The Science of Kidney and Dialysis

The Science of Kidney and Dialysis

The Science of Kidney and Dialysis

When it comes to kidney failure, dialysis is one of the most beneficial and effective treatment options for people whose condition is not bad enough to make a kidney transplant a necessity. By the utilization of some specialized biological solutions along with the incorporation of technology, dialysis is an artificial method to purify blood and mimic kidney functioning. 

Therefore, this article covers everything you need to know about kidney functioning and the role of dialysis in giving people with kidney failure a healthy life. 

5 Primary Functions Of Kidneys

Kidneys are responsible for performing 5 crucial functions in your body:

1. Filtration Of Blood

Kidneys aid in excretion by filtering out the unwanted components from the blood to form urine. Some examples of waste products generated after the filtration of blood by kidneys include excessive fluids and electrolytes. 

2. Maintaining The Fluid And Electrolyte Balance

Kidneys play an important role in maintaining the balance of fluids and electrolytes in your body along with the maintenance of acid-base levels. Examples of such  electrolytes include:

  • Sodium 
  • Potassium 
  • Calcium 

3. Regulation Of Blood Pressure

Having too high blood pressure can lead to diseases like hypertension whereas extremely low blood pressure causes hypotension. Both of these conditions can affect your day-to-day life negatively. Therefore, kidneys help in maintaining normal blood pressure by impacting your blood volume along with looking after the construction and dilation levels of your blood vessels.

4. Production Of Red Blood Cells

The main hormone that produces RBCs, that is, red blood cells is called erythropoietin. It functions by activating your bone marrow for red blood cell production. If your body doesn’t produce enough red blood cells, it can lead to a wide variety of health issues ranging from iron deficiency and ultimately causing anaemia. 

5. Activation Of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins that your body needs to keep your bones healthy and strong. Kidneys help to activate vitamin D to make it beneficial for your body.

What Happens When Your Kidneys Stop Working?

When your kidneys lose their ability to perform their functions efficiently, the development of a disease called kidney dysfunction, renal disease or simply kidney disease occurs. Improper functioning of kidneys leads to a broad range of health complications such as: 

  • Excessive accumulation of waste products in your bloodstream leads to uremia
  • Fluid retention resulting in oedema
  • Muscle weakness
  • Irregular and abnormal heart rhythms
  • Disruption of electrolyte balances
  • High blood pressure
  • Anemia
  • Increase in the possibility of bone fractures
  • Acid-Base imbalances
  • Increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases
  • Decrease in urine output
  • Impaired immunity

As the renal disease progresses further it turns into chronic kidney disease (CKD) finally taking the form of End-stage renal disease (ESRD) When the end-stage renal disease worsens, the need for medical interventions such as dialysis or kidney transplantation becomes necessary. 

What Is Dialysis And How Does It Help?

The process of dialysis works by acting the same as your kidneys to replace their primary functions and provide blood purification in a way that is almost the same as that done by kidneys except the process is artificial. For people having ESRD or end-stage renal disease, dialysis can provide relief and with regular management, patients can lead a healthy life. 

There are 2 main types of dialysis procedures:

1. Hemodialysis

An equipment called a dialyser is used to remove and filter out the blood from a patient’s body. The dialyzer has a semi-permeable membrane that retains elements like proteins and blood cells as they are beneficial and necessary for your body while eliminating waste materials and extra fluids. Thus, the process carries out the cleaning of blood to finally return the purified blood to your body. 

2. Peritoneal Dialysis

In this method, an instrument called a catheter is inserted into your abdominal cavity and the peritoneal membrane, a membrane that lines your abdominal cavity, is utilized as a natural filter. Following this, a liquid called dialysate solution is added to the peritoneal cavity. 

Dialysate solution acts as a magnet that attracts the waste materials and other additional fluids from the blood. 

When the dialysate solution reaches its capacity and it cannot filter the blood anymore, it is extracted and a fresh solution is then re-added in its place. These cycles are then repeated to facilitate proper filtration and excretion.

Benefits of dialysis

The key benefits of dialysis include:

  • Efficient waste removal which prevents kidney dysfunction symptoms from getting worse 
  • Removal of excessive fluids to create proper fluid-electrolyte balance in the body
  • Electrolyte regulation to control the amount of electrolytes present in the blood
  • Maintenance of normal blood pressure levels
  • Alleviation of the symptoms causing pain and discount
  • Improved overall quality of life
  • Elongation of the lifespan of the patient
  • For people who want to get kidney transplantation, dialysis acts as an excellent bridge before the transplantation


In conclusion, if you follow your doctor’s instructions correctly and have regular visits to get dialysis done, you can lead a normal life even with end-stage renal disease.

However, it is essential to note that regular dialysis sessions are important for the correct maintenance of the effects of dialysis. Plus, adopting healthy lifestyle habits along with strictly following your doctor’s guidelines can help to maximize the benefits of dialysis.