What is dialysis, exactly?
Dialysis is a treatment that performs the job of your kidneys. Kidney disease lowers the kidney’s natural ability to clean blood. Dialysis takes over the job of your kidney to avoid inevitable buildup of waste and toxins.
Dialysis can seem like an overwhelming process, but you are not alone! Hundreds of thousands of people in the US are on dialysis. Whether through transplant or dialysis, you are taking a big step toward a healthier, more fulfilling life.
Now that I have CKD, what are my options going forward?
|I get a new kidney! Most effective treatment (needs a donor)||Machine pumps blood out of your body, cleans, then returns it||Cleansing fluid flows into your abdomen and filters waste products from your blood|
Doesn’t sound too bad. How do I choose a treatment?
The answer is specific to each person. Ideally, everyone with CKD should get a kidney transplant. However, not all patients are eligible and kidney donor lists are long. Since transplant options can be prohibitive, most patients end up using one or both forms of dialysis.
I’m not sure if dialysis is right for me.
Opting out of dialysis can quickly affect your health and quality of life. Your body will create waste buildup to make you tired, itchy and nauseated. If you do choose to forgo treatment, your doctor can give you medicine to make you more comfortable. It’s important to relay your wishes to your family and doctor before you fall very ill.