Dialysis Treatment Helps With Chronic Kidney Disease

Dialysis. What is it exactly? This is a form of medical treatment that is used to remove excess fluids, chemicals, and wastes from the bloodstream. The main purpose of this type of treatment is to help with impaired kidney renal function. When you develop end stage kidney failure or if the functions of your kidneys drop below 15%, you will require this type of filtering treatment.

Many of us are under the impression that dialysis treatment replaces the main functions of the kidneys.

This is partially true. We know that the job of the kidneys is to remove excess fluids and wastes like I mentioned before.

However you must be aware that our kidneys, have other important functions as well.

Our kidneys are responsible for making and releasing the hormones that regulate and control certain bodily functions.

Will dialysis treatment replace these hormones?

Unfortunately, dialysis treatment will not produce any of these much needed hormones. Individuals that are in the late stages of chronic kidney disease, will need to take prescribed medical supplements. The supplements will compensate for the hormones that their kidneys can no longer produce.

When your kidneys are damaged, they can no longer remove any wastes, chemicals, or excess fluids from your bloodstream efficiently. Because of this medical condition, you will have a build up of nitrogen and creatinine in your bloodstream. These are the main measuring factors that your physician will have to monitor very closely, when you are diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Still, one of the best indication of proper kidney function is your GFR. This measuring factor is otherwise known as your Glomenular Filtration Rate. The GFR allows your physician to tell how well your kidneys are filtering wastes from your bloodstream. Dialysis treatment becomes necessary when your GFR drops below 15%.

Types of kidney dialysis

According to medical facts, there are two main ways that your blood is cleaned. These treatment methods include:

  • Hemodialysis. This process involves the use of an artificial kidney called a hemodialyzer. This device is used to remove the wastes, chemicals, and excess fluids from your bloodstream.
  • The peritoneal method of treating renal kidney disease is the other. Unlike the hemodialysis method...this procedure allows your blood to be cleaned inside your body. There are several forms of the peritoneal treatment method but the two major ones include Continuous Ambulatory PD (CAPD) and Continuous Cycling PD (CCPD).

Can dialysis cure your renal kidney disease?

The answer to this question is no. Having your blood filtered artificially to remove any waste, only does some of the work of your kidneys. However the treatment will not cure your kidney disease. Unless you receive a much needed kidney transplant, you will require kidney dialysis treatment for the rest of your life.

What artificial blood filtering can do?

The primary benefit of filtering your blood artificially, is to relieve symptoms of illness and weakness. Below is another key benefit that one of the available treatment methods can provide. This key benefit include:

  • Regulation of electrolytes. Electrolytes are certain minerals that our bodies need to function naturally. These minerals are very important to our overall health. Most of these electrolytes come from the foods that are present in our daily diets.

    However if our bodies have too little or too much of these electrolytes, we can become very ill. Regulation of these minerals are controlled by our kidneys. Our kidneys filter or remove the excess and only keep what we need.

What kidney dialysis can't do

Our kidneys are a big part of our body's endocrine system. The endocrine system is responsible for the control of certain bodily functions. It achieve this control by making and releasing certain hormones into our bloodstream.

When we develop kidney disease or when our kidneys become damaged, they may not be able to produce sufficient amount of these hormones or none at all.

Having any type of renal or dialysis treatment will not replace or produce these much needed hormones.

Prescription medications are the only way you will be able to replace these hormones.

Hormones that can not be created or release by dialysis!

There are three very important hormones that our kidneys produce and release into our bloodstream. They can not be created through artificial blood filtering. These hormones include:

  • Calcitriol. This hormone like I said, is produced by our kidneys. It allows our bodies to properly absorbed the calcium from our foods. Without this hormone, the body will not be able to absorb any calcium. This include any calcium supplements that you may take as well. Calcium as we know it, has many functions in our bodies.

    Still, it's main benefit is that it keeps our bones strong and healthy. It also helps us to maintain a normal heart beat and keep our nerves and muscles functioning properly. Hence poor production of calcitriol may require you to take the prescription drug ZEMPLAR®.

  • Erythropietin. This hormone is also produced by our kidneys. It is responsible for sending a chemical message to our bone marrow to create more red blood cells. Red blood cells are responsible for the transport of oxygen throughout our bodies. Our bodies need an adequate amount of oxygen to properly function.

    Without sufficient red blood cells, you can develop Anemia. Anemia will make you feel dizzy and weak. This is usually a sign that you don't have enough oxygen reaching other parts of your body. If your physician diagnosed you as anemic, he/she may prescribe the medication EPOGEN® or EPO as part of your treatment. This particular medication will be administered during your dialysis treatment.

  • Renin. This is an enzyme that is produced by our kidneys. The primary job of this enzyme is to regulate our blood pressure. Unfortunately some individuals that have chronic kidney disease, produce too much of this enzyme. The problem here is that with the excess renin, the blood pressure of the individual will be elevated.

    Sadly if you have already been diagnosed with high blood pressure, the excess in renin will cause it to go even higher.

    High blood pressure is the second most common cause of chronic kidney disease.

    It can also accelerate the damage of your kidneys. Hence your doctor may prescribe certain medication to control your blood pressure.

Your overall health depends on you treating the lack of renal and endocrine functions of your kidneys. It is very important that you follow the recommendations of your health care team, regarding any treatment.

As we can see our endocrine treatments may require additional medications - which will replace our enzymes and special hormones. Remember, it is only when an individual is in the later stages of chronic kidney disease, will they require treatment through dialysis.

Dialysis treatment is helps with chronic kidney disease

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