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Dialysis 101

Posted Aug 30 2010 3:04pm
Definition

Dialysis is a treatment that performs the functions of natural kidneys when the they fail (kidney failure). Most patients begin dialysis when their kidneys have lost 85%-90% of their ability to function, and will continue dialysis for the rest of their lives (or until they receive a kidney transplant). This is called end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

ESRD may be caused by a variety of conditions that can impair kidney function, including diabetes, kidney cancer, drug use, high blood pressure, or other kidney problems. Dialysis is not a cure for ESRD, but helps you feel better and live longer.

There are two types of dialysis
* Hemodialysis
* Peritoneal dialysis

Parts of the Body Involved

Hemodialysis—veins in the arm, leg, or neck

Peritoneal dialysis—abdomen
Reasons for Procedure

The purpose of dialysis is to help keep the body's chemicals in balance, which the kidneys do when they are healthy. The main functions of dialysis are to
* Remove waste and excess fluid from the blood to prevent build-up
* Control blood pressure
* Keep a safe level of chemicals in the body, such as potassium, sodium, and chloride

Dialysis may also be done to quickly remove toxins from the bloodstream, in cases of poisoning or drug overdose.

To read more, click on: Dialysis/Lifescript
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