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All You Need To Know About Kidney Failure and Dialysis Centers In Manila

A complication like kidney failure is going to warrant a trip to a dialysis center in Manila. But before diving deep into the disease itself, you need to learn about the organ first.

The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that are located below the rib cage. Healthy kidneys are important for the body. Without healthy kidneys, waste will accumulate in the body and can cause serious illness in the future.

The kidney filters about half a cup of blood every minute. The waste is then converted into urine so that it may exit the body through the bladder and then the urethra. The kidney is the key to keeping the body balanced and without this balanced foundation, various parts of the body will have a hard time functioning properly.

Kidneys are made up of filtering units called nephrons. Nephrons have filters called the glomerulus and tubule. The glomerulus filters the blood. This filter is made up of tiny blood vessels with thin walls that allow molecules such as water, wastes, and fluids to pass into the tubule. Large molecules like blood cells and protein stay in the blood vessel.

The filtered fluid flows through the tubule, with the blood vessels absorbing most of the water, nutrients, and minerals that are essential for the body. Another function of the tubule is to remove the excess acid from the blood. After this process is finished, the remaining fluid and waste found in the tubule are converted into urine.

In order to manage kidney failure, dialysis or a kidney transplant is recommended. Dr. Willem Kolff invented the first dialyzer in 1943. He began the development of the first dialyzer in 1930. He saw a young patient slowly succumb to kidney failure and this prompted him to develop a machine that would function as an artificial kidney.

The outbreak of World War II became a problem, but that did not stop Kolff from giving up. He improvised with materials such as sausage skins, orange juice cans, and a washing machine to make a device that would filter out waste in the blood. The machine was completed, although the first trials were unsuccessful. In 1945 he experienced a breakthrough with an elderly woman in a comatose state suffering from a uremic coma. She regained consciousness after 11 hours of being on the dialyzer. This machine was the first modern drum dialyzer. It was considered the standard dialyzer for the next decade.

What is Kidney Failure?

According to the American Kidney Fund, the end-stage of renal disease is kidney failure. This failure is caused by inherent health problems that may have caused permanent damage to the kidneys over time. Damaged kidneys have a difficult time filtering waste and keeping the body balanced. Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure, while diseases such as high blood pressure, autoimmune diseases, genetics, and urinary tract problems can also cause kidney failure.

Acute kidney injury or acute renal failure can cause the kidney to suddenly cease function within two days. Heart attack, substance abuse, restricted blood flow to the kidney and urinary tract problems are some common causes. Kidney failure is fortunately not permanent. Kidneys may go back to normal with proper treatment and as long as there are no serious health problems alongside this.


Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Failure

Chronic kidney disease has a total of five stages. These stages are based on how well the kidney functions. The early stages of chronic kidney disease may indicate that the kidney can still filter out the waste product. Late-stage chronic kidney disease, meanwhile, has the kidneys working overtime to get rid of your waste. At its most severe, the kidneys may potentially stop working altogether.

To find out which stage you might be at, take the estimated glomerular filtration rate test or eGFR test. This will test out your creatinine levels. However, do know that this test is not always accurate as you need to consider your lifestyle, age and weight.

To find out if you have kidney failure, visit a hospital or dialysis center in Manila and have your blood tested. The creatinine level should confirm your results. Creatinine is a molecule produced by muscles. Normal functioning kidneys should be able to remove excess creatinine from the bloodstream. Therefore, high levels of creatinine are a sign that the kidneys are not functioning and filtering out waste as well as they should.

Taking this test can help confirm kidney failure even before the patient shows any signs or symptoms.

Stage 1 CKD

Stage 1 Chronic Kidney Disease usually consists of mild damage and no obvious symptoms. Scoring 90 and above for your eGFR means you’re perfectly healthy. However, if you find that you have Stage 1 Chronic Kidney Disease, you might be suffering from other symptoms of kidney failure even with a normal eGFR score. Watch out for protein and physical damage to your kidneys.

Stage 2 CKD

If you find that your eGFR falls below 90, you might be at Stage 2 CKD. Similar to Stage 1 CKD, there are no visible symptoms of mild kidney damage. 60 to 89 eGFR can still mean that your kidneys are functioning properly. Proteins and physical damage might be the culprit if the results point to a Stage 2 CKD.

Stage 3 CKD

Stage 3 CKD is where you have to diligently watch out for your health. Your kidneys, at this point, have accumulated significant amounts of damage and are no longer working properly.

Stage 3a eGFR indicates that the creatinine levels in your blood are between 45 and 59 while Stage 3b places your eGFR at 30 and 44. Stage 3 CKD doesn’t usually show obvious symptoms but watch out for swelling hands and feet, back pain and frequent or minimized urination.

The waste builds up in Stage 3 CKD can cause complications in the body such as high blood pressure, anemia and bone disease. Visit your trusted nephrologist and doctors at Las Pinas Medical Center for proper treatment.

Stage 4 CKD

Stage 4 CKD has your eGFR between 15 and 30. At this point, your kidneys are severely damaged and are having a hard time filtering out waste. Take this stage seriously as this is the final step before actual kidney failure.

Watch out for symptoms such as swelling of hands and feet, back pain and abnormal urination. Your doctor might recommend that you visit a dialysis center in Manila to get started on your dialysis treatment. Alternatively, you may opt for a kidney transplant as well. Remember, these treatments require a lot of preparation. It’s best to get a trusted diagnosis opinion to be sure about the treatment you want.

Stage 5 CKD

Stage 5 Kidney Disease means that your kidneys are on the verge of failure or have already failed. The symptoms for this stage are very severe because your kidneys have stopped working. Toxins and waste build up in the blood, with your eGFR going below 15.

Symptoms of Kidney Failure:

  • Itching
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Lack of Appetite
  • Swelling in both hands and feet
  • Back pain
  • Abnormal urination (frequent or lessened)
  • Sleep Troubles
  • Breathing problems

Kidney failure definitely requires you to undergo dialysis treatments or surgery in order to prolong your life. Delaying treatment can lead to more complications and can negatively affect your life span.

What is Dialysis?

Once kidney failure occurs, what’s next? One option available to you is undergoing dialysis treatment at a dialysis center in Manila. Dialysis filters and purifies the blood, similar to normal kidney function. Fluids and electrolytes need to be balanced and dialysis assists in this. Keeping the body running normally can regulate blood pressure and chemicals in the body. Dialysis protects the body from sodium and waste that accumulates in the body, which can potentially poison and damage organs.

Dialysis is time-consuming and expensive. Most patients don’t choose dialysis if they’re suffering from acute kidney failure. There are other treatments you can choose if this isn’t an appealing option for you. Anemia management involves erythropoietin — a hormone naturally occurring and produced in the body. An under-functioning kidney can get an injection of erythropoietin weekly. Maintaining your blood pressure can slow down the damage to your kidneys. Proper hydration should be practiced to keep the body healthy.

Kidney Transplant vs Dialysis

According to the Urology Care Foundation, kidney transplants are one of the most common surgeries performed today. Patients with kidney failure can be saved with a kidney transplant. Unhealthy kidneys are replaced with one healthy kidney. If you’re planning to have a kidney transplant, consult your doctor if you need a transplant or a treatment at a dialysis center in Manila.

The kidney can either come from a deceased donor or a living donor. Your living donor will still have normal kidney function, even after donating one to you. The disadvantage of having a kidney transplant from a deceased donor is that you may have to wait for a long time before you can get your transplant. There is a long waiting list for deceased donor transplants, so it’s best to consult with your doctor before going through surgery.

Undergoing a kidney transplant is not necessarily a cure for kidney failure. You are still required to take medicine to make sure that your immune system doesn’t reject your transplanted kidney. You will also need to visit your doctor regularly because these medications can also put you at risk for infections and cancer. The longevity of a kidney transplant is dependant on the individual. Patients might need multiple transplants in one lifetime.

Some patients get a transplant before starting any dialysis treatments. This type of transplant is preemptive. It can allow you to avoid having dialysis treatment. Patients, no matter their age, can undergo a kidney transplant. If you’re planning to get a transplant, it’s best to start out with an evaluation. This evaluation includes a full medical and psychosocial evaluation. Donors also need to go through an evaluation to see if they’re compatible and sufficiently healthy enough to donate.

Types of Dialysis

If your kidney is only functioning at 10% to 15%, it might be time to consider undergoing dialysis treatment. Some symptoms mentioned above may not be obvious, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any waste build up in your body. After a consultation with your doctor, they might recommend this treatment.


Hemodialysis involves a machine that uses a special filter called the artificial kidney. The artificial kidney is also called a dialyzer. This dialyzer cleans your blood and works similarly to a properly functioning kidney. Your doctor has to perform minor surgery on your arm or neck to create vascular access.

A fistula is created by joining a vein and artery together through surgery. This vascular access is usually located in the arm. Once the surgery heals, the vein becomes wider and thicker, which makes it easier for needles to settle in for dialysis. The increased blood flow also allows the blood to flow more easily from the body to the dialysis machine.

If you find that your veins are problematic, a graft might be done instead. The surgeon uses a soft tube to connect an artery to a vein. This method has a higher risk of infection and blood clots. If the tube is constantly blocked off, it would be impossible for you to get proper dialysis treatment.

Catheters are temporary (although sometimes permanent) solutions for your vascular access. A venous catheter is inserted through surgery. This catheter can be inserted through the neck, chest, or leg. The nephrologist will use medical imaging equipment for this.

The dialyzer has two parts, one for the blood and one for the dialysate with a thin membrane separating these two parts. Blood cells, proteins, and other essential bodily fluids remain as they’re too large to pass through the membrane. Smaller waste products such as urea, creatinine, potassium, and other substances pass through the membrane and are eliminated.


Peritoneal dialysis involves using the lining of one’s belly as a filter. Waste is eliminated by using a dialysate. A catheter is inserted through the stomach through surgery. Then, a sterile cleansing fluid goes into your stomach via the catheter.

Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis is continuous and machine-free. This treatment can be done by adding the dialysate into the body, then draining it later. Automated Peritoneal Dialysis is done by machine and can be used while sleeping. This process is usually done 3-5x a day in a 24 hour period. The total time for these exchanges takes about 30 to 40 minutes.

Side Effects of Dialysis

If you’re about to go through treatment at your dialysis center in Manila, be aware of the potential side effects. Depending on your condition, it can range from mild to severe. Be sure to follow the doctor’s recommendations to avoid severe side effects during your treatment.

Both hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis have a common side effect of fatigue. The dialysis treatment is taxing the body because of the loss in normal kidney function. Dietary restrictions and stress during dialysis also contribute to fatigue.

Side Effects of Hemodialysis:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Sepsis
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Itchy Pain
  • Insomnia
  • Joint Pain
  • Dry Mouth
  • Low libido and anxiety

Side Effects of Peritoneal Dialysis:

  • Peritonitis

Peritonitis can occur if the dialysis equipment is not kept clean. The bacteria accumulated in the equipment can spread to the thin stomach lining.

  • Hernia

Fluids kept in the abdomen can cause strain in the stomach muscles. An obvious sign of a hernia is a lump that can only be removed through surgery.

  • Weight Gain

Being a Patient of Dialysis

Patients are able to live normally even while undergoing treatment for kidney failure. Dialysis takes a lot of time to get used to for both you and your family. Kidney failure is alleviated by this treatment which is necessary to prolong your life.

Adjusting to a Special Diet

If you’re undergoing dialysis, you may need to adjust your diet. This comes with limiting the kind of food and drinks consumed and eaten. This may be dependent on the type of dialysis you are going through.

Travel may be a Concern

You might be able to travel while you’re on the treatment, but it’s best to consult the doctor about this. Be sure to get thoroughly examined at a dialysis center in Manila for an accurate decision.

Work-Life Balance

Working is an important aspect of a person’s life. Dialysis patients can work, but if there’s heavy labor involved, a change in careers may be in progress to prevent strain.

Safe Dialysis and Kidney Transplants at Perpetual Help Medical Center

Perpetual Help Medical Center is a hospital in Las Pinas equipped with premiere and high-quality facilities for all your medical requirements. With over 40 years of expertise, allow our expertly trained staff and licensed doctors to provide only the best medical care for you.

PHMC is also the country’s first Armed Forces of the Philippines Affiliated Medical Center, quickly responding to any national emergency. For your dialysis and kidney transplant needs, you can contact us through our dedicated hotline. You can also contact us through email, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Click here to check out our website for more details!

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