Nurse Ruth describes what kidneys do in the body.
The kidneys in your body function to remove waste products, waste material from your body.
They also do a number of other things. They regulate fluid in your body. They play a big role in the red cell development, which is the blood, of course.
And they produce a hormone called erythropoietin and when your kidneys don’t function up to par we then have to talk about medications that we have in-center and also that you would be taking at home, as well as the treatment part of it.
So if your kidneys don’t remove toxic waste and they don’t produce the hormones that you need and they have a problem with fluid, then you have a dialyzer on your machine which takes out the toxic waste material and it’s by molecule size, and then you have fluid removal at the same time for excess fluid that you have accumulated in your body.
Then when you are talking about the hormones and that part of the red cell production and you now are taking erythropoietin or Epogen, as we call it in-center, you are also taking some calcium products, some vitamin D – all to help with the bones and the red cell production.
This we do talk about when you are training we have a large section on that, that opens up a lot of discussion and you learn much more about how your body functions, especially the kidneys.
Ruth Gray, R.N., H.H.D., is a registered nurse affiliated with Southwest Kidney Dialysis in Tempe, Arizona. Ruth works with DaVita Tempe Dialysis in the home hemodialysis department, training patients to perform at-home dialysis.