Many people ask me why I choose to do home hemodialysis. To me the answer is quite simple. The main reason I do home hemodialysis is that it makes it easy for me to do daily nocturnal dialysis. This begs the question, why daily nocturnal?
I’m going to let you into a secret here.
Many people do daily nocturnal hemodialysis because they say the outcomes rival those of a deceased donor transplant (cadaver transplant). They say the risks of organ stunning, damage to the heart and many other co-morbidities associated with long term kidney failure (and hence dialysis) are much lower with daily nocturnal hemodialysis than the regular thrice a week modality.
Honestly, for me all that does not matter much. I do daily nocturnal only for one reason - no diet and fluid restrictions. I eat and drink pretty much what I want and how much I want. I don’t stop to think whether something is high potassium or high phosphorous. I don’t stop to think how much I have drunk today before sipping on a cola.
This freedom to eat and drink without any restriction is the main reason I do home hemo.
That said, there are other things that are good about this modality:
- Flexibility to do dialysis when you want to. You can skip when you choose not to do dialysis. You can choose to do dialysis if you feel like it.
- Flexibility on the time of dialysis. I got late at a party? No problem. Dialysis will begin late and will be only 6 hours instead of the 7 1/2.
- Full control over dialysis parameters. I can play around with the dialysate temperature and sodium level based on how I feel and what I have read helps.
All this is good. But the main reason is no diet and fluid restrictions. Period.