- by Dr Paramesh S
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- Feb 09 2017
What is Dialysis and How it is Done?
Dialysis is a medical procedure that performs the functions of a kidney. Kidneys are responsible for removing toxins and purifying the blood. When to kidneys start failing and don’t adequately perform anymore, filtering of waste from the blood stops which is harmful for the person. Dialysis is a method that performs the functions of a kidney and enable a person to have normal body functions and lead a productive life.
What is dialysis?
Dialysis is a medical procedure that is used to remove waste from the body and cleanse the blood when one’s kidneys don’t function at the required levels and start failing. Dialysis if of two types: Hemodialysis and Peritoneal dialysis. Based on the requirement and patient’s preference, the doctor decides which treatment is best.
In Hemodialysis, the person’s blood is passed through an artificial filter that is placed in the dialysis machine. The blood enters this machine, gets filtered and then sent back into the body. Peritoneal dialysis uses the peritoneal membrane which is present in the abdominal cavity. Both the methods use plastic pipes/tubes to ensure the blood moves through the filter and returns to the body after cleansing.
The kidney has many important functions. It regulates the fluid balance of the body and removes toxins in the form of urine. The kidney balances body fluids but regulating urine flow. When the kidneys fail to function, the toxins and waste products slowly start to build inside the body and after a point it becomes so high that they become sick because of it.
Two things- creatinine levels and blood urea nitrogen levels determine the functioning of the kidneys. If these levels rise beyond normal values, it shows the decreasing functioning of the kidneys and its inability to get rid of waste from the body. This is when a person requires dialysis.
Patients undergoing dialysis have to follow a diet, watch their fluid intake and take additional medication prescribed by the doctor to maintain balance inside the body. If you feel like there is rising discomfort, it’s best to get checked and if the doctor prescribes dialysis, it is best you follow it as high toxin levels can potentially be life threatening.