Nephrology Associates of Michigan (NAM) was founded in 1974, it has enjoyed the trust of patients and referring physicians throughout Southeast Michigan.
With normal kidney (renal) function, your kidneys work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to filter or clean your blood. Your kidneys are responsible for getting rid of waste products, excess electrolytes and water. When you urinate you are excreting the waste your kidneys produced by filtering your blood. Your kidneys have many other functions such as making hormones that help to regulate your blood pressure, make red blood cells, and help your bones to stay strong.
With renal replacement therapies cleaning your blood is limited. In-center hemodialysis treatments are only cleaning your blood 3 days a week for an individualized prescribed number of hours. Home hemodialysis treatments may be more frequent for the individualized prescribed hours, and the number of peritoneal dialysis exchanges vary for each individual. If you put this into a perspective of how much your blood is being cleaned on dialysis vs normal kidney function, every minute of every dialysis treatment counts toward your well-being.
Renal therapies are not a cure to CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease) or ESRD (End Stage Renal Disease), but rather a treatment to help your body get rid of unwanted waste products and water. These replacement therapies are very serious to your well-being, quality of life, and survival. Without the necessary individualized treatments damage to all your organs occur.
The most life threatening is the damage to your heart. High fluid gains cause the heart to enlarge and become ineffective in pumping your blood. You may feel bloated, swollen, short of breath, fatigued, experience chest pain, or notice swelling to your legs or feet. You may develop life threatening congestive heart failure or death. High potassium levels can cause your heart to beat irregularly (arrhythmias) which can cause small clots to form which are then sent to the coronary arteries causing a heart attack, or to the brain causing a stroke or may just cause sudden death. You may experience chest pain or be unable to move or communicate. High sodium levels cause fluid retention and high blood pressure which causes more damage to your heart and blood vessels. Again end result heart attack, stroke, or death. High phosphorus can cause bone loss and calcification to your heart and vessels. With poor circulation you lack the ability to keep your body healthy. High phosphorus can cause sores inside and outside the body (calciphylaxis). Loss of body tissues and amputations can result. When the heart gets calcified it can’t pump effectively and sudden cardiac death is also an end result of high phosphorus levels. You may experience bone pain, itching, sores which can develop infections, or chest pain.
Each time you miss a dialysis treatment, go off your renal diet, or miss taking prescribed medications, damage is being done to your organs, including your heart, and your entire body.
By choosing dialysis as a treatment for your ESRD you are choosing life. To ensure the most quality and quantity of life you must come to all of your prescribed renal replacement treatments or do all of your prescribed treatments at home. You are responsible for your life. You are the key to your success. As healthcare providers in the area of nephrology (kidneys), all of the doctor’s, mid-level providers, nurses, technician’s, dieticians and social workers are more than happy to assist you with your dialysis needs. Help your healthcare providers help you by coming to your treatments, following your renal diets and taking all of your prescribed medications. It is not an easy road, but it is possible. Take charge of your life and how clean you keep your blood! We do not give up on you! Please do not give up on yourself!