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Living With Kidney Dialysis Essay

893 words - 4 pages

Living With Kidney Dialysis
There are two kidneys, each about the size of a fist, located on either side of the spine at the lowest level of the rib cage in the human body. Each kidney contains up to a million functioning units called nephrons (CJASN). A nephron consists of a filtering unit of tiny blood vessels called a glomerulus attached to a tubule, is a general anatomical term referring to any portion of the tubule of the nephron or of the collection duct system of the kidney (American Society of Nephrology). More specifically referring to that part of the nephron distal to the renal corpuscle and glomerulus and consisting of the proximal convoluted tubule. The loop of the nephron and ...view middle of the document...

Some simple tests can be done to detect early kidney disease. Checking your blood pressure is an easy test that you can do yourself. Others are more comprehensive and require you to see a Doctor. Doctors are equipped to check for protein in the urine. An excess amount of protein in your urine may mean your kidney's filtering units have been damaged by disease. They may also test for blood creatinine levels. Your doctor should use your results, along with your age, race, gender and other factors, to calculate your glomerular filtration rate (GFR) (National Kidney Foundation). Your GFR tells how much kidney function you have. It is especially important that people who have an increased risk for chronic kidney disease have these tests.
Dialysis is the artificial process of eliminating waste (diffusion) and unwanted water (ultrafiltration) from the blood (Journal of Nephrology). In other words, dialysis is the artificial replacement for lost kidney functions. Kidney failure may be treated with hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, or by a kidney transplant. Treatment with hemodialysis (the artificial kidney) may be performed at a dialysis unit or at home. Hemodialysis treatments are usually performed three times a week. The blood is circulated outside the body of the patient, where it goes through a machine that has special filters (Journal of Nephrology). The blood comes out of the patient through a catheter (a flexible tube) that is inserted into the vein. The filters do what the kidneys are unable to do themselves; they filter out the waste products from the blood. The filtered blood then returns to the patient via a different catheter. The patient is connected to an artificial kidney. Peritoneal...

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