Dialysis Choices

INTRO to DIALYSIS:

Receive Dialysis Treatments as Scheduled:

Dialysis replicates the kidneys’ waste removal function using one of two filtration methods, called “modalities”: hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis. Hemodialysis uses an external blood filter with a dialyzer acting as an artificial kidney; in peritoneal dialysis, the filtration takes place internally using the blood vessels in the abdominal lining (the peritoneum). Hemodialysis is typically performed within a clinic, while peritoneal dialysis most often takes place within the patient’s home.

You and your doctor will select the best dialysis modality and treatment schedule for you. Healthy kidneys function 24 hours per day to remove excess fluid, salts and waste products from your blood, but the average dialysis schedule allows for just 12 hours per week to perform the same function. It is important to maintain your treatment schedule to prevent these wastes from reaching unhealthy, even fatal, levels.

Stick to Your Personal Diet Plan:

Although dialysis replicates some kidney functions, you’ll need to regulate the amounts and proportions of fluid, salts and nutrients introduced into your bloodstream. Our on-site nutritionist will help you create a personal diet plan based on your unique dietary needs and personal tastes.

Sticking to your diet plan will replenish important nutrients lost during dialysis, limit the amount of harmful wastes introduced into your bloodstream, and make your dialysis treatments less stressful for your body. Most important, following a healthy diet will improve

your energy and quality of life in between your dialysis treatments and keep your body active and vital for years to come.

Be the Leader of Your Health Care Team:

As you undergo dialysis and prepare for your kidney transplant, you’ll have a team of experts ready to answer your questions, address your concerns and ensure you receive the maximum benefit from the time you spend in treatment.

Your team will include your nurses, patient care technicians, nutritionist, social worker, and nephrologist—but the most important member of the team is you.

As team leader, your job is to speak openly and honestly about your treatment, especially if you experience discomfort or setbacks. Many patients develop close relationships with their social workers and find it easiest to bring all concerns to the social worker first; the social worker will then act as a patient advocate to coordinate the efforts of the entire team. The Fidelity Home Dialysis team will make sure your treatment plan is working for you and that you feel supported, encouraged and optimistic about your life with dialysis.

 

KIDNEY DISEASE:

Kidney Function and Kidney Failure

Kidneys are the body’s 24-hour filtration system. Our bodies have two kidneys, and they regulate the amount of fluid, chemicals and salt in the blood stream as well as remove wastes we ingest through our diets. These excess substances are then flushed out in the form of urine. Renal failure occurs when kidneys are no longer able to properly filter the blood. Renal means “pertaining to the kidneys.” Nephrons are the individual filtration units that make up the kidneys, so the prefix “nephr-“ is also used in kidney-related words; therefore, the doctor who looks after your kidneys is called your nephrologist.

The physical effects of renal failure range from fatigue to nausea to trouble urinating. Below are a few symptoms you may have noticed because of reduced kidney function.

 

DIET & NUTRITION:

In healthy kidney function, as well as during dialysis, the blood is cleansed of excess fluid, salts and waste products. These excess substances, along with necessary nutrients, are introduced into our bodies through our diet. Just as it is important to eat healthy when your kidneys are functioning normally, it becomes even more important to monitor the amounts and proportions of the nutrients you ingest once your kidneys lose their ability to properly remove waste from your body.

Healthy eating improves energy and quality of life.

Although dialysis replicates the kidneys’ filtering function, it cannot cleanse your blood as thoroughly as healthy kidneys. Even if you receive a transplant, your body will need help maintaining healthy levels of nutrients and preventing build-up of harmful wastes. Your nutritionist will help you create a diet plan tailored to your nutritional needs and the special requirements of the dialysis modality you select. Sticking to your diet plan will replenish important nutrients lost during dialysis, limit the amount of harmful wastes introduced into your bloodstream, and make your dialysis treatments less stressful for your body.

Adjusting to your new diet can be a challenging process, and your nutritionist will work with your likes, dislikes and trouble spots to create a diet plan and food list that you can enjoy. Below you will find an overview of the basic components of the dialysis diet, and you can also download healthy eating guidelines from the Resources page.

 

KIDNEY TRANSPLANT:

Your body has two kidneys, but a single kidney is all you need to adequately remove waste products from your bloodstream. With a transplant, you receive a single healthy kidney, either from a family member or organ donor. Once you receive your transplant, you will still need to make lifestyle changes similar to those required of dialysis patients, including a new diet plan and medical regimen.

Fidelity Home Dialysis functions as a bridge between dialysis treatment and kidney transplantation. This means we help you maintain your health and prepare your system to receive a new kidney with as few complications as possible You and your doctor will discuss your transplant options, and your social worker can help guide you through the transplant referral process.

By seeking dialysis in an environment suited to their lifestyle, with more staff to cater to their medical needs, our patients are experiencing success in being placed on an active transplant list and receiving transplants.

 

TRAVELING GUEST PATIENTS:

Life on dialysis is demanding. Traveling on dialysis should not be an additional challenge. Whether you are traveling to Little Rock for business or pleasure, Fidelity Home Dialysis will provide a seamless transition from dialysis at your home clinic to your temporary home with us; so, that you can focus on the reason for your visit.