Myths and Facts About Dialysis

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Many Americans who have been diagnosed with kidney failure need dialysis treatment, which does the kidneys’ job of filtering toxins from the body. Although dialysis has very little effect on one’s ability to live a full life, many myths about the treatment continue to circulate. Here are some of the most prevalent myths and facts about dialysis.

Types of Dialysis

There are two main types of dialysis. Hemodialysis runs your blood through an artificial kidney to clean it and requires minor surgery to create an access point into your blood vessels. Peritoneal dialysis cleans your blood from inside your body. This also requires minor surgery to place a catheter in your abdomen, through which waste-cleaning fluid travels.

Myth: Dialysis Treatment Hurts

One myth is that dialysis is painful. In reality, this is untrue. Hemodialysis patients may feel uncomfortable when needles are placed into their graft or fistula. A drop in blood pressure can be common for some patients, causing cramps, vomiting, headaches, and nausea. However, sticking to fluid and diet restrictions can completely eliminate these symptoms.

Myth: If You’re on Dialysis, You Can’t Travel

A popular myth is that you can’t travel when you’re on dialysis because of the time commitment for treatment. However, you can travel, thanks to the many dialysis centers that exist. All that’s needed is to speak with your doctor to arrange appointments. You can also receive in-room treatment and write postcards from a bed table on wheels.

Myth: Dialysis Means the End Is Near

The fact is that kidney failure isn’t always permanent. Actually, dialysis can improve kidney failure in many cases. Even if you do require dialysis permanently, you can still enjoy your life. Because you will be feeling so much better, you’ll be able to enjoy your life that much more.

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Myth: You Can’t Work or Attend School When on Dialysis

Many think they won’t have the energy or time to work or go to school because of dialysis. This may be true for a little while but, once you get used to it, it’s entirely possible to return to school or work. Not only that but, with an overbed table with storage, you can get all kinds of work done.

Myth: You’ll Have to Leave Your Home for Treatment

You may think you’ll have to sit in a room with strangers to get treatment and be unable to get anything done at home. While this is certainly one way to receive dialysis, the fact is that it’s not the only way. You can administer dialysis treatment yourself from home. With an adjustable bedside tray table at hand, you can work on your laptop, read, eat, or complete your paperwork at any time, day or night.

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