Kidney diseases are usually treated by kidney replacement therapies – usually Dialysis and transplant. Chronic kidney diseases, caused by wide range of causes, are the cause of morbidity and mortality across the world. Dialysis and lide on Dialysis can be a challenging medical procedure. However, it performs the role of substituting the function of kidneys. Speaking to HT Lifestyle, Dr. Suresh Sankar, Nephrologist and Sr. Vice president of Clinical Affairs, NephroPlus said, “It is only in kidney disease, that we have the option to substitute the function intermittently and yet live a reasonable quality of life. Though dialysis therapy can improve the quality of life, several myths prevail about the therapy.”
There is a plethora of myths that surround life on Dialysis. Dr Suresh Sankatr addressed a number of myths and busted them for us:
Myth: Dialysis is a painful procedure
Fact: While initiation and end of dialysis may involve pain due to the use of a needle to access the blood circulation, the dialysis treatment is itself not painful or distressing.
Myth: Dialysis is uncommon
Fact: The number of Indians suffering from chronic kidney ailments has doubled in the past 15 years, and at present, 17 in every hundred citizens suffer from some form of kidney disease, as reported by health experts. The number of patients undergoing Dialysis in India is also increasing by 10-15% every year. The general awareness about kidney disease diagnosis and therapy remains low.
Myth: Patients can’t travel if they are on Dialysis
Fact: Many feel it is necessary to limit travel, either locally or for a vacation. It can be hard to take spontaneous trips and spend extended time away from home. But, thanks to availability and improvement of dialysis services around the country, patients can safely travel quite extensively within India.
Myth: Patients can’t eat normal food if they are on Dialysis
Fact: A carefully thought-out meal plan will play a significant role. A dietitian can help the patients to balance options with their special needs. Some of the key basics to follow are; less salt intake, controlled potassium and phosphorus food, moderate protein intake, and controlled fluids.
Myth: Coping with life on Dialysis is impossible
Fact: Almost everyone gets past their initial fears of being on Dialysis. Yes, it changes the patient’s life, but it can be manageable. Getting to be better informed and knowing what to expect often helps a person to cope better.
Myth: Patients cannot play a sport or exercise while on Dialysis
Fact: Most dialysis patients can exercise to remain healthy. Regular exercise, such as walking, swimming, or bicycling, is the first activity that helps many people on Dialysis feel normal again.