Dialysis does some of the job of the kidneys when they stop working well.
- Remove extra salt, water, and waste products so they don't build up in your body
- Keep safe levels of minerals and vitamins in your body
- Help control blood pressure
- Help produce red blood cells
Your health care provider will discuss dialysis with you before you need it. Dialysis removes waste from your blood when your kidneys can no longer do their job.
- Usually, you will go on dialysis when you have only 10 - 15% of your kidney function left.
- Even people who are waiting for a kidney transplant may need dialysis while waiting.
Two different methods are used to perform dialysis:
- During hemodialysis, your blood passes through a tube into an artificial kidney, or filter.
- During peritoneal dialysis, a special solution passes into your belly though a catheter tube. The solution remains in your abdomen for period of time and then is removed. This method can be done at home, at work, or while traveling.
A kidney transplant is surgery to place a healthy kidney into a person with kidney failure. Your doctor will refer you to a transplant center. There, you will be seen and evaluated by the transplant team. They will want to make sure that you are a good candidate for kidney transplant.
You may need to follow a special diet for chronic kidney disease. These changes may include:
- Eat a low-protein diet.
- Get enough calories if you are losing weight.
- Limit fluids.
- Limit salt, potassium, phosphorous, and other electrolytes.
Other treatment depends on your symptoms but may include:
- Extra calcium and vitamin D (always talk to your doctor before taking supplements)
- Medicines called phosphate binders, to help prevent phosphorous levels from becoming too high
- Treatment for anemia, such as extra iron in the diet, iron pills or shots, shots of a medicine called erythropoietin, and blood transfusions.
- Medicines to control your blood pressure
You should be up-to-date on important vaccinations, including: