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Ask The Expert! Featuring Dr. Kamal Sewaralthahab

FEATURING: Dr. Kamal Sewaralthahab, Renal Program Director at Meadow Park

What is chronic kidney disease? (CKD)
Chronic kidney disease is the slow loss of kidney function over a period of years. That means the kidneys lose their ability to filter blood and remove toxins from the body. Early diagnosis and treatment can slow the progression of the disease. Many can live a normal life with CKD by not causing further damage to their kidneys.

What are the types of dialysis?
Hemodialysis is a process in which blood is removed from the body, put through a filter, and then returned to the patient after toxins are removed. It is most often done three times a week in a dialysis center. It can be done at home with the help of a family member. Peritoneal dialysis is a process of cleaning the blood by exchanging clean fluid into a patient’s abdominal cavity thus removing the toxins. This uses the natural filter of the abdominal cavity. A tube is placed in the abdomen to access this membrane. It is a very simple treatment that is done at home by the patient or can be done by a family member.

What lifestyle changes are needed for patients on dialysis?
There are a few very important lifestyle changes that patients on dialysis have to abide by to be healthy. There are dietary restrictions to limit the amount of potassium, sodium, and phosphorus patients may consume. Dialysis only removes a limited amount of these substances, and overindulgence can become toxic – and in fact, be fatal. There are also fluid restrictions as these processes can only remove fluid intermittently unlike our kidneys which function 24/7 to do this task. The timing of how medicines are given is also very important.

Does every healthcare provider know how to take care of dialysis patients?
No. The care of patients with kidney disease is done by nephrologists who spend two or more years training after their specialty training in internal medicine. At Meadow Park, board-certified nephrologists educate our staff and develop care plans to ensure that your loved ones are receiving the best treatment possible.

To learn more about our CKD Management Program, call 410-402-1200.