The Impact and Importance of Dialysis

What I Wanted to Know

I have chosen to talk about the impacts of dialysis because my mother has a kidney disease named “IgA Nephropathy”. This disease will cause my mom to be on dialysis for the rest of her life. Luckily though, she gets to do dialysis at home every night instead of going to a dialysis treatment center. This is beneficial because it does not interrupt her duties as a single mother and her kidney disease has made those responsibilities very challenging.

In addition, both my grandfather and great grandfather suffered kidney failure that was caused by different kidney diseases which also resulted in them both havhavekidney removed. Their kidney diseases eventually led to kidney cancer which ended in their deaths. I am thankful because the doctors caught my mother’s disease early on and have treated it carefully ever since. However, I do not know much about how dialysis and how steps kidneys or the process which it undergoes to treat the kidneys.

I do know that it acts as a filter system and it is compulsory for the survival of any failing kidney. How does dialysis work and why is it so beneficial?

The Story of My Search

As I began my research to learn about what exactly dialysis is, does, and why it is so beneficial, I first looked into the disease my mother has which is IgA Nephropathy. I then googled the disease by searching “What is IgA Nephropathy?”. After finding out specific information about my mother’s disease, I was eager to learn how dialysis helps in treating it.

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I began my search on google by typing in just “Dialysis.” Google took me to a website that described “Key Points: About Dialysis for Kidney”. After reading these key points I realized that, although the website had detailed information, it was not enough, and I still needed to know more. I then went to YouTube and searched “How does dialysis work?” (Fite 2014) It brought me to a video that told me about the process of dialysis and what it does to the kidneys. It explained how it acts as a filter system for the body’s liquid waste. The vitally beneficial, information was explained to me rather in a better form than me reading the information and trying to interpret it on my own. After a few days of not working on the essay, I went with my mother to her nephrologist appointment. Rehan Shah is her doctor, he told me about dialysis and its process. He described why the type of dialysis my mother does and why it is beneficial for her. Unfortunately, I did not understand the information he was saying to me because I knew little about dialysis and IgA nephropathy, to begin with. He also used big medical words that flew right over my head. I was frustrated after this because my research in this was proving to be more difficult than I had initially imagined. My mother then tried to explain to me the same information in simpler terms than her doctor had used. I had very little information at this point and I even considered changing my topic because I felt like I had not gotten anywhere, but I decided not to give up so that I could understand more about how my mother’s illness affects her everyday life.

After talking with my mother more about her process of dialysis and the process in general I kept digging for information. I then continued my search on google. I googled “What is Dialysis?” and it brought me to an amazing article titled “What is Dialysis?” How ironic. The information in this article got my essay on track. Before reading this article, I had no idea about the different types of dialysis. However, after reading and evaluating each source, I decided that I should not go into detail about my mother’s specific disease, IgA Nephropathy. This is because IgA nephropathy is not the only disease that causes kidney failure which then results in dialysis. Multiple diseases cause kidneys to fail. After thinking about this long and hard, I decided to remove that information and focus on just dialysis and how it helps people with failing kidneys in their everyday life. Next, I needed a peer-reviewed journal. This process was frustrating and after reading several, I decided on the journal “Comparing the Risk for Death with Peritoneal Dialysis and Hemodialysis in a National Cohort of Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease” (Jaar). I selected this journal because it revealed information that was surprising to me and information that none of my previous sources had revealed. I did not realize that kidney disease is found often and is rapidly growing among humans. I also did not know until reading this journal that renal was another name for kidney. This was the last source I needed, so I was ready to begin developing my essay.

What I Learned

Kidney failure does not happen in a blink of an eye. As kidney failure begins to happen the number of symptoms or signs is rare. As the kidneys fail, the level of creatinine that is found in the blood begins to increase drastically. “Creatinine is a compound that is produced by metabolism of creatine and excreted in the urine”. “The amount of creatinine in the blood is a factor used in calculating the GFR (glomerular filtration rate, a measure of kidney function) (Key Points: About Dialysis for Kidney Failure).” When kidney failure begins to happen there are two options to survive. Dialysis or a kidney transplant (Fite). However, in order kidney transplant, the second kidney has to be functioning properly. So many patients seek dialysis first.

Dialysis has been available since the 1940s. In the 1960s dialysis became a system for regular treatment. Although kidney disease is not discussed as a major issue like cancer, kidney disease is found in humans more than we realize. “The number of patients requiring renal replacement therapy is projected to exceed 2 million patients by 2030” (Jaar). Therefore, dialysis is becoming more essential because although a transplant is the best option, dialysis is needed first. “The burden of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in the United States has increased dramatically over the past 30 years, with the number of patients treated for ESRD with dialysis or transplantation reaching more than 400,000 by the end of 2001” (Jaar). Dialysis is important.

Dialysis acts as a filtering system by removing waste such as salt and extra water. By doing this it keeps the harmful waste from collecting in the blood and the body. It keeps the body functioning by keeping safe chemicals in your blood. If harmful chemicals build up in the blood kidney function will increase rapidly. In addition, it helps to control blood pressure which is something that worsens when kidneys begin to fail. Unfortunately, kidney failure does not go away, so many patients that start dialysis remain on it for the rest of their lives (What is Dialysis).

There are two types of dialysis, hemodialysis and peritoneal. During hemodialysis, an artificial kidney is used to remove the harmful chemicals in your blood. To allow the blood to flow to the new kidney. For this to happen, minor surgery will take place on either the arm or the leg. However, if this does not work other surgeries will be performed so that this form of dialysis will be successful (What is Dialysis).

Peritoneal dialysis is a type of dialysis where the blood is cleaned while remaining inside the body. Surgery is required by inserting a catheter into the belly to allow the blood to be cleaned. During this type of treatment, dialysate runs through the tube so that the blood can be cleaned. At the end of this process extra fluids exit out of the catheter. There are two types of Peritoneal Dialysis. Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis also known as CAPD is done without any type of machine which is unusual. It is done by the patient and usually occurs four to five times a day. This can be done at home or work. The process is done by inserting dialysate through the catheter that flows straight to the belly. The dialysate remains there for four to five hours before leaving the tube. The bag that contains waste must then be thrown away. Each time this is done a new bag of dialysate is required. Luckily, while this type of dialysis is taking place you can go on with your day by doing your normal activities which are seen as beneficial. The second type of Peritoneal Dialysis is Automated Peritoneal Dialysis APD. This is done at home using a machine called a cycler during nighttime while the patient is sleeping. Many cycles take place depending on your condition. Each cycle lasts 1-1/2 hours and exchanges also happen while one sleeps during the night (What is Dialysis?). This type of dialysis is done mostly by young people and parents because it is beneficial. It allows the young parents to continue with their everyday lives and continue to put their status as a parent first (Shah).

Unfortunately, dialysis does not cure kidneys, but it keeps them from worsening. Most patients on dialysis live normal lives except for taking out the time for treatments.


I knew going into this research paper that this topic was very meaningful to me, but I had no idea how I would feel after. I now realize how tough it is to have failing kidneys and how important dialysis is to one who is suffering from kidney disease, like my mother. Dialysis is important and should never be skipped. Before researching this topic, I would beg my mother to stay up late with me or run a late errand and she would always remind me that she had to do dialysis at night. I would get so angry and ask her to just skip one night. Because of this research never will I ever ask her to skip the thing that keeps her alive. Dialysis is the key aspect for one whose kidneys are failing and if not done will result in death. I know that one day I could be like my mother by having kidney disease and now I know the importance of dialysis and how it helps.

Works Cited

  1. Fite, Christian. “How Does Dialysis Work?” YouTube, 22 May 2014,
  2. Jaar, Bernard G., et al. “Comparing the Risk for Death with Peritoneal Dialysis and Hemodialysis in a National Cohort of Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease.” Annals Of Internal Medicine, vol. 143, no. 3, Aug. 2005, pp. 174–183. EBSCOhost, proxygsu-abr1.
  3. Key Points: About Dialysis for Kidney Failure. National Kidney Foundation, 3 Dec. 2014,
  4. Shah, Rehan. Personal Interview. 25, October 2018.
  5. What Is Dialysis? National Kidney Foundation, 2 July 2018,

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The Impact and Importance of Dialysis. (2022, Jun 21). Retrieved from

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