In medicine, dialysis is primarily used to provide an artificial replacement for lost kidney function also called renal replacement therapy due to renal failure. Dialysis is a medical process through which a person's blood is cleansed of the toxins the kidneys normally would flush out. It is generally used when a person's kidneys no longer function properly.
As we know the kidney can filter the waste, excess fluid, and toxins from your body. It also can stimulate the red blood cells production and maintain bone health. If the kidney can't work properly, then it can't remove the waste from the body, causing accumulating of the waste in your blood. At this time, if we don't take measures to remove them, this can be a result of congenital kidney disease, long-term diabetes, high blood pressure or other conditions. So we need a replacement for lost kidney function, and then dialysis occurs.
There are two main kinds of dialysis used: peritoneal and hemodialysis. Hemodialysis: The blood is passed through a special "artificial" filter machine outside the body that removes waste, extra fluids, salts, and minerals. The clean blood is then sent back to the body. Peritoneal dialysis: It uses the patient's own body tissues inside of the abdominal cavity, where the peritoneal covering acts as a semi-permeable membrane or a "filter"
Peritoneal dialysis can be done in the home, by the patient, either alone or with a helper. Peritoneal dialysis uses the body's peritoneal membrane, inside the abdomen, to infuse a glucose-based solution into the abdominal cavity. The solution remains in the abdomen for about two hours, and is then drained out. A surgeon must place a tube with a titanium plug inside the patient's abdomen for this procedure. The patient must also be trained to perform the procedure. Absolute attention to sterile procedures is required, or peritonitis could result. This is especially dangerous in patients whose immune systems may already be compromised or suppressed. Hemodialysis is a medical treatment in which the blood is removed from the body and run through a filter to remove waste products before being returned to the body. This treatment is commonly used to treat people who are experiencing kidney failure, as normally the kidneys perform this function. The hemodialysis process involves several steps. First, a needle is inserted into the patient. Then, his or her blood flows into a dialyzer, a medical device which is also known as an artificial kidney. On the way into the dialyzer, a blood thinner is added to the blood to ensure that it does not clot. Once blood is inside the dialyzer, it runs through an assortment of tubes which are made from a semipermeable material. The tubes are surrounded by a canister filled with a fluid known as dialysate. The dialysate is specially formulated just for the patient. As the blood passes through the tubes in the artificial kidney, metabolic waste products and other impurities are pulled through the artificial membrane by the dialysate. Waste fluid from the canister is either disposed of or cleaned and recycled, while the cleaned blood is returned to the body through another needle.
Dialysis can work as a replacement of kidney to some extent, so it can have some functions of kidneys. Temporarily, dialysis can effectively relieve your discomforts and symptoms and improve your life quality for a longer lifespan. Dialysis may be either temporary or permanent, depending on the person. If a dialysis patient is waiting on a kidney transplant, the procedure may be temporary. However, if the patient is not a good transplant candidate, or a transplant would not alleviate the condition, dialysis may be a life-long routine. In all, it has significance in prolonging one's life expectance.
Dialysis is a lifesaving treatment for those with end stage renal disease. However, with both peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis, there are occasions when a patient may have side effects from the treatment.
These side effects can be mild or severe, depending on the patient's condition and whether or not they are following their dietary and fluid restrictions. Most of these side effects can be managed if the patient carefully follows their healthcare team's recommendations regarding diet and fluid intake.
Infection is easy to happen during the process of the two types of dialysis. When someone have dialysis, it will need a small rubber tube called catheter. The catheter, a soft, straw-like tube is positioned both inside and outside of the body to allow dialysis solution into and out of the abdominal cavity. Exchanges (the process of filling, dwelling and draining dialysis solution) must be done carefully because there is a risk of infection from bacteria on the outside of the body. In Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis, an exchange is done up to four or five times a day, seven days a week. The frequent handling of the catheter means greater risk for infection. Although patients doing Continuous Cycler-assisted Peritoneal Dialysis and Nocturnal Intermittent Peritoneal Dialysis at night with the help of a cycler handle the catheter much less, there is still a chance of peritonitis, which is an infection of the peritoneum (where the catheter is placed in the abdomen.) This infection is the most common side effect of PD. Peritonitis can cause fever, nausea, vomiting and stomach pain. Patients may notice their dialysis solution looks cloudy. Treating peritonitis quickly is the key to stopping widespread infection. The doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics. Skin infections around the catheter insertion site are also common. If the area becomes red or inflamed, a visit to the doctor is recommended. You can leave a message below if you need some consultation or you can contact us by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Muscle cramps
Patients sometimes experience muscle cramps while undergoing hemodialysis. These muscle cramps, usually in the legs, can be uncomfortable or sometimes painful. The exact cause of muscle cramps can vary from patient to patient. Sometimes when fluid is taken out of the body at a fast rate during dialysis or too much fluid is removed, the muscles react by cramping.
Many dialysis patients complain about itchy skin. There may be several causes, but it is commonly thought that high phosphorous levels are responsible for this side effect. Remembering to take a phosphorus binder as prescribed (usually before every meal) is another way to help prevent or stop itching. Dialysis patients are also prone to dry skin, which can be the cause of itching. Using very hot water for showers or baths can dry skin more. Harsh soaps can cause irritation and more itching. Moisturizing creams can alleviate some of the discomfort.
A hernia is another potential side effect of peritoneal dialysis . The muscles of the abdominal wall protect the internal organs and keep them in place. The insertion of a catheter can weaken these muscles. When patients do an exchange, the pressure from the dialysis solution in the peritoneum pushes against these already weak muscles. This pressure could cause a tear, and organs from the abdominal cavity could emerge through the opening.
Surgery is the only way to repair a hernia. Patients who have a history of hernias are advised not to exert themselves or participate in activities that could strain the abdominal muscles.