Four Key Concepts And Talking Points
1. Talk to patients about their kidneys, CKD, and their risk.
What is CKD? CKD means the kidneys are damaged and may no longer filter blood well. This damage happens over many years. As more damage occurs, the kidneys are unable to keep the body healthy – then dialysis or a kidney transplant may be needed to maintain health.
How can I lower my risk for CKD? The steps you take to manage your diabetes and high blood pressure also help protect your kidneys. Choosing healthy foods, quitting smoking, and being more physically active are all important steps.
2. Communicate the importance of testing and how CKD is diagnosed.
What are the symptoms of CKD? Most people with CKD have no symptoms until their kidneys are about to fail. The only way to know if you have kidney disease is to get tested. The sooner kidney disease is found, the sooner you can take steps to begin treatment and keep your kidneys healthier longer.
How do you check for CKD? A blood test and a urine test are used to find kidney disease. Because you are at risk, you should get these tests regularly:
- GFR – A blood test measures how much blood your kidneys filter each minute, which is known as your glomerular filtration rate .
- Urine Albumin – A urine test checks for albumin in your urine. Albumin is a protein that can pass into the urine when the filters in the kidneys are damaged.
3. Explain the progressive nature of CKD and the basics of treatment.
4. Begin to speak about dialysis and transplantation.
Can I Be Active With Kidney Failure
Yes. Physical activity is an important part of staying healthy when you have kidney failure. Being active makes your muscles, bones, and heart stronger. Physical activity also makes your blood travel through your body faster so your body gets more oxygen. Your body needs oxygen to use the energy from food.
You may find that physical activity can also improve your mood and make you feel better.
Talk with your doctor before you start a new exercise routine. Start slowly, with easier activities such as walking at a normal pace or gardening. Work up to harder activities such as walking briskly. Aim to be active on as many days as possible.
Should You Check Your Kidney Function
If youre concerned about symptoms that youre experiencing, its important to make a trip to your doctor for a check-up.
If you simply want to know a bit more about your kidney health, you have the option to take a kidney function test from the comfort of your own home. With LetsGetCheckeds Kidney Function Test you can monitor your kidney function and performance and receive your online results within 5 days.
You should consider taking a Kidney Function Test if any of the below are applicable to you:
- You suffer from high blood pressure
- You suffer from diabetes
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How Can Doctors Tell My Stage Of Ckd
To find out your stage of CKD, doctors will do tests, such as:
- eGFR tests , which is a measure of how well your kidneys are working
- Urine tests
Please note: eGFR is an estimate of how well your kidneys are working. The way eGFR is calculated will be changing. Currently the test considers your age, sex and race, among other things. A task force led by the National Kidney Foundation and the American Society of Nephrology is working on recommendations that may remove Black race as a factor in the eGFR calculation. The task force has been seeking the input of kidney disease experts to come up with the best way to make the eGFR test as accurate as possible. The American Kidney Fund advised the task force to remove race from the eGFR so there is no bias in testing kidney function. This would help to make sure that every person will receive health care that is fair and of the highest quality. When the NKF-ASN task force makes its recommendations, AKF will promptly review them and then update our educational materials.
Whats The Prognosis For Stage 4 Kidney Disease
Theres no cure for stage 4 chronic kidney disease. The goal of treatment is to prevent kidney failure and maintain a good quality of life.
In 2012, researchers found that men and women with low kidney function, especially less than 30 percent, had substantially reduced life expectancy.
They noted that women tend to have longer life expectancy in all stages of kidney disease except stage 4, where theres only a slight difference by gender. Prognosis tends to be poorer with age.
- At 40 years old, life expectancy is about 10.4 years for men and 9.1 years for women.
- At 60 years old, life expectancy is about 5.6 years for men and 6.2 years for women.
- At 80 years old, life expectancy is about 2.5 years for men and 3.1 years for women.
Your individual prognosis also depends on co-existing conditions and what treatments you get. Your healthcare provider can give you a better idea of what to expect.
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What Is Stage 5 Kidney Disease
At Stage 5 CKD, your eGFR is at 15 ml/min or less, and you are about to be in or are in kidney failure. When your kidneys fail, waste builds up in your blood, since your kidneys have lost their ability to function. Moreover, the other functions the kidney performs will no longer happen, including:
- Regulating blood pressure
- Producing the hormone that contributes to making red blood cells
- Activating vitamin D to maintain good bone health
This stage of kidney disease will make you feel quite sick, and dialysis and/or a kidney transplant will be necessary to live.
What Should My Gfr Be For My Age
If the glomerular filtration rate is low, it may indicate that the kidneys are not working as they should.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, a normal glomerular filtration rate in adults is above 90, though this ânormalâ rate may differ based on age.
- 20-29 years: 116
- 60-69 years: 85
- 70+ years: 75
Itâs important to note that a low GFR may indicate kidney disease but early detection and treatment may help the kidney disease worsening.
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What Is Kidney Dialysis
Because there is no cure for CKD, if you are in late-stage disease, you and your healthcare team must consider additional options. Complete kidney failure, left untreated, will result in death. Options for end stages of CKD include dialysis and kidney transplantation.
Dialysis is a procedure that uses machines to remove waste products from your body when your kidneys are no longer able to perform this function. There are two major types of dialysis.
Hemodialysis: With hemodialysis, your blood is circulated through a machine that removes waste products, excess water and excess salt. The blood is then returned to your body. Hemodialysis requires three to four hours, three times a week and is performed at a clinic, hospital or dialysis center.
Peritoneal dialysis: In peritoneal dialysis, a dialysis solution is run directly into your abdomen. The solution absorbs waste and then is removed via catheter. Fresh solution is added to continue the process of cleaning. You can perform this type of dialysis yourself. There are two types of peritoneal dialysis: continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis , which involves a change in dialysis solution four times a day and continuous cycling peritoneal dialysis . CCPD uses a machine to automatically fill, remove wastes, and refill the fluid during the nighttime.
What Is Kidney Disease
Having kidney disease means that there is damage to your kidneys and they arent working as well as they should. Kidney disease is called chronic because kidney function slowly gets worse over time. Kidney disease leads to kidney failure, which is also called end-stage kidney disease. At this point, youll need dialysis or a kidney transplant.
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor About Stage 4 Kidney Disease
- Which treatment option may be right for me? There are several treatment options for kidney failure to consider, including a kidney transplant or home dialysis. Ask your doctor which option may best fit your lifestyle.
- Kidney transplant The closest thing to natural kidney function and considered the most effective option for ESRD. With a kidney transplant you receive a new, healthy kidney from a living or deceased donor.
- Dialysis This life-extending treatment option helps remove unwanted toxins, waste products, and excess fluids from the body by filtering your blood.
Your level of kidney function and individual lab tests will determine your dietary needs. Talk to a renal dietitian about what foods you should eat. He or she will help you plan kidney-friendly meals that you’ll enjoy eating.
Various Kidney Function Tests
There are as mentioned several different kidney function labs that your doctor can run to find out your kidney function numbers. A common and inexpensive one is a routine urinalysis, which is usually the first test that is ran if you have suspected kidney problems. It is checked for things such as odor, appearance, color and concentration, plus chemically for substances like glucose, protein and the pH. Plus it is microscopically tested for the presence of elements such as white and red blood cells and epithelial cells, crystals, bacteria, and casts. If the results from this test indicate the possibility of kidney disease or an impaired kidney, your doctor will run additional tests such as a urea clearance test, creatinine clearance test, urine osmolality test, urine protein test, creatinine test, blood urea nitrogen test and other blood tests.
Catching any dysfunction or failing of your kidneys as soon as possible is very important, so you should be aware of your kidney function numbers. You can do this by asking for it to be checked during routine physicals at your doctor when they are already taking a urine test. Keeping on top of your health can help catch any problems early on so you can better treat any problems that may come up.
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When You Are Told That Your Kidneys Are Operating About 12% What Does That Mean
Welcome to EmpowHER. Thank you for your question.
Kidney failure is the advanced stage of kidney disease. Kidney function declines to 15% or even lower in kidney failure. In this stage, the life expectancy is the most concerned question.
Kidneys are the important organs that help clean the blood by filtering the waste and removing the extra water and electrolyte. When kidneys are failed, they cannot well do their work. With only 12% kidney function, kidneys are no longer able to perform at full capacity. So it is hard for you to live longer without taking some treatments. It seems that dialysis and kidney transplant are the last two choices for patients with 12% kidney function in kidney failure.
With 12% kidney function, you are more likely to suffer from nausea, vomit, itching skin, muscle cramps, poor appetite, swelling and high blood pressure. Someone even experiences serious complications, such as heart failure pulmonary edema, vascular disease. If this kind of people stops dialysis, he will end his life within one to four weeks.
Medical Evidence To Support A Claim For Kidney Failure
To have a successful disability claim for kidney failure, you will need to provide supporting documentation. As with any disability claim, hard medical evidence is a necessity for a disability claim based on kidney failure.
Your claim will be reviewed under the listing for genitourinary impairments. These listings indicate a disability claim will be approved if you can show that any of the following apply:
- There is a need for regular kidney dialysis.
- There has been a kidney transplant.
- There is reduced glomerular filtration combined with symptoms of kidney damage.
- You suffer from nephrotic syndrome, OR
- There are serious complications of kidney disease.
Listings 6.03, 6.04, and 6.05 grant disability benefits automatically for poor kidney functioning caused by any chronic disease just so long as one of the following are present:
- Kidney transplantation
- Ongoing peritoneal dialysis dialyzing solution being put into and removed from the peritoneal cavity intermittently or continuously
- Ongoing hemodialysis removes toxins from the blood via artificial kidney machine OR
- Reduced glomerular filtration
You can prove reduced glomerular filtration by providing test results that reveal low creatinine clearance levels, persistently high levels of serum creatinine, or a low estimated glomerular filtration rate .
Listing 6.06 for nephrotic syndrome covers a group of kidney diseases that are apparent because of excess protein in the urine and edema of differing levels.
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What Does Recovery Look Like
Your recovery depends on the type of treatment recommended by your doctor.
With dialysis, you can receive treatment at a facility or at home. In many cases, dialysis allows you to prolong your life by regularly filtering waste from your body. Some dialysis options allow you to use a portable machine so that you can continue your daily life without having to use a large machine or go to a dialysis center.
Kidney transplants are also likely to succeed. Failure rates of transplanted kidneys are low, ranging from 3 to 21 percent in the first five years. A transplant allows you to resume normal kidney function. If you follow your doctors recommendations for diet and lifestyle changes, a kidney transplant can help you live free from ESRD for many years.
Dialysis For Kidney Failure
Dialysis artificially removes waste from your blood. There are two forms of dialysis haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Peritoneal dialysis is further broken down into two main types, continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis and automated peritoneal dialysis .The choice of dialysis method depends of factors such as your age, health and lifestyle. Over 2,000 Australian adults start renal replacement therapy each year.
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What To Expect With A Kidney Disease Diagnosis
Since you can have kidney disease without any symptoms, your doctor may first detect the condition through routine blood and urine tests.
The National Kidney Foundation recommends 3 simple tests to screen for kidney disease:
Measuring urea nitrogen in the blood provides additional information.
Who Should Be Tested For Ckd
See your GP if you have persistent symptoms of CKD, such as:
- weight loss or poor appetite
- swollen ankles, feet or hands
- peeing more than usual, particularly at night
Your GP can look for other possible causes and arrange tests if necessary.
Because CKD often has no symptoms in the early stages, some people at a higher risk should be tested regularly.
Regular testing is recommended if you have:
- acute kidney injury sudden damage to the kidneys that causes them to stop working properly
- cardiovascular disease conditions that affect the heart, arteries and veins, such as coronary heart disease or heart failure
- other conditions that can affect the kidneys such as kidney stones, an enlarged prostate or lupus
- a family history of advanced CKD or an inherited kidney disease
- protein or blood in your urine where there’s no known cause
You’re also more likely to develop kidney disease if you’re black or of south Asian origin.
People taking long-term medicines that can affect the kidneys, such as lithium, omeprazole or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , should also be tested regularly.
Talk to your GP if you think you may need regular testing for kidney disease.
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The Renal Doctor’s Viewpoint
The next afternoon, the patient had still not gone for dialysis when the hospital renal doctor visited the patient. This doctor took the view that as the patient was due their regular dialysis the following day , there was no point sending the patient for an additional dialysis session, as after all the kidneys had already failed sufficiently for the patient to be relying on dialysis for survival.
Is A Kidney Transplant An Option
If kidney failure occurs and is non-reversible, kidney transplantation is an alternative option to dialysis. If the patient is an appropriate candidate, the healthcare professional and nephrologist will contact an organ transplant center to arrange evaluation to see whether the patient is suitable for this treatment. If so, the search for a donor begins. Sometimes, family members have compatible tissue types and, if they are willing, may donate a kidney. Otherwise, the patient will be placed on the organ transplant list that is maintained by the United Network of Organ Sharing.
Not all hospitals are capable of performing kidney transplants. The patient may have to travel to undergo their operation. The most successful programs are those that do many transplants every year.
While kidney transplants have become routine, they still carry some risk. The patient will need to take anti-rejection medications that reduce the ability of the immune system to fight infection. The body can try to reject the kidney or the transplanted kidney may fail to work. As with any operation, there is a risk of bleeding and infection.
Kidney transplants may provide better quality of life than dialysis. After one year, 95% of transplanted kidneys are still functioning and after five years, the number is 80%. It seems that the longer a patient is on dialysis, the shorter the life of the transplanted kidney.
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