The number one cause of kidney disease is diabetes, accounting for almost 40 percent of kidney failure occurrences. About 25 percent of all cases are caused by high blood pressure. Other causes of kidney disease include genetic or autoimmune diseases and birth defects.

kidney anatomy
  • Changes in urination (frequency, color, increase or decrease in amount, foamy or bubbly)
  • Swelling of the feet, ankles, hands, or face
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Metallic taste or ammonia-like breath
  • Back pain
  • Itching
  • No appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Increase in hypoglycemic episodes (if diabetic)

If you have experienced any of these symptoms, or have family members living with, diabetes, high blood pressure, or on dialysis, please address your concerns during your next doctor’s appointment.

Dialysis is a medical treatment that cleans and removes extra fluid from the blood. It completes the procedure and duplicates the job of the original kidney. If your Doctor has prescribed Dialysis there are a few Dialysis treatment options:

  1. In-Center Hemodialysis – Dialysis treatments are administered by staff at an outpatient medical facility upon appointment. The treatments take 3-4 hours, three times per week or as indicated by your Doctor.
  2. Self-Care (treatments are performed by patients & assistant care giver)
    1. Home Hemodialysis – This procedure is performed at home by the patient and requires a dialysis assistant (care giver, spouse, etc.). A training period of approximately 6-12 weeks is required. This training can take place in your home or an outpatient ESRD facility. Scheduling your own dialysis, will provide you the flexibility to work and or participate in activities at times convenient for you. Completion of training program is evaluated by the training nurse and your doctor.
    2. Peritoneal Dialysis – This is a life-sustaining procedure which involves the introduction and drainage of a special fluid into the abdominal cavity. The process removes waste products and excess fluid from the body. A training period of 3 to 6 weeks is required to learn this procedure , which can be provided in the comfort of your home or an outpatient ESRD facility. As a general rule peritoneal dialysis is not performed on an in-center basis, and is usually performed by the patients themselves.
  3. Staff-Assisted Home Hemodialysis – Hemodialysis treatments administered in the home by a licensed dialysis nurse. No training required the nurse performs the entire treatment for the patient. This option works well when the patient is unable to perform the “self-administered tasks” required for self-care but needs and desires the treatments to be performed at home.

Kidney School offers great educational content for patients with Chronic Kidney Disease, providing learning modules to view online, print or download in audio book format for your ease of use.