Kidneys help filter waste and regulate other functions of your body. When kidneys fail, treatment is required to restore normal functioning of the body. There are a few choices you have for kidney treatment:
Hemodialysis – this includes a machine that filters blood outside the body.
Peritonial Dialysis – this includes the use of a lining from the belly that filters the blood inside the body.
Kidney Transplant – this includes replacing the failed kidney with a good one from a donor.
The basic function of kidneys is to remove excess fluid, minerals and waste from the blood and clean it. Kidneys are also responsible for making hormones that keep your bones strong as well as blood healthy. Kidney failure can greatly impact the normal functioning of your body. Harmful wastes may build up, blood pressure may rise considerably, the body retains excess fluid and will not be able to build enough red blood cells.
Let’s take a look at all the three treatment choices:
A machine is used to temporarily rid your body of the harmful wastes and extra salt in the body. This in turn greatly helps control blood pressure from rising. It also helps balance other important chemicals in your body like potassium, sodium, calcium and bicarbonate.
Side effects of this treatment are infection, blockage that could be caused by blood clotting and poor blood flow. Muscle cramps and hypotension that is caused by sudden drop in blood pressure are some of the other side effects. These side effects can be avoided by proper diet and medication as directed by your doctor.
Lining from your belly or abdomen is used to filter waste from the blood. This lining is also knows as peritoneal membrane. It very aptly acts as an artificial kidney and removes excess water and salts from the body.
The most common side effect of this kidney treatment is peritonitis which is a serious abdominal infection. The opening where the catheter enters your body is infected. This can however be treated if reported immediately to the doctor.
Surgically replacing the damaged kidney with a healthy one is known as kidney transplant. A kidney transplant requires a doctor to test for blood type, Human Leukocyte Antigens and Cross Matching Antigens.
Transplantation of kidneys is considered closest to a cure. The new kidney needs to be a perfect match for replacement. Well, even if technically a donor kidney is a perfect match, there are chances that the body may reject your new kidney. The most common cause for this is not taking the prescribed medication. These medicines are used to stop your body’s immune system to attack the new kidney considering it as a foreign body hence causing rejection.