Why Home Hemodialysis?
Editor’s Note: During National Kidney Month, in March, I’ve asked members of the Home Dialysis Central Facebook discussion group to share their personal experiences with PD or home HD. This repost by Kamal from his own blog site, kamaldshah.com, is the first of these stories.
Many people ask me why I choose to do home hemodialysis. To me the answer is quite simple. The main reason I do home hemodialysis is that it makes it easy for me to do daily nocturnal dialysis. This begs the question, why daily nocturnal?
I’m going to let you into a secret here.
Many people do daily nocturnal hemodialysis because they say the outcomes rival those of a deceased donor transplant (cadaver transplant). They say the risks of organ stunning, damage to the heart and many other co-morbidities associated with long term kidney failure (and hence dialysis) are much lower with daily nocturnal hemodialysis than the regular thrice a week modality.
Honestly, for me all that does not matter much. I do daily nocturnal only for one reason - no diet and fluid restrictions. I eat and drink pretty much what I want and how much I want. I don’t stop to think whether something is high potassium or high phosphorous. I don’t stop to think how much I have drunk today before sipping on a cola.
This freedom to eat and drink without any restriction is the main reason I do home hemo.
That said, there are other things that are good about this modality:
- Flexibility to do dialysis when you want to. You can skip when you choose not to do dialysis. You can choose to do dialysis if you feel like it.
- Flexibility on the time of dialysis. I got late at a party? No problem. Dialysis will begin late and will be only 6 hours instead of the 7 1/2.
- Full control over dialysis parameters. I can play around with the dialysate temperature and sodium level based on how I feel and what I have read helps.
All this is good. But the main reason is no diet and fluid restrictions. Period.