All you need to know about CKD and Dialysis 

What is Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)?


Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a condition characterized by a gradual loss of kidney function over time. CKD is also known as chronic renal disease. As kidney disease gets worse, wastes can build to high levels in your blood and make you feel sick. Chronic kidney disease may be caused by diabetes, high blood pressure and other disorders. Early detection and treatment can often keep chronic kidney disease from getting worse




What are the symptoms of CKD?


Most people may not have any severe symptoms until their kidney disease is advanced. However, you may notice that you: feel more tired and have less energy have trouble concentrating have a poor appetite have trouble sleeping have muscle cramping at night have swollen feet and ankles have puffiness around your eyes, especially in the morning have dry, itchy skin need to urinate more often, especially at night. Anyone can get chronic kidney disease at any age. However, some people are more likely than others to develop kidney disease. You may have an increased risk for kidney disease if you: have diabetes have high blood pressure have a family history of kidney failure are older




When is dialysis needed?


You need dialysis when you develop end stage kidney failure --usually by the time you lose about 85 to 90 percent of your kidney function




What does dialysis do?


When your kidneys fail, dialysis keeps your body in balance by: removing waste, salt and extra water to prevent them from building up in the body keeping a safe level of certain chemicals in your blood, such as potassium, sodium and bicarbonate helping to control blood pressure




Is kidney failure permanent?


Usually, but not always. Some kinds of acute kidney failure, also known as acute renal failure, get better after treatment. In some cases of acute kidney failure, dialysis may only be needed for a short time until the kidneys get better. In chronic or end stage kidney failure, your kidneys do not get better and you will need dialysis for the rest of your life. If your doctor says you are a candidate, you may choose to be placed on a waiting list for a new kidney.




Where is dialysis done?


Dialysis can be done in a hospital, in a dialysis unit that is not part of a hospital, or at home. You and your doctor will decide which place is best, based on your medical condition and your wishes.




Are there different types of dialysis?


Yes, there are two types of dialysis --hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.




What is hemodialysis?


In hemodialysis, an artificial kidney (hemodialyzer) is used to remove waste and extra chemicals and fluid from your blood. To get your blood into the artificial kidney, the doctor needs to make an access (entrance) into your blood vessels. This is done by minor surgery to your arm or leg. Sometimes, an access is made by joining an artery to a vein under your skin to make a bigger blood vessel called a fistula. However, if your blood vessels are not adequate for a fistula, the doctor may use a soft plastic tube to join an artery and a vein under your skin. This is called a graft. Occasionally, an access is made by means of a narrow plastic tube, called a catheter, which is inserted into a large vein in your neck. This type of access may be temporary, but is sometimes used for long-term treatment.




How long do hemodialysis treatments last?


The time needed for your dialysis depends on: how well your kidneys work how much fluid weight you gain between treatments how much waste you have in your body how big you are the type of artificial kidney used Usually, each hemodialysis treatment lasts about four hours and is done three times per week. A type of hemodialysis called high-flux dialysis may take less time but is not suitable for everybody




What is peritoneal dialysis and how does it work?


In this type of dialysis, your blood is cleaned inside your body. The doctor will do surgery to place a plastic tube called a catheter into your abdomen (belly) to make an access. During the treatment, your abdominal area (called the peritoneal cavity) is slowly filled with dialysate through the catheter. The blood stays in the arteries and veins that line your peritoneal cavity. Extra fluid and waste products are drawn out of your blood and into the dialysate. There are two major kinds of peritoneal dialysis.




Will dialysis help cure the kidney disease?


No. Dialysis does some of the work of healthy kidneys, but it does not cure your kidney disease. You will need to have dialysis treatments for your whole life unless you are able to get a kidney transplant.




Is dialysis uncomfortable?


You may have some discomfort when the needles are put into your fistula or graft, but most patients have no other problems. The dialysis treatment itself is painless. However, some patients may have a drop in their blood pressure. If this happens, you may feel sick to your stomach, vomit, have a headache or cramps. With frequent treatments, those problems usually go away.




Do dialysis patients have to control their diets?


Yes. You may be on a special diet. You may not be able to eat everything you like, and you may need to limit how much you drink. Your diet may vary according to the type of dialysis.




Can dialysis patients travel?


Yes. Dialysis should not impact your travel plans. Dialysis India centers are located in more than 100 cities in India. The treatment is standardized. You must make an appointment for dialysis treatments at another center before you go.




Can dialysis patients continue to work?


Many dialysis patients can go back to work after they have gotten used to dialysis. If your job has a lot of physical activity (heavy lifting, etc. ), you may need to re-evaluate your career.