10 Myths and Facts about Hemodialysis
Hemodialysis mimics the kidney’s function in cleaning and filtering wastes products and excessive fluid from the blood.
1. MYTH: Survival is few months on dialysis
FACT: Average survival on dialysis is in years if not decades but you need to do three things to get full benefit of this therapy
a)Regular three times in a week dialysis
b) Dialysis in good quality centers
c) Dialysis under the supervision of a nephrologist (kidney specialist)
2. MYTH: Dialysis if once initiated continues for lifelong
FACT: The need for dialysis depends upon the cause of kidney failure.
If your kidneys are affected with a reversible cause like infection, stones or drugs then the dialysis requirement is TEMPORARY until the underlying cause is treated
In cases when the kidney disease has been of long standing duration and now has progressed to end stage, then the dialysis requirement is for a long time
3. MYTH: Dialysis is painful
FACT: The only pain you feel during dialysis is a needle prick to start the dialysis. Thereafter there is no pain during dialysis
4. MYTH: Our patient is too weak to tolerate dialysis
FACT: With the current state of the art new dialysis machines and technology this therapy can be done in all the patients irrespective of age and underlying medical conditions
5. MYTH: Dialysis causes weakness
FACT: Patients on regular, good quality & supervised dialysis feel much more energetic than before. In fact there is a visible increase in appetite and general well being
6. MYTH: Getting dialysis only when feeling unwell is appropriate
FACT: Waiting for complications to occur and then getting dialysis is like putting out fire in your house after it has spread rather than controlling it in the beginning.
In fact this way you spend more for the treatment of the complications then you would have spent on regular dialysis. More over you also have to suffer from the ill effects of this complication
7. MYTH: There are a lot of eating restrictions on dialysis
FACT: There are only a few restrictions after initiation of dialysis as per your medical condition
(It’s mostly moderate fluid &citrus fruits restriction)
8. MYTH: Two times a week dialysis is sufficient
FACT: The worldwide recommendation is for ATLEAST three times a week dialysis.
People who get three times a week dialysis live almost two to three times as long as those who get two times a week dialysis as they have much less complications
9. MYTH: Once on dialysis you need not get any tests done
FACT: You need to monitor all vital parameters at least once a month, which will help you to minimize complications.
10. MYTH: Getting dialysis under nephrologists is expensive
FACT: If a nephrologists is taking care of the patient, you tend to spend less in the long run as the chances of developing complications are much lower. You save a lot of money from avoidable complications and thus frequent hospitalizations. Moreover the quality of dialysis and supportive care is of a much higher standard.