A History of the Treatment of Renal Failure by Dialysis

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Chronic kidney disease can often be treated before it progresses to end-stage renal failure or leads to other health problems. Some of the risk factors for developing chronic kidney disease—that could ultimately lead to end-stage renal failure—include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, drug abuse, blockages in the urinary tract, family history, inflammation, and some genetic disorders. Additionally, having chronic kidney disease and not properly managing it can cause the disease to progress to the point that it becomes end-stage.

Health Home Conditions and Diseases. Continue Reading. Gradually most people begin to feel tired, lose their appetite and may start to itch. Some get swollen ankles or develop high blood pressure. You may have to get up several times during the night to go to the toilet. If you have concerns about any of your symptoms please do not hesitate to ask a member of the team.

The aim is to keep you feeling well, and to delay or even prevent the need for dialysis. This form of treatment uses drugs and diet. You may find that you are prescribed a number of different drugs — see Chronic renal failure and its progression for information on some of these.

More detail on prevention is available from our information on Chronic renal failure and its progression.


Dialysis is started when the symptoms of kidney failure become too troublesome and when blood tests show that waste products are at a level where problems are likely. Staff will monitor you carefully and advise you of when dialysis is likely to be needed. You may need it sooner or manage till later. Planning needs to be done well in advance of this though. Many people feel much better after they start dialysis, but it does involve some change in routines at home and at work.

You will probably find that some thought will have to be given as to how to manage your time in order to accommodate the treatment. It is important, however, to keep things in perspective — life does go on! What about work? Indeed, unless you have a particularly heavy job, we would almost certainly encourage you to continue.

Most employers are understanding and helpful. You should be able to continue as normal. Should I exercise? This is important. Exercise and keeping fit improves your health and sense of wellbeing. You should do as much exercise as you feel comfortable with. Generally speaking, however, contact sports should be avoided if you have a fistula, shunt or neckline. Swimming may be permissible for people on PD, but please ask for advice.

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Can I drive? Under most circumstances you may continue to drive, although we do suggest for the first two months of haemodialysis you do not drive immediately after your treatment. Sex life? Patients with kidney failure can have a full sexual relationship with their partner. However, some patients may feel tired or low in mood which may affect their sex drive.

History of Hemodialysis | AREP

Medication and altered blood chemistry can also contribute to this. Female patients may also notice significant changes in their menstrual cycle. There are ways we can help you cope with sexual problems, so please try and discuss them with the medical staff or social work staff if you are in any way concerned. Everyone enjoys a holiday, and there is no reason why you cannot continue to have a break, but they will require some extra planning.

Holidays can be arranged both in this country and abroad, and should be arranged some months before you intend to go. Patients on haemodialysis usually have to be on treatment for 6 months before they can be considered. If you are on peritoneal dialysis and wish to take a short break or a longer holiday, providing you are well, this is usually possible.

Your supplies will be delivered to your destination as long as you give a little bit of notice. If you are on Haemodialysis it is more complicated. It depends on there being space in a unit where you are going, unless you are going to a dialysis holiday centre yes there are some. There will be local policies on blood testing and safety for such visits.

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Smoking damages your heart and lungs. You cannot afford the extra risk so you should try to stop. It is even more important for you to try to stop smoking if kidney transplantation is being considered. Smoking damages the blood vessels and this could affect the future success of a transplanted kidney. Alcohol is quite permissible in certain forms but must be counted within your normal fluid allowance and diet.

Ask for advice about this. There is an old saying that the fear of something is often worse than the reality and this is frequently the case with renal failure. All of us have our life planned out in our minds. There are the immediate things which we know we will be doing in the next few hours, days and weeks.

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There are the things we plan to do over the next few months — the family wedding, the annual will do once we have the time! When something as life threatening such as renal failure comes along to rock our boat, it is natural that we feel anxious, afraid and worried over what the future holds for us.

All of a sudden, there is a big question mark over the life we had planned and an uncertainty over what will replace it. There is much research to show that no matter what we lose, be it our keys, someone close to us, part of our body or body function, we, as humans, respond in the same way.

Symptoms, causes, and treatment of chronic kidney disease

Eventually the reality sinks in, however — this is for real — this is happening to me. Some of us become sad, some angry, and a few of us become very controlled and decide to keep our feelings to ourselves. These are also felt by those nearest to you. They also worry about you and how this will affect their future. Change is around for everyone. What you are feeling right now is a natural reaction to what you have been going through for the past weeks, months or maybe years.

There is much uncertainty around, uncertainty that we somehow have to learn to live with. Try not to keep things to yourself. A problem shared is a problem halved. Often with a little bit of information many things suddenly fall into place and we begin to see that little bit of sunlight. So ask. Speak to the doctor at the clinic; ask to see one of the Unit social workers, anyone you feel at ease with.

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All of us have many years experience working with kidney patients and there are few situations we have not coped with before. Share your concerns and we will do our best to help. As mentioned previously, the aim is for you to be able to lead a fairly normal life. Most patients see dialysis as a necessary nuisance! They dialyse to live, not live to dialyse.