What is Dialysis?
Dialysis is an artificial process used for filtering blood in the human body. This treatment is introduced to a patient when their kidneys can no longer perform this function. It helps to get rid of the body’s metabolic wastes and controls the blood pressure.
The word Dialysis is derived from the Greek word “dialusis”, meaning dissolution. Dialysis is used for people with a critical disorder in kidney functioning (grave kidney damage, previously severe renal failure) or advanced but constantly deteriorating kidney function—a condition branded as chronic kidney disease stage 5 (end-stage renal failure or formerly chronic renal disease).
This treatment may continue for months or years, this is because most kidney failures are not typically reversible. Dialysis is considered as a sustaining measure until the kidney transplant is performed. Typically, patients have a longer life expectancy if they opt for a kidney transplant than dialysis.
Kidneys have a significant role in upholding the health of an organism. When they are in good conditions they maintain the body’s inner equilibrium of minerals such as sulfate, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, chloride, potassium, sodium, water, etc. The metabolic byproducts that the human body can’t rid through respiration are expelled from the kidneys.
These kidneys also perform a portion of the endocrine system in manufacturing Erythropoietin, renin and calcitriol. Calcitriol has an important part in
- Calcitriol has an important part in bone development.
- Erythropoietin is used in the manufacture of red blood cells.
Dialysis is not a permanent solution, instead, it should be seen as a temporary alternative to substitute the kidney’s function until the kidney can repair itself. But chronic kidney damage will rarely heal itself, the only solution being a kidney transplant.
Working principle of the dialysis machine
Dialysis functions on the ultrafiltration of fluid through a semipermeable membrane and concept of the dissipation of solutes. Diffusion is a characteristic of materials in water that has the tendency to flow against a concentration gradient.
Blood runs on one flank of the semi-permeable film, and a dialysate, or distinct dialysis fluid, flows on the opposite flank. A selectively permeable layer is a skinny membrane of material that comprises of pores of different sizes or holes. Minor solutes and fluid flow through the layer, but the membrane stops the path of bigger substances (for instance, large proteins, red blood cells). This imitates the filtering procedure that happens in the kidneys when the blood moves into the kidneys and the bigger substances are divided from the minor ones in the glomerulus.
Types of Dialysis
Haemodialysis is done with the help of an artificial kidney machine. The blood is pumped out of the body and purified in the machine, and then it is pumped back in.
- Peritoneal dialysis
Peritoneal dialysis is done by surgically implanting a catheter into the stomach of the user, then, a cleaning fluid (dialysate) is circulated throughout the catheter and absorbs the waste materials from the blood vessels in the walls of the stomach. It is then drawn out and discarded by the user. Peritoneal dialysis is considered to be more versatile and convenient than hemodialysis.
To learn more about dialysis or any other related topics, please visit BYJU’s.