What Is Dialysis Fluid?

When the kidneys fail to function adequately, dialysis may be necessary. This medical treatment removes waste, such as excess salts and fluids, from the body, and this process is repeated on a recurring schedule. Depending on your unique case, either hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis (PD). Depending on how the type of treatment, dialysis fluid can have different meanings.

What Is Dialysis Fluid Made Of?

Dialysis solution is also known as dialysate and dialysis fluid. It is a mixture of dextrose, salt, and minerals, reports the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). The exact concentration varies based on whether hemodialysis or PD is used. Furthermore, it is important to note it is not the same thing as the fluids removed during treatment.

When Is Dialysate Used, and How Does It Affect Treatment?

During treatment, excess fluid and wastes are removed from the body. Although the blood is “cleaned” by the machine, the blood itself does not pass through a filter in the most literal sense. Waste products from the body are dissolved within and carried by the serum in the blood. It would impractical to remove dissolved waste products with a simple filter. This is where dialysate comes into play.

Dialysate facilitates the diffusion of waste products from areas of higher concentration—the blood and cellular tissues—to areas of lower concentration—within the filter. The blood moves through tiny tubes within the artificial kidney. The dialysate passes through in the opposite direction outside of these tubes. The tubes are semi-permeable, similar to the cell membranes of tissues.

The dialysate is the mechanism that removes waste products from the body. In addition, the machine removes excess body fluids from the blood as well. Removing too much fluid can affect treatment and a person’s health.

For example, changes in the volume and speed of blood flowing through the machine may affect blood pressure, heart rate and state of consciousness.

Dialysate is also used in a comparable manner in PD, says the NIDDK. The fluid enters the abdominal cavity and surrounds the organs. The permeable nature of cells allows diffusion of waste products and excess fluid into the dialysate. Upon completion, the solution is removed via the same port of entry.

Know How Dialysis Fluid Enables Your Treatment. 

Treatment for kidney failure through dialysis is usually misunderstood as a treatment when all kidney function stops. However, diminished kidney function, such as chronic kidney disease, may require treatment before kidneys complete fail. In addition, some people may have a sensitivity to dialysis fluid, which impacts the duration and speed of treatment sessions as well. Instead of just hoping for the best, make sure your treating physician understands whether treatment is necessary and how it will impact your life. In fact, schedule your consultation by contacting Southeastern Massachusetts Dialysis Group online or by calling the Taunton Regional Dialysis Center at 1-508-828-5986 today.