The Impact of Probiotics on the Quality of Life of Patients Undergoing Peritoneal Dialysis

What is Peritoneal Dialysis?

End-stage renal disease is a problem that many people face. Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is a way to treat this disease by using a tube to put fluid into the stomach through the skin and filter your blood. Unfortunately, people undergoing PD often suffer complications such as peritonitis and malnutrition.

In chronic kidney disease (CKD), the intestinal barrier is disrupted, leading to toxins entering the bloodstream, thus causing inflammation.

Can Probiotics Improve the Quality of Life of Patients Undergoing Dialysis?

Recent studies have shown that probiotics help improve the function of the intestinal barrier in different situations. In patients going through dialysis, probiotics can help reduce toxins accumulating in the blood. Another study showed that probiotic supplements were more effective than placebo at reducing blood urea nitrogen levels and improving quality of life for patients with stage 3 or 4 CKD.

Although there are several studies on the effects of probiotics in patients undergoing PD, data on whether probiotics improve the quality of life of patients undergoing PD have not been reported. 

Thus, this study aims to determine the clinical efficacy of probiotics on the quality of life in patients undergoing peritoneal dialysis (PD).

The Study Method on Probiotics for Patients Undergoing Peritoneal Dialysis

116 patients undergoing PD were randomly divided into two groups. Every day for two months, 58 people in the first group took probiotics. Those in the second group took a placebo containing maltodextrin. 

The probiotic capsules consisted of Bifidobacterium longum, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, and Streptococcus thermophilus.

Researchers measured various indicators, including body mass index (BMI), upper arm circumference (AC), left calf circumference (LCC), triceps skinfold thickness (TSF), fat mass, and biochemical parameters before and after two months to see if someone is malnourished. Likewise, the patients took the Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), which will measure their physical and mental health in relation to eight health domains: physical functioning, physical role functioning, body pain, general health perceptions, vitality, social role functioning, emotional role functioning, and mental health. Higher scores indicate a better quality of life.

The Results

Of the 116 patients, only 98 completed the study, 50 in the intervention group and 48 in the control group. 

After two months of treatment among patients receiving probiotics, levels of inflammation indicators high-sensitivity C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 decreased, while the serum albumin levels, upper arm circumference, and triceps skinfold thickness increased significantly. Moreover, the probiotic group had higher physical and social functioning domains scores than the control group.

The Conclusion

These findings mean that probiotics can help reduce inflammation and improve nutrition status and quality of life in people receiving PD.

Reference

Effects of Probiotics on Malnutrition and Health-Related Quality of Life in Patients Undergoing Peritoneal Dialysis: A Randomized Controlled Trial

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