Kidney Failure Treatments and Complications
Kidney failure treatments may cause complications that may require prompt treatment. But some of the kidney failure treatment complications or side effects of treatment may be prevented or easily treated. Let us have a look at some of the possible complications that may occur when undergoing treatment for total kidney failure.
Three treatment options are available for a patient whose kidneys totally fail to function. They are hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, and transplantation.
Hemodialysis: Possible Complications
People on hemodialysis may experience problems with their vascular access. The vascular access is the site on the patient’s body where blood is removed and returned during dialysis. Problems with the vascular access include access infection and low blood flow due to blood clotting in the access.
Other problems may be caused by rapid changes in water and chemical balance during treatment. It may include muscle cramping and hypotension. Hypotension is the sudden drop in blood pressure, which can make a person feel weak and dizzy.
It takes time for a person to adjust to hemodialysis. People who undergo hemodialysis should report any side effects to their doctor and dialysis staff.
Following a proper diet, limiting fluid intake, and taking medications as prescribed by the doctor may prevent many of the side effects of hemodialysis.
Peritoneal Dialysis: Possible Complications
A common treatment complication encountered by patients who undergo peritoneal dialysis is peritonitis. Peritonitis is a serious abdominal infection, which occurs when the opening where the catheter enters the patient’s body becomes infected.
Signs of peritonitis may include fever, unusual color or cloudiness of the used fluid, and redness or pain around the catheter.
To prevent peritonitis in peritoneal dialysis, patients should carefully follow procedures exactly. In addition, a patient who experiences the signs of peritonitis should immediately inform his or her doctor for prompt treatment. Peritonitis can be treated with prescribed antibiotics.
Kidney Transplantation: Possible Complications
A possible treatment complication of kidney transplantation is kidney rejection. A common cause of rejection is not taking medications as prescribed by the doctor.
In order to prevent kidney rejection, the doctor will prescribe medicines called immunosuppressants. These kinds of medicines weaken the immune system, thus, preventing the possibility of rejection. However, the patient taking immuno suppressants will be prone to having infections because of the weakened immune system.
In some cases, the patient’s body may still reject the new kidney and he or she will need to go back on dialysis.
Note: Talk with your doctor about what treatment option is best for you and about the possible complications of each treatment.
National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse (February 2008). Vascular Access for Hemodialysis (NIH Publication No. 08—4554). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD. Web URL: http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/vascularaccess/. Accessed: November 30, 2008
National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse (November 2007). Kidney Failure: Choosing a Treatment That’s Right for You (NIH Publication No. 08—2412). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD. Web URL: http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/choosingtreatment/index.html. Accessed: November 30, 2008
National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse (May 2006). Treatment Methods for Kidney Failure: Kidney Transplantation (NIH Publication No. 06—4687). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD. Web URL: http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/transplant/. Accessed: November 30, 2008