When your kidneys fail, you may need to depend on dialysis to keep you alive and functioning. Dialysis is a procedure that artifically removes certain wastes products from your body when your kidneys are unable to do this filtering on their own. It also helps to keep your blood pressure under control. If you are alert for certain symptoms and work with your doctor, you will know if you need kidney dialysis in order to maintain your health.
Evaluate your risk factors for kidney disease. If you are an adult over 18 years of age and diabetes, high blood pressure, or kidney disease has been common among family members, you may be at risk of developing these conditions yourself. If you do and they get to the end stages, you will need dialysis.
If you determine that you have risk factors, have a Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) screening. According to the National Kidney Foundation, this free screening consists of three tests that will measure your kidney function. The Foundation has a database that allow you to find a screening site near your home.
If you discover that there might be a problem, see your doctor for an in-depth evaluation of your kidney function. Normally it becomes necessary when you have lost 85 to 90 percent of your natural kidney function. The National Kidney Foundation says this usually occurs when you are in end stage kidney failure, although some other conditions may require temporary dialysis.
Keep track of symptoms that may signal a worsening of your problem. Even if your doctor determines that you don't need dialysis, that could change if your kidney function decreases over time. Be on the alert for abdominal pain, dehydration, and dizziness. You may also develop a yellowish skin tone.