Kidney disease, whether acute or chronic, is usually a symptom of underlying causes including high blood pressure and diabetes. One of the endpoints of this disease is kidney failure where its function of clearing waste products from blood no longer takes place. The symptoms of this include fatigue, swelling, nausea, diarrhoea, less or more frequent urination, bone damage, muscle cramping, irregular heartbeat and others, depending on severity and other factors.
The mechanisms of development of these symptoms are high levels of urea in the blood (nausea, weight loss, bloody urine), build-up of phosphates in the blood (itching, bone damage, muscle cramps), buildup of potassium in the blood (arrhythmia, paralysis), and failure to remove excess fluids (swelling, shortage of breath).
Addressing the underlying issues priming kidney disease, such as lifestyle factors like diet can revert kidney disease in its incipient stage. Once kidney function has ceased, kidney failure can be treated with dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Dialysis comes in two flavours: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.
Hemodialysis requires a machine and is usually done out of home, a few times a week. The machine cleans the blood which is drawn out of the patient and then returned back through a tube connected between an artery and a vein. Hemodialysis requires a commitment to trips out at specific intervals to undergo dialysis, but is advantageous due to no participation required on the part of the patient during the procedure.
Peritoneal dialysis involves using the abdominal cavity as the site of filtering. The abdominal cavity has a membrane called the peritoneal membrane which acts as a filter between the fluid in the abdomen (around the intestines) and blood circulation. A tube is placed through the membrane, and a special fluid is delivered into the cavity by the patient at home. This is then collected back after around 30 minutes in a waste bag, and repeated a few times daily. Alternatively, it can be done at night on a special machine called a cycler which switches the fluid to renew it several times automatically while the patient sleeps.
This method requires extreme caution keeping the tube insertion site in the abdomen clean as to avoid infection. Both methods require a strict diet, water intake and certain vitamins, and both methods….