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Living with Kidney Disease—- Knowing all Your Options



Diagnosed with A Chronic Disease

Being diagnosed with a chronic disease can make one feel as if our life has been turned upside down-and-out of control. But, acquiring the right knowledge is really powerful

We worry when we are in the dark as to what to expect, and sometimes what we think can be far worse than what really happens.

It is, therefore, best to learn everything we can about the disease by learning we feel more in control of our life and our health again

The treatment we get can affect every area of our lives, so while we can live well with kidney failure it will not be by accident but by a conscious effort on our part.

There are things that we have to give special attention like:-

  • What and how much you can eat and drink
  • How well you sleep
  • Your energy level
  • Your job
  • Travel
  • Your sex life
  • How long you may live

Treatment for kidney failure is not only medical but it is also about what our life will be like from one day to the next because each day can be different
It is very important that we think about what we would want our life to look like, and know the options we have and choose based on our priorities and values and the things we would want to be able to do.

There are three main types of treatment if our kidneys fail, and some have more than one option. You have choices.

Treatments for kidney failure

There are two known treatments for kidney failure and they are kidney transplantation and dialysis. Two different types of dialysis can be done – hemodialysis and kidney dialysis there are two type of dialysis the hemodialysis and the peritoneal dialysis.

Kidney Transplantation.

  • Kidney Transplant is done by placing a healthy kidney into the body. The kidney can come from someone who has died or from a living donor.

Usually, the new kidney will function immediately. But because there is a risk our bodies will reject the new kidneys we will still need special medicines to prevent this from happening.

And should rejection occurs, dialysis is needed and consideration for a second transplant can be made.

It must be remembered that a kidney transplant is a treatment, not a cure and having a Kidney transplant still means we have chronic kidney disease, and we may still need some other medicines we took before the transplant.

  • Hemodialysis (HD).

Hemodialysis is a method by which wastes and extra fluid is removed from the blood. It can be done at home (“home hemodialysis”) or in a dialysis center.

During the process of hemodialysis, a small amount of blood is pumped through soft tubes to a dialysis machine where it goes through a special filter called a dialyzer (also called an artificial kidney). As your blood is filtered, it is returned to our bloodstream.

It should be remembered that only a small amount of blood is out of our body at any time and because of this, the in-center treatment time is 3-5 hours, 3 times a week.

But those of us who do home hemodialysis have more flexibility about how often it can be done, and if done daily, treatment time would be 1½ to 2 hours.

In order for Hemodialysis to be done access will be needed into the bloodstream for placing needles.

Fistula type of access

The fistula access is the recommended choice A minor surgery will be needed to create a fistula. It is made by joining an artery to a nearby vein under the skin to make a bigger blood vessel. This type of access is preferred because it has fewer problems and lasts longer.

Graft access

If your blood vessels are not suitable for a fistula, then a grafting method may be used. This involves joining an artery and a nearby vein with a small, soft tube made of synthetic material. The graft is entirely beneath the skin. and will require a minor surgery to create a graft.

The Catheter Access.

The catheter is the third form of access it is inserted into a large vein in the neck or chest. The ends of the tubes sit on your skin outside of our body. This type of access is generally used when you need dialysis for a short period, the fistula or graft method cannot be used. Catheters are used as a permanent access

Peritoneal Dialysis (PD).

Peritoneal dialysis is a home-based treatment that can be done anywhere (at home, work, or when sleeping).and must be done daily a minor surgery will be needed to place a catheter in the abdomen (belly).

With peritoneal dialysis, the blood is cleaned inside our body, not outside. The lining of our abdomen (the peritoneum) acts as a natural filter. During treatment, a cleansing solution, called dialysate, flows into our abdomen (belly) through a soft tube called a PD catheter.

Wastes and extra fluid pass from the blood into the cleansing solution. After several hours, the used solution is drained from the abdomen and refill with a fresh cleaning solution which usually takes about 30 minutes to begin the process again. “

Some changes can be made in Treatments for Kidney Failure

It may be possible to change a certain type of dialysis treatment If changing will be comfortable for us we should speak to our healthcare professional about any change we would like. Even if having a kidney transplant is chosen, there may still be a need of dialysis until the transplant with a new kidney is done. It is not uncommon for people who have had kidney failure for many years to have had more than one type of treatment in that time.


Keep Kidney Disease from Getting Worse

Taking care of ourselves will help us to live long, fulfilling lives and continue to do the things we love. It can also help to slow or even stop kidney disease from getting worse – and it may even stop or delay kidney failure

. Good self-management starts with:

  • Controlling other health problems you may have
  • Treating complications of kidney disease
  • Managing or preventing heart disease

Control Other Health Problems

You may have other disorders, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, which can damage your kidneys. One of the goals of your treatment is to make sure these are well-controlled. Ask your health care professional what you can do to keep these conditions under control – and do it! Some of the things your healthcare professional may ask you to do:

  • Take prescribed medications
  • Lose weight if you are overweight
  • Cut down on salt in your diet to control blood pressure
  • If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar, follow your diet and take your medications as prescribed

Do What You Can to Manage the Complications of Kidney Disease

Kidney disease can cause other health problems throughout your body including:

  • Heart and blood vessel problems
  • Anemia (low red blood cell count)
  • Mineral and bone problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Poor nutritional health

If stage 4 kidney disease is diagnosed then these symptoms are more than likely these problems are being experienced.

The healthcare professional will work with us to develop a treatment plan to help manage these problems and keep them from getting worse.

Treatment may include diet, exercise, and medications. It is very important that to follow the treatment plan because it can greatly improve our quality of life and how long we live. It can also help to slow or even stop kidney disease from getting worse – and more importantly, it may even stop or delay kidney failure.

Manage or Prevent Heart Disease

Having stage 4 kidney disease increases the risk of having heart disease. It is a known fact, most people with kidney disease do not die of kidney failure – they usually die of heart disease.

Usually, in addition to kidney disease, they usually have one or more of the following health risks:

  • High blood pressure
  • High blood pressure causes arteries to thicken and narrow, making it easier to form clots, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. It also causes thickening and enlargement of the heart. The doctor may prescribe medicines to help control your blood pressure. You may also need to reduce salt in your diet.
  • Diabetes,
  • Diabetes especially uncontrolled diabetes leads to more fatty deposits in arteries. These can form a clot, leading to a heart attack or stroke.B e sure to take prescribed medication


  • Anemia
  • Anemia reduces the flow of oxygen throughout your body, which forces your heart to work harder. As a result, your heart begins to thicken and enlarge, which can lead to heart failure or death. If diagnosed with anemia iron supplements should be taken along with any other medication that may be prescribed
  • Abnormal cholesterol

Abnormal cholesterol causes fatty deposits to form in our arteries, making it easier to form clots which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Keeping cholesterol at a normal level in important our doctor may have to recommend changes in our diet, along with regular exercise and, possibly, special medications, if our cholesterol is too high.

  • Bone and mineral disease
  • Bone and mineral disease causes arteries to stiffen and narrow from absorbing extra calcium and phosphorus that’s being shed from the bones.
  • This causes a reduction in blood flow to your heart, and this can lead to a heart attack and death. So limit the amount of high-phosphorus foods in your diet, take a type of medication called a phosphate binder with your meals,
  • Smoking
  • Smoking is not good for our bodies as it causes inflammation of the blood vessels, which causes even more buildup of fatty deposits in your arteries. Smoking increases the risk of clots, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke kicking the habit of smoking may not be easy but our doctors can provide a nicotine patch which will greatly reduce the symptoms of withdrawal

Anemia reduces the flow of oxygen throughout your body, which forces your heart to work harder. As a result, your heart begins to thicken and enlarge, which can lead to heart failure or death. If diagnosed with anemia iron supplements should be taken along with any other medication that may be prescribed


Doctors recommend a healthy diet for kidney patients consisting of low sodium low phosphorus and calcium and a limited intake of potassium

A healthy kidney diet is a way of eating that helps protect our kidneys from further damage. Doctors recommend the Dash Diet ( Dietary Approaches to Stop hypertension–( high blood pressure) It’s rich in fruits, veggies, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, seeds, and nuts. And it is low in salt and sodium, sugars and sweets, fats, and red meats




Renal Diet Cookbook for Beginners
Renal Diet Cookbook for Beginners

Renal Diet Cookbook for Beginners


In conclusion it is far better to live a healthy lifestyle that will help prevent the Likelihood of having chronic diseases but should we be diagnosed with such a disease we should educate our selves with the all the options available to us, choose the one that is most appropriate to our needs, take all the medications prescribed and also know the pros and cons of the medication look at the side effects and if changes can be made be proactive

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