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Kidney Health and Addiction Recovery: Dialysis in Residential Treatment

Going through addiction detox and recovery while struggling with kidney disease is a psychological and physical uphill battle. Kidney health is essential for addiction recovery because it act as the body’s filtration system, responsible for: 

  • Waste and drug removal from the body
  • Bodily fluid balance
  • Regulation of blood pressure
  • Production of a specific type of vitamin D crucial for bone health
  • Regulation of red blood cell production

Without these correctly carried out processes, the body and mind suffer immensely. Often, those in recovery feel shame or guilt in knowing that their addiction burdened their kidneys. The reality is that no human being is perfect, but we all deserve to live happily and healthily in sobriety. Additionally, kidney treatment such as dialysis may be successfully administered in recovery. Knowing more about kidney disease and its various treatments provides clarity and hope. 

The kidneys are a vital organ of the body. Essentially, they filter all toxins and waste, including addictive substances, from the bloodstream and convert that waste into urine. When the kidney fails to remove waste from the body’s blood store, toxins build. High levels of toxicity can lead to a number of symptoms of kidney failure, such as: 

  • Hypertension 
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Frequent headaches 
  • Facial and ankle swelling
  • Bloating
  • Lower back pain

Upon birth, most people have two functioning kidneys. However, if unaffected by disease or exhaustion, one kidney suffices perfectly to allow the body to function well and lead a healthy life. 

In the best case scenario, the kidneys work steadily but lightly to expel waste from the body. Sustained addiction to drugs or alcohol puts the kidneys into a state of chronic overdrive. In addition to substance abuse, a number of health issues cause kidney failure including:

  • Congenital abnormalities 
  • Chronic hypertension
  • Diabetes 
  • Kidney stones
  • Glomerulonephritis, a disease that inflames the kidney’s filtering units

People may suffer from any one of these afflictions while battling addiction. In other instances, individuals struggle with kidney disease and kidney failure directly due to drug and alcohol use. In either case, three main treatment options exist: 

  • Hemodialysis (a machine and filter that cleans the blood)
  • Peritoneal dialysis (a treatment that utilizes a fluid which is placed in the abdomen of the individual to clean the blood)
  • Kidney transplant

An organ transplant takes place in a hospital. However, anyone can administer hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis at home or in a center designed to perform the treatment. The key difference between the two is that hemodialysis always requires a machine, whereas peritoneal dialysis does not. Subsequently, each option may occur either in outpatient or residential recovery environments. 

Pre-existing kidney conditions aside, certain substances prove more difficult for the kidneys to filter than others. The following drugs in excess pose a dangerous challenge to this crucial organ:

  • Heroin
  • Cocaine
  • MDMA (ecstasy)
  • Inhalants
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Painkillers

Fortunately, at Great Oaks Recovery Center we can help you or your loved one cleanse the body of these toxins in an environment conducive to monitoring kidney health and dialysis treatments. Here, anyone who struggles with renal issues can rest assured that their kidney health elicits the utmost concern and observance. 

In our holistic residential treatment program, individuals receive a custom treatment plan tailored to their specific situation with their prior health conditions in mind. Great Oaks sees kidney issues and dialysis treatment for what they are: difficult but surmountable obstacles. Here we combat the stress of simultaneous substance detoxification and kidney treatment with various relaxation methods and tools at our facility. Our activities such as yoga, massage, and acupuncture promote removal of toxins from the body and ease the work of the kidneys. Allow us to support you on your journey to sobriety and optimal health.