My sole aim of writing this blog is to suggest to patients going through dialysis (kidney failures) on the types of foods and the recommended daily fluid intake so as to minimise any complications associated with dialysis. Approximately two months ago, I had a chat with a nephrologist doctor friend of mine who currently consults in one of the biggest hospitals in Europe. We had a very good chat and along the line we divulged into her area of specialty, this also led me to remember a distant family friend who recently died as a result of her kidney failure disease.
Even though this disease is a very challenging health issue, many people are still very oblivious of what kidney disease is all about. Moreover, the eating and drinking lifestyle of kidney failure patients and the dangers associated with non-compliance with adhering to the recommended eating lifestyle to a larger extent, ought to be put into considerations.
It is fundamental that kidney challenged individuals should monitor both their eating and drinking styles so as to effectively manage their health conditions. Obviously, I know that kidney is an organ specified for the filtration of waste products from our blood, and any problem with the normal working condition of a kidney, is referred to as kidney failure.
My curiosity to hear more from the horse's mouth, greatly tranquillised and alerted my listening skills. We started our discussion by identifying what kidney is;
“Kidney is an organ created basically to filter waste materials from the blood, maintain electrolyte balance, assist in red blood cell production and regulate blood pressure”.
Every human being is created with two kidneys and it is important to highlight that an individual can still survive with either one of the kidneys working. A normal working kidney produces a hormone called erythropoietin (EPO). However, when the kidney is not working normally, they tend to produce less erythropoietin than normal.
Having explained what kidney is all about, we went further to address the issues that can arise should the kidney develop problems which medically is referred to as kidney failure.
One might just ask... what could be the reasons for kidney failure? Kidney failure can arise as a result of diabetes, infection of the kidneys, polycystic kidney disease or kidney stones. It is absolutely important to note that treating these underlying diseases is absolutely the first step in correcting the kidney anomaly.
While these underlying factors can be treated for the kidney to regain it’s functioning capabilities, it is noteworthy that kidney failure can be a continuous health challenge in some situations thereby being inevitable. Kidney failure is as a result of the accumulation of unwanted products in the body which can lead to shortness of breath, tiredness, high blood pressure, irregular heart beats and possibly death. Kidney failure can be diagnosed through laboratory tests
With these underlying problems in place, the normal functioning of the kidney tends to decrease over time which can cause the kidney to totally fail. When this is the case, the patient is outrightly left with no other solution but natural treatment, transplant from a matching donor or dialysis.
At this point, am quite certain that some of my readers might be curious to know what dialysis is all about. Literally, an individual is receiving dialysis because his/her kidneys are not working properly which causes the build-up of fluid in one's body. This situation of fluid accumulation can lead to swelling of the body and increment of the blood pressure thereby putting more pressure on the heart. Moreover, there can also be accumulation of fluid in the lungs which makes a sufferer to be breathless.
The dialysis process involves the removal of fluid and toxins while the blood is being filtered through the dialysis machine. It is noteworthy to emphasize that there is a limit on the amount of fluid to be removed during the session as any excess removal of fluid can lead to sudden drop in blood pressure, dizziness, nausea, collapse and weakness. Moreover, excessive fluid in the body can lead to severe muscle cramps. Both a patient’s dry weight, pre-weight and post-weight must be considered before embarking on any dialysis session so as to establish the right balance of fluid. Patients on dialysis needs to maintain a healthy drinking and eating lifestyle to better living. The dialysis treatment involves the use of designated computed machines for the removal of excessive fluid from the body.
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