Treatment Options - Dialysis

If your doctor suspects that your kidneys may be failing, or functioning below optimal level, your doctor will order blood and urine tests for more information. If you have elevated levels of creatine and blood urea nitrogen, it's an indicator that your kidneys can't keep up with removing waste from your blood, maintain proper electrolyte balance, or remove excess fluid on their own. When this happens, several kidney dialysis options can be used to help.

Hemodialysis

In this type of dialysis treatment, a tube is inserted between an artery or vein in an arm or leg. And it's connected to a dialysis machine. Blood then leaves the body through the tube, passes through a filter to remove waste, and is recirculated back into the body. You'll need to visit a dialysis center or hospital about three times a week for three to five-hour sessions. Your healthcare team will do the work, but you'll have to make the commute and stay on top of your appointments.

Peritoneal Dialysis

In this type of dialysis treatment, patients have a fixed dialysis catheter inserted through the abdomen into the abdominal wall. Instead of being connected to a machine, a cleansing fluid is flushed through the catheter. Then the walls of the intestines and cleansing fluid filter out the waste products in the blood. This procedure can be done at home and gives you a lot more flexibility in terms of scheduling. Some people have trouble flushing the fluid through the catheter. And the catheter is a weak point in your skin that could lead to a serious bacterial infection.

Home-Hemodialysis

This is similar to hemodialysis, but the equipment you need to remove your blood, filter out waste products, and recirculate back into your body is designed for home use. In home-hemodialysis, you'll need to learn how to use the equipment, insert needles into your body, and be prepared to manage any complications. Some people prefer not to deal with self-administering dialysis treatment, but for others this option reduces the hassle of commuting in a more comfortable setting.

Nocturnal Dialysis

Another option to support kidney function is nocturnal dialysis. The procedure is similar to hemodialysis, but is done during the night. Options are available to have nocturnal

dialysis done at night in a clinic or at home. It's similar to hemodialysis, but allows you more freedom during the day to do the things you enjoy. And home-based nocturnal dialysis options are also available. You'll just need to learn how to use the dialysis machine and troubleshoot any problems.

Dietary Guidelines for Dialysis Patients

Regardless of what dialysis treatment you choose, you still need to follow a special diet to protect your health. Eating healthy protein, controlling calories, and limiting the amount of potassium, phosphorus, and sodium you consume is important for anyone on dialysis. And if you're commuting to appointments and spend 3 to 5 hours at a time on dialysis, you could use some help managing your diet. The Complete Meals for a Dialysis Diet made by MagicKitchen.com will help you follow your doctor's orders and get the nutrients you need.