What You Need to Know
What is Hemodialysis?
Process of Dialysis
Blood is cleaned and returned to your body.
Not just humans!
Dogs and other animals can get dialysis too!
Even little kids can need dialysis!
People young and old can have acute renal failure.
Why do I need it?
- The blood tests that are used to measure how well your kidneys are functioning increases (BUN & Creatinine) meaning that your kidney function would decrease even more and create further damage.
- Nausea, vomiting, headache, muscle twitching, lethargy (extremely tired), or seizures could occur.
- Since the kidney's would be worsening, you would be at a high risk for getting electrolyte imbalances. Electrolytes are important and they aid in several bodily functions. If your Potassium levels get too high- it can cause serious issues. You could have an irregular heart beat, weakness, diarrhea, and cardiac arrest.
How does the blood get to the dialysis machine?
How often will I have to do this?
What is a typical treatment?
- First, you will arrive to the dialysis center and check in with the front desk, then a nurse will take your weight and vital signs- blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, oxygen level, and respirations.
- Then the nurse will assess your arm and listen to your fistula to hear a swooshing sound, which means that the fistula is still working. They will also feel for a buzzing feeling at the site of the fistula.
- Once your fistula is accessed, the nurse will be there with you to monitor you and make sure you are comfortable and if you need anything. They will check your blood pressure throughout the dialysis treatment. Sometimes because the dialysis is removing extra fluids in your blood can cause your blood pressure to drop a little bit which can make you have a headache or become nauseous. It is important to let the nurse know how you are feeling so that they are able to help you!
- Then after the site is cleaned, the two needles will be inserted into the fistula- one on the venous side and the other on the arterial side. From there the blood will go into the dialyzer and be filtered of all of the waste and excess fluid and the cleaned blood will return to the body through the venous access site and return to the heart.
- The process lasts for about 4 hours and during that time you can study or do homework, listen to music, watch TV, read, sleep, play on your laptop, watch Netflix, play on your phone, whatever you'd like to do! You will also be in a comfortable recliner with pillows to make it even better.
- After the session is done, the nurse will take out the needles and make sure they are no longer bleeding, then they will take your weight again to measure how much fluid was taken out of your blood.
- The nurse will take your vitals once more and if everything is all set, out the door you go!
How is this going to affect my life?
What do I have to change in my diet?
- Eat more Protein
- Eat less foods that have salt, phosphorus, and potassium in them.
Eat a high protein diet, including- fish, chicken, fresh pork, eggs, beef, seafood, veal, and turkey. You should have 8-10 ounces of protein per day.
- One egg is equivalent to 1 ounce
- A piece of meat that is the size of a deck of cards is equivalent to 3 ounces.
Grains: 6-11 servings per day.
Dairy: 1/2 a cup of milk (4 ounces), 1/2 a cup of yogurt, or 1 ounce of cheese.
Phosphorus: AVOID- dairy foods, limit to one 4 ounce serving per day. MUST take a phosphate binder when you do have it!! (Your doctor will give you a prescription for this)
- butter, cream cheese, heavy cream, brie, sherbet, ricotta cheese.
Fruit: 2-3 servings of low potassium fruit per day.
Vegetables: 2-3 servings of low potassium vegetables per day.
Potassium: AVOID: oranges, orange juice, raisins, dried fruit, bananas, kiwis, melons, prunes, prune juice, nectarines. Potatoes (unless soaked before making them), tomatoes and tomato sauce, avocado, cooked spinach, pumpkin, asparagus, winter squash.
- Apple, berries, cherries, watermelon, peach, grapes, plums, tangerine.
- broccoli, cabbage, carrots, lettuce, onion, celery, cauliflower, cucumber, radishes, watercress, garlic, eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, green and wax beans.
Sweets: You can have: doughnuts, cookies- ginger snaps, shortbread, sugar, vanilla wafers, pie- apple, berry, cherry, lemon, peach.
Drinks/fluids: This is one of the most important things to abide by, the doctor is going to set a restriction on how many fluids you can have in one day. It will most likely be around 32-36 ounces per day. It is best if you break it up into small drinks throughout the day so you are able to relieve thirstiness.
I know that this may seem like a lot of things that you cannot eat, but if you go to page 9 & 10 on this article posted below, it gives you a good representation of all of the yummy foods that you can still have!!
This article is also a good resource to better understand how different foods affect your kidneys and different recipes as well!
- Dietary Guidelines for Adults Starting on Hemodialysis. (2014, August 12). Retrieved November 24, 2015, from https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/dietary_hemodialysis
- Dialysis. (n.d.) Retrieved November 24, 2015, from http://kidneysteps.com/step-2/dialysis/
Pellico, L. (2013). Focus on adult health: Medical-surgical nursing. Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
The Renal Diet. (n.d.) Retrieved November 24, 2015,http://www.vcuhealth.org/transplant/docs/renal_diet.pdf