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Dialysis
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.6

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    anemia, cyclic, dialysate, dialyzer, dietitian, erythropoetin, intermittent, perspiration, removal, simplify, swelling, clinic, continuous, difficulty, medication, nausea


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Dialysis
By Jennifer Kenny
  

1     Do you know what function your kidneys have? They clean waste from your blood. They also regulate hormones. The human body has two kidneys that are shaped like beans and are about the size of fists. They can be found below your ribs, toward your back. Acting as filters, your kidneys mix the waste with water to create urine. The urine is stored in your bladder until you empty it.
 
2     Sometimes kidneys don't work. Unfortunately, symptoms are often only noticed when eighty percent of kidney function has already been lost. Symptoms that the kidneys are not working correctly include joint problems, body aches and pains, bone problems, being tired, nausea, vomiting, trouble concentrating, swelling in the skin, itchy skin, sleep problems, fluid congestion in the lungs, high blood pressure, and anemia.
 
3     When kidney function has declined to this extent, decisions about care must be made. Some people are fortunate enough to be able to get a new kidney through a transplant. Ideally, the donated kidney would come from a living, related donor. If not, the transplant may come from another donor. After the surgery if the new kidney is functioning, no dialysis would be necessary.
 
4     While waiting for a transplant, though, patients with failing kidneys need an artificial filtering system to remove waste from the blood. It is a kind of life support treatment. It can't cure kidney disease, but the filtering is necessary to keep the patient living. Dialysis treatment is a combination of waste removal and fluid removal. Dialysis is sometimes used for very ill patients whose kidneys have suddenly lost their ability to work. This is known as acute renal failure. On the other hand, dialysis is often used for stable patients whose kidneys permanently don't work. This is known as end stage renal failure.

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