What Should Patients Know When On Dialysis

  • Oct 1, 2021
  • 10 min to read

When a patient develops end-stage kidney failure or ESRD, the kidneys cannot function by themselves anymore. This generally happens when the patient loses around 85% to 90% of their renal functionality. The medical procedure, dialysis can give a new lease of life to those with renal failure. However, it can be overwhelming for a patient to come to terms with a permanent procedure while making lifestyle changes based on the treatment. It's necessary to understand that changes will make life different, but knowing what these entail makes it easier to accept and adapt. Today, we are going to talk about nine things that a patient needs to know when on dialysis.

  1. There are treatment options If you think you have no choice regarding the treatment’s schedule and your comfort, you have the options to decide where, how, and when dialysis is performed. Dialysis can be received in a medical clinic, at a dialysis centre that is not situated at a healthcare clinic, or in the comfort of your home. You and your healthcare professional can identify the best choice for you, based on the medical prognosis and your free will. There are multiple kinds of dialysis, such as hemodialysis and peritoneal. Work with your doctor to come up with a treatment plan that works for you. Recent research suggests that the information about being able to dialyze at home is unknown to most patients starting hemodialysis (HD). Once they know more, over 40% of them would prefer this treatment option.
  2. You can choose a dialysis center that caters to your needs Understandably, getting dialysis regularly may feel like a tedious task, especially if you have to visit a hospital often. However, as a patient, you also have the right to choose the best services, including the dialysis facility. The center recommended by your doctor is not always the best fit for you, which is why you can discuss options that are closer, more economical or fit your specific needs.
  3. You don’t have to worry excessively about dialysis in emergencies Natural disasters and emergencies can strike at any time, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that your dialysis will be affected since there are other ways. As a contingency plan, note down the names, addresses, and contact numbers of all the available hospitals and dialysis centers in the vicinity. If you use community transportation to your sessions, make sure to contact the emergency services or an ambulance to transport you during such events. If you dialyze at your residence, make sure that at least up to two weeks’ worth of stock is available, so you don’t have to worry.
  4. Traveling is possible on dialysis Don’t be dismayed thinking that your life has come to a halt- it couldn’t be farther from the truth! If you feel that dialysis will hinder your life and keep you from chasing your wanderlust, we have news. Travelling while on dialysis as long as it doesn’t require heavy physical activity is something you can indulge in. There are dialysis centres and hospitals across every location today, making it extremely convenient for patients to get their sessions on the go.
  5. You are eligible for insurance If you have been diagnosed with end-stage renal failure or ESRD, you may be eligible to receive medical aid from your health insurance. Make sure to contact your agent and insurance company.
  6. A special diet may be required While on dialysis there may be many dietary adjustments required on the patient’s part to ensure that they don’t stress the renal system. You may need to speak to a renal diet specialist and get a meal plan designed to cater to all your nutritional demands.
  7. You can still practice your profession Worried that your professional life will be affected due to dialysis? Don’t worry, There are many successful people who suffered from kidney damage and yet had fulfilling careers . Once your dialysis routine has been established and you’re adjusted to it, you can go about your regular work life without worrying too much.
  8. The best way to get excellent treatment is to communicate effectively You are your best advocate and will need to speak up for yourself most of the time. Since each case is unique, you have to communicate effectively with your doctors, nurses, family, and work partners to make this process as comfortable as possible for you.

Wrapping Up:

Dealing with dialysis can be a lot to process at the beginning, but once you get used to the idea of it, things start to look hopeful again. The medical treatment that can extend your life and improve your quality of living takes some time to get used to, especially if you have to work and balance your personal life. We hope that these nuggets of information help you see the positive side of dialysis.