The kidneys are those fist-sized organs that are shaped like beans, they are kind and hardworking organs located in your upper abdominal area attached to the back of the abdominal cavity on either side of your vertebral column, your kidneys have four important roles so luckily we have two of them, they are essential for excretion, cleaning your body every day as it passes through them by removing urea and other chemicals, however sometimes your kidneys may fall sick, this may be self-inflicted such as drinking excessive amounts of alcohol or taking drugs or might occur as a result of another illness such as diabetes or experiencing severe injury that leads to a bacterial infection. This can cause kidney failure which is when your kidney can not function properly anymore leading to a buildup of waste products in your body, as you can imagine, these waste products are dangerous and then staying in your body for too long can cause serious damage, to help relieve the kidneys of this duty, patients can undergo dialysis for about four hours three times a week, so what happens during dialysis, patients sit in chairs much like a lounge chair, a needle is inserted into the patient’s vein and untreated blood stops flowing into the dialysis unit.
Let’s follow this blood to see how it gets cleaned, a pump pushes the blood through the dialysis tubing which is partially permeable to ensure that large particles like blood cells and proteins can not leave the tubing, the tubing is suspended in dialysis fluid or dialysate, dialysis fluid is a special solution of pure water electrolytes and salts, it contains no urea or waste products, no waste in the dialysis fluid means as the blood flows through the tubing, a concentrated gradient is created allowing waste products to be removed from the blood and into the dialysis. Fluid by diffusion, the dialysis fluid also contains electrolytes and salts to help correct any other imbalances in the blood that may have arisen from the kidney failure also making use of concentration gradients and youjin, sometimes glucose is also included in the dialysis fluid either to remove excessive fluid from the blood or to provide the blood with more glucose if it’s lacking, once the blood is thoroughly filtered and cleaned, it returns to the patient through their artery. The used dialysis fluid is then disposed of while dialysis can replace the work of a failed kidney, it can be very uncomfortable and time-consuming, for this reason some people instead offer kidney transplants, however while these proved to be a much better long-term solution as you will not have to eat a restricted diet or experience any discomfort, they tend to be very expensive and finding a matching donor tends to be very difficult even if both conditions are met you still might be at risk of your body tissues rejecting the transplanted kidney which will require you to take immunosuppressive drugs so remember to take good care of your kidneys as they help keep your body clean and healthy.