Your kidneys are responsible for a host of vital functions, like getting rid of waste and regulating the mineral levels in your body. If you have lost some of your kidney function, dialysis can take care of the duties formerly completed by your kidneys, potentially extending your lifespan. Check out these important things you need to know about dialysis.
1. It's Possible to Change the Location of Your Sessions
In the past, it was necessary to travel to a medical office or hospital equipped with the proper equipment for to complete your dialysis sessions. Dialysis treatment options have improved, and it's now possible to complete some types of dialysis at home. Whether or not you qualify for at-home dialysis depends on your individual health and the type of dialysis ordered by your doctor.
Should you need to go to a doctor's office for your dialysis, know that you usually don't have to go to the same exact office for your sessions. This means that you can adjust your dialysis sessions somewhat to your schedule, changing the location as needed to fit your lifestyle. You can even travel to different cities or countries while undergoing dialysis; just locate an approved dialysis provider in the area you are traveling to.
2. Dialysis Won't Treat Your Condition
The purpose of your dialysis sessions is to take care of the duties that your kidneys are supposed to complete. Dialysis will not treat or manage the underlying condition causing your kidneys to lose function. It's important to take any prescriptions or follow any medical treatments recommended by your doctor in addition to undergoing regular dialysis sessions.
3. Regular Sessions Can Improve Your Quality of Life
Most patients report that regular dialysis sessions improve their quality of life; they notice that they have more energy and are able to resume their daily activities after their sessions. Dialysis is not painful and has minimal side effects.
Some of the most common side effects are headache, nausea, temporary fatigue, and vomiting. However, you may be able to lessen any side effects by sticking to a diet approved by your doctor. Your doctor may recommend that you limit that amount of sodium and certain minerals in your diet and ensure that you get adequate amounts of protein. You may also have fluid restrictions that you have to adhere to.
The time required to complete dialysis sessions as a downside for some patients. Dialysis sessions typically take place a few times each week and last for a few hours.