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What Makes Dialysis a Life-Saving Treatment?


Modern technology offers numerous ways to keep your body running, even when your organs do not work correctly. Dialysis is one method to keep damaged kidneys functioning. 

At Metro Renal Associates in Washington, DC, and Capitol Heights, Maryland, our dedicated team provides cutting-edge treatments, including several types of dialysis. Dr. Kevin Griffiths, Dr. Cosette Jamieson, and Dr. Oyije Susannah Iheagwara are our three highly experienced nephrologists who care for each patient who comes through our practice.

What is dialysis?

Your kidneys are an essential part of your body, filtering harmful toxins and waste out of your body through your urinary system. Without functioning kidneys, your body becomes overwhelmed with toxic chemicals and waste products, which causes serious health issues.

Several types of dialysis help you filter your blood, including hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Hemodialysis, the most common form of treatment, uses a machine to purify your blood through a specialized vein graft.

While hemodialysis is outside your body, peritoneal dialysis works inside your body to effectively remove waste products and toxins from your blood. Both types of dialysis are very effective if you suffer from kidney failure.

Who needs dialysis?

Dialysis is necessary for many people suffering from kidney disease and kidney failure. For end-stage kidney failure patients, dialysis is a requirement.

GFR measures how well your kidneys filter out waste, and another way to interpret a GFR below 15 is that your kidneys function at as low as 10 percent. End-stage kidney failure occurs when your glomerular filtration rate, or GFR, is less than 15. 

When kidney failure happens, your kidneys can no longer filter toxins and chemicals from your blood. Dialysis keeps your body healthy while you wait for a kidney transplant to replace your damaged kidneys.

Sometimes, dialysis is only needed for a short time if you suffer from acute renal failure. Occasionally, acute renal failure can get better with aggressive medical treatment.

However, if you have end-stage renal disease or chronic renal failure, you need dialysis for the rest of your life or until you receive a kidney transplant.

Dialysis: A life-saving therapy

According to the National Kidney Foundation, dialysis is a life-saving therapy for over 380,000 Americans suffering from kidney failure. It's a treatment that allows people with end-stage renal failure to sustain life and stay healthy.

When your kidneys fail, you're at risk for harmful chemicals and toxins building up in your bloodstream. Dialysis is essential because it allows a machine or peritoneum to filter dangerous waste materials out of your body.

Your kidneys are also a vital part of regulating your blood pressure. When they don't work correctly, you're at risk for severe issues with your blood pressure, which could result in life-threatening medical emergencies.

Dialysis regulates your blood pressure when your kidneys can no longer do it. It's yet another reason that dialysis is a life-saving treatment for people dealing with chronic kidney failure or end-stage renal disease.

Another reason dialysis is essential to life is the regulation of electrolytes in your bloodstream. Without dialysis, your potassium, sodium, and calcium levels would increase to extreme concentrations, leading to life-threatening consequences.

To find out more about how dialysis can help you, don't hesitate to call one of our offices today. You can also send the team a message using our convenient online tool.

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