
Renal Dialyses in the Comfort of One’s Own Home
Basically, renal dialyses that can be conducted at home have two types. The first is hemodialysis and the second is called peritoneal dialysis. In home dialysis, patients have the luxury of not being required to go to dialysis centers each time they go under it. They are only obliged to visit the centers twice a month to talk and settle things with their physicians and other health care professionals involved.
For the first type, hemodialysis, the choices are traditional, nocturnal, and short daily. To make a process possible, the patient should have a hemodialysis machine and supplies installed in his home. Patients undergoing this kind of medical process are also usually assisted by health care assistants during treatment. An extra room in the house is also a requisite in peritoneal dialysis. That room should cater for his dialysis supplies and cycler especially if an automated peritoneal dialysis is what is performed.
If Renal Dialysis Isn’t Good Enough
Kidney failure and other disabilities are lethal if not treated with the right medical approach. There is the presence of renal dialysis but it has limits. It can compensate for a kidney’s disability but of course it cannot cover the body’s entire need for a vital organ. If the situation reached the worst, there is always the option for a kidney transplant.
If a patient is interested in the idea of having a new organ in his body, he must consult nephrologists. The next step will be the evaluation of the patient’s condition. This step will determine if he really need an organ transplant. A series of thorough medical examinations and interviews will be performed to do so. Several health conditions disqualify a patient for an organ transplant. Hepatitis C, HIV infection, and cancer are among those. In addition, a full dental evaluation is also required. The results of the full medical and dental examinations will then indicate if you can undergo kidney transplant.
The Surgical Remedy for Renal Disabilities
Dialysis cannot always solve renal disorders. If the situation calls, a kidney transplant might be the better option. It is a good thing that various techniques are developed to make this surgery happen. Traditionally, a large incision opens the patient’s side to perform the surgery. On the other hand, modern procedures and advanced surgical tools now allow surgeons to make the smallest possible incision during surgery. However, the surgeon always has the decision of what approach is the more appropriate depending on the patient’s situation.
After an incision is made, a new kidney will be fixed to the renal artery. There are, however, cases when it is embedded above or below the old kidneys. The removal of the damaged kidney/s will depend on the patient’s situation. The patient will be then confined in a hospital for several days for there is a high risk for complications such as organ rejection, infections, and excessive bleeding.
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