The treatment of kidney failure

What is acidosis?

Sometimes the doctor may start you on sodium bicarbonate tablets, this may be before or after you have started dialysis. This is important because one of the problems in kidney failure is that the kidneys are not getting rid of the acid that the body produces from food and muscle breakdown.

The blood becomes "acidotic" and this can over time damage the heart and causes problems with how the body builds up bones and uses foodstuffs. Acidosis causes more muscle breakdown and can lead to malnutrition.

The level of acid can be measured simply in the blood and then treatment can be started - this may make you feel better and stronger.