Dialysis prolongs life by stepping in to handle the vital tasks managed by the kidneys. If they are functioning properly, the kidneys work to moderate your blood pressure and regulate the levels of salt and potassium in your blood. Dialysis artificially cleans the blood so that the body is able to function normally.
Does dialysis have any side effects?
Dialysis comes with many side effects. Some patients on dialysis experience low blood pressure that causes abdominal cramps, shortness of breath, muscle cramps, vomiting, and nausea. Dialysis can cause sleep problems, itching, depression, amyloidosis, anemia, and inflammation of the membrane that surrounds your heart. Also, the site where the fistula is inserted can become blocked or infected.
Is there a special diet for patients going through dialysis treatments?
If you are currently receiving dialysis treatments, it is recommended to increase intake of high-protein foods, such as meat, fish, poultry, and eggs. Dialysis patients are advised to reduce their intake of foods that are high in salt, potassium, and phosphorus. Replace high-potassium fruits, such as oranges, kiwis, honeydews, and nectarines, with low-phosphorus choices like apples, berries, and plums.
Are there different types of dialysis treatments?
There are two primary types of dialysis treatments. Hemodialysis is the most commonly used type of dialysis, and it involves inserting a fistula or a catheter into a vein for the purpose of filtering your blood. With peritoneal dialysis, a catheter is surgically implanted into the stomach region to achieve the same result. Dialysis can be performed at a treatment center or at home. It may be performed during the daytime, or nocturnally while you are asleep.
Does insurance cover dialysis treatments?
The cost of dialysis treatments might be partially covered by medical insurance, and coverage will depend on the limits of your policy. If dialysis is covered, prescriptions given by your doctor to support treatment will also be covered. Medicare is health insurance provided by the federal government, and it typically covers 80 percent of dialysis costs.