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Home Dialysis: Fewer Restrictions, More Benefits

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Dialysis is a vital treatment for people with kidney failure that removes unwanted toxins, waste products, and extra fluid from your body. It provides a lifeline for people whose kidneys are no longer working properly, but it also comes with some dialysis restrictions. People on dialysis may have special diets or take added medications. While any type of dialysis treatment will come with some restrictions, home dialysis may provide a more flexible schedule and require fewer overall restrictions than in-center options. 

Types of Home Dialysis

There are two types of home dialysis, peritoneal dialysis (PD) and hemodialysis (home HD). Each type of home dialysis has its own considerations, such as personal health goals, and some people may be better candidates for one over the other. Both home HD and PD can lead to fewer dialysis restrictions. Talk to your nephrologist, or kidney doctor, and care team to determine which treatment option is right for you.

Enjoying Fewer Restrictions with Home Dialysis

Home dialysis puts you in control to manage your own treatments. You’ll work closely with your care team to train until you feel confident completing your dialysis treatments at home, either on your own or with a care partner. With home treatment, you may benefit from fewer dialysis restrictions while also dialyzing from the comfort of home.

Take fewer medications

Home dialysis may lead to fewer medications. This is because excess waste and fluid is filtered out more often, as home dialysis generally happens more frequently than in-center dialysis. With more frequent dialysis, toxins don’t build up as much, which can lead to fewer medications to control the effects of kidney failure.

Relish more food options

Your dietary restrictions may vary based on your home dialysis schedule. Most people using home dialysis dialyze more frequently, which can lead to fewer dietary restrictions. Your specific dietary needs will be determined by your doctor and dietitian. You may also be able to increase your fluid intake since more frequent dialysis helps manage excess fluids.

Improved energy levels

Dialyzing more frequently is closer to natural kidney function than dialyzing a few times each week. Many people who choose home dialysis find that the more frequent therapy leads to reduced recovery times and increased energy.1

Greater flexibility in scheduling

Everyone on dialysis has personalized medical needs and their own schedule. Home dialysis is often done on your own terms in your own space. Your schedule is developed by your doctor, and is customizable to your health and lifestyle needs. You’ll likely be able to continue to work, go to school, socialize, or even travel as home therapy allows you to adjust your schedules around activities.

Starting on Home Dialysis

If you’re interested in reducing your dialysis restrictions through home treatment, talk to your kidney doctor and care team. They can help determine if you’re a good candidate for home dialysis and which treatment is right for you. From there you’ll start an award-winning training program that can take two to six weeks, depending on your specific needs, until you’re ready to take charge and dialyze at home.

References

1 Finkelstein FO, Schiller B, Daoui R, Gehr TW, et al. At-home short daily hemodialysis improves the long-term health-related quality of life. Kidney International 2012;82(5):561-569. https://doi.org/10.1038/ki.2012.168.


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