The kidneys have a vital role in our bodies, as well-functioning kidneys are essential for a healthy life. Among many other purposes that the kidneys serve, the most prominent function is filtering out waste products to clean the blood. However, many health conditions damage kidneys and hinder their ability to do so. When this happens, your kidneys fail to perform their crucial tasks, and the situation can even become life-threatening.
You may have heard about “dialysis” in situations related to kidney disease. In this article, we will shed some light on dialysis and its role in kidney conditions.
What is dialysis?
Dialysis is the name of a medical procedure that involves removing excess fluid, salts, and toxic waste products from the body. Typically, the kidneys carry out this process, but dialysis artificially replaces kidney functions when necessary.
Who needs dialysis?
There are times that the kidneys do not work correctly, which could be the result of kidney damage. A damaged or diseased kidney stops filtering out waste products, and as a result, these toxic products, such as urea and extra water, build up in the body. The toxin build-up and excess water can have adverse effects like drowsiness, breathing issues, heart problem, coma, and even death.
Therefore, in kidney disease, the role of dialysis is life-saving. When your doctor figures out that your kidneys are not working properly and the level of toxic products is rising in the blood, he or she may opt for dialysis to avoid the complications listed above.
How does dialysis work?
Dialysis is performed using a dialyzing machine, which is operated by experts. There are two significant types of dialysis – hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.
Hemodialysis is the most popular type of dialysis. In this type, the dialyzing machine contains a specially designed filter that removes waste products from the blood. The device has two primary tubes connected to it. The other ends of these tubes are attached to the blood vessels of the patient.
As the process starts, the blood slowly starts flowing from the body to the machine through one of the attached tubes. Within the device, the filter system works to extract toxic products and excess water from the blood, and the clean blood then enters the body through the other tube.
Peritoneal dialysis is the second type. In this type, the blood does not need to pass through a filter within a machine. A specially designed filtering fluid is introduced in the abdomen of the patient through a tube instead. Here, that fluid sucks out all the waste materials from the blood. This fluid is then removed from the abdomen using the tube.
Dialysis is a revolutionary medical procedure that saves countless precious lives. However, it would be best if you always took good care of your health to avoid such procedures, as prevention is often best.