What Is Dialysis?
When your kidneys don’t function properly, dialysis treatment is needed to perform the function of the kidneys. The kidneys are responsible for cleaning your blood by removing waste and excess fluid from your body.
Dialysis helps keep your body in balance when the kidneys can’t do their job by filtering and purifying your blood using a machine.
Who Needs Dialysis?
If you have chronic kidney disease, you’ll need dialysis or a kidney transplant at some point. “Chronic” means you’ve been slowly losing kidney function over a period of time.
Some people choose to start dialysis before they have symptoms of kidney failure such as nausea, fatigue, swelling, and throwing up. Even if you don’t have symptoms, you may choose to start treatment if lab tests show toxic levels of waste in your blood.
When you should start dialysis depends on your age, energy level, overall health, and how willing you are to commit to a treatment plan. Although it can make you feel better and live longer, it involves a lot of your time.
Your doctor will let you know when you should start treatment. He’ll also explain which type might work best for you.