Kidney dialysis is a life-support treatment that uses a special machine to filter harmful wastes, salt, and excess fluid from your blood. This restores the blood to a normal, healthy balance. Dialysis replaces many of the kidney’s important functions.
Kidney dialysis is a necessary treatment for people with end-stage kidney disease or permanent kidney failure. You need dialysis if you’ve lost about 85% to 90% of your kidney function. Temporary dialysis may be needed in some cases.
Hemodialysis is most commonly used to treat people with end-stage kidney disease. However, children who need dialysis usually receive peritoneal dialysis.
The kidney dialysis treatment itself usually does not cause any pain or discomfort. However, some patients may develop low blood pressure, which can lead toheadache, cramping, nausea, and vomiting. This usually goes away after a few treatments.
If you are on dialysis, you may also feel like:
You have less energy. Dialysis can cause you to feel tired.
You are depressed. Depression is a common problem among many patients on dialysis, but it can often be treated. Talk to your health care provider if you are feeling depressed.
You may also feel like you have less time to get things done. Kidney dialysis requires strict scheduling and adjustments to lifestyle, which can disrupt your ability to work or enjoy everyday activities. This may be frustrating for you or your family.