The kidneys perform the vital jobs of cleaning the blood and removing extra fluid.

The kidneys:

  • Filter out waste products from the blood
  • Keep your body chemicals and fluid in balance, and help keep bones strong
  • Help to control blood pressure and the production of red blood cells

Chronic kidney failure occurs when the kidneys are slowly damaged /injured by a disease. This condition is not reversible(that is, kidney function does not return), and the result is a build-up of fluids and chemical wastes in the body.

Chronic Kidney Disease(CKD) or End Stage Renal Disease(ESRD) are the common terms that explain the kidney failure.

The National Kidney Foundation developed Stages of Chronic Kidney Disease (Stages 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5). Dialysis is required when the working level of kidney function drops below 15% and is life threatening (Stage 5 CKD).

At this point, the condition must be treated by dialysis or kidney transplantation. Dialysis replaces the filtering and balancing functions of the kidneys and must be done on an ongoing basis.

A variety of conditions, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Untreated high blood pressure
  • Kidney inflammation
  • Inherited conditions
  • Chronic kidney infection
  • Urinary tract obstruction
  • Accidents/Trauma

Possible symptoms include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache
  • Bad taste in your mouth
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue

Depending on your CKD stage, possible treatments can include:

  • Diet and fluid management
  • Medications
  • Peritoneal dialysis
  • Hemodialysis
  • Kidney transplantation
  • Non-treatment
  • Learn the facts
  • Consider your medical condition and lifestyle
  • Talk over your options with your health care team and your family

The LIVING WELL WITH KIDNEY DISEASE education program provides information to help answer your questions about living with CKD. When you attend this free program, you’ll find out how to help keep your kidneys healthy and learn about all your treatment options, such as:

  • Home Therapies
  • In-Center Therapies
  • Other Therapies

You’ll also get help answering the questions most important to you, like:

  • Which treatment option is most appropriate for me?
  • Where do I go for these treatments?
  • What medications will I take?
  • Do I need to monitor or change my diet?
  • Does insurance cover my treatments?
  • Can I stay active, travel and keep working?
  • Who can I rely on when I have more questions?