How Do I Cope With Kidney Failure
Learning you have kidney failure can be a shock, even if you have known for a long time that your kidneys were not working well. You may feel sad or anxious.
Reach out for support from your health care team and your family, friends and community. They can help you make changes to feel your best while you get dialysis and may be waiting for a kidney transplant.
To feel your best, your doctors will recommend that you:
- Go to every dialysis visit and consider getting a kidney transplant.
- Have visits with a nephrologist.
- Meet with a dietitian to help you create and follow a kidney-friendly eating plan.
- Keep your blood pressure at a healthy level. They may prescribe blood pressure medicines
- Keep your blood sugar at a healthy level if you have diabetes.
- Be active for 30 minutes on most days of the week.
- Drink less alcohol and quit smoking or using tobacco.
How Long Do You Have To Live If Your Kidneys Are Failing
While theres no way to undo kidney failure, its possible to live for quite a while with treatment in the form of dialysis or kidney transplant.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, the average life expectancy for people on dialysis is 5 to 10 years. But there are patients who have continued dialysis for as long as 30 years.
Without treatment, your life expectancy with ESRD may be several weeks.
Many factors can affect life expectancy if you have kidney failure. But there are steps you can take to help improve quality of life, such as:
- following your treatment plan
Who Will Be On My Health Care Team
Youll have a whole team of trained health care providers to help you live well with kidney failure. The following people may be part of your health care team:
Nephrologist. A doctor who specializes in kidney health and oversees your treatment.
Dialysis nurse. A dialysis nurse will monitor your in-center dialysis and will see you monthly if youre doing home or peritoneal dialysis. The nurse will make sure youre taking your medicines correctly and help you find ways to lessen the side effects of dialysis. If you do home hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis, your dialysis nurse will teach you how to set up your treatment, take care of the equipment, and watch for infections or other problems.
Transplant coordinator. A specially trained nurse who will be your point of contact, arrange your appointments, and teach you what to do before and after the transplant.
Renal dietitian. A renal dietitian is trained to help people with kidney failure. Your dietitian will help you make choices about what to eat and drink to help your treatment work better so youll feel better.
Social worker. Dialysis clinics and transplant centers have a social worker who works with people who have ESRD. Your renal social worker can help you find answers to problems such as
- keeping a job or changing jobs
- getting help paying for treatments
- finding services to help with transportation or chores around the house
- finding counseling services to deal with family problems
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Feeling Faint Dizzy Or Weak
Why this happens:
Anemia related to kidney failure means that your brain is not getting enough oxygen. This can lead to feeling faint, dizzy, or weak.
What patients said:
I was always tired and dizzy.
It got to the point, like, I used to be at work, and all of the sudden Iâd start getting dizzy. So I was thinking maybe it was my blood pressure or else diabetes was going bad. Thatâs what was on my mind.
How Long Can I Live After My Kidneys Fail
When your kidneys fail, they cannot get better. Your life expectancy depends on many things, including your age. However, treatment can help people with kidney failure live for many more years:
- Dialysis helps people live for another five to 10 years on average.
- Living kidney donor transplants last 15 to 20 years on average.
If you choose not to get treatment for kidney failure, you can get medical management. This is supportive care and treatment to relieve your symptoms, but it will not keep you alive. There is no way to know how long you will live if you choose medical management. Your doctor will help you stay as healthy as possible.
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Tips For Managing End
There are several different ways you can help a loved one manage their end-stage kidney failure symptoms. Perhaps the most valuable thing you can do is listen to your loved one and try as best you can to address their issues. However, if at any time you are unsure of how you can help, or if the patient is unable to communicate effectively, we recommend contacting their primary care physician.
Will I Need To Take Medicines Or Follow A Special Diet
Most likely. Your healthcare team will work with you to develop a treatment plan that’s right for you. Your treatment plan may include taking medicines, restricting salt, limiting certain foods, getting exercise, and more. You will also need treatment for any other health problems you may have, including high blood pressure or diabetes.
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What Your Kidneys Do
- Keep a balance of water and minerals in your blood
- Remove waste from your blood after digestion, muscle activity, and exposure to chemicals or medications
- Make renin, which your body uses to help manage your blood pressure
- Make a chemical called erythropoietin, which prompts your body to make red blood cells
- Make an active form of vitamin D, needed for bone health and other things
Diabetes And Kidney Failure
Without management, high blood sugar can damage your kidneys. The damage can worsen over time.
Diabetic nephropathy, or kidney damage caused by type 1 or type 2 diabetes, cant be reversed. Managing your blood sugar and blood pressure may help prevent or limit kidney damage. Taking medications as prescribed by your doctor is important, too.
If you have diabetes, your doctor will likely perform regular screenings to monitor for kidney failure.
Your risk for diabetic nephropathy increases the longer you live with diabetes.
Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure. About one-third of adults with diabetes have kidney disease, according to the
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What Are Dialysis And Hemodialysis
Dialysis cleanses the body of waste products by body by use of filter systems. There are two types of dialysis, 1) hemodialysis and 2) peritoneal dialysis.
Hemodialysis uses a machine filter called a dialyzer or artificial kidney to remove excess water and salt, to balance the other electrolytes in the body, and to remove waste products of metabolism. Blood is removed from the body and flows through tubing into the machine, where it passes next to a filter membrane. A specialized chemical solution flows on the other side of the membrane. The dialysate is formulated to draw impurities from the blood through the filter membrane. Blood and dialysate are never touched in the artificial kidney machine.
For this type of dialysis, access to the blood vessels needs to be surgically created so that large amounts of blood can flow into the machine and back to the body. Surgeons can build a fistula, a connection between a large artery and vein in the body, usually in the arm, that allows a large amount of blood to flow into the vein. This makes the vein swell or dilate, and its walls become thicker so that it can tolerate repeated needle sticks to attach tubing from the body to the machine. Since it takes many weeks or months for a fistula to mature enough to be used, significant planning is required if hemodialysis is to be considered as an option.
What Is The Long
Advancements allow people with ESRD to live longer than ever before. ESRD can be life-threatening. With treatment, youll likely live for many years afterward. Without treatment, you may only be able to survive without your kidneys for a few months. If you have other accompanying conditions, such as heart issues, you may face additional complications that can affect your life expectancy.
It can be easy to withdraw as you experience the effects of ESRD or the lifestyle changes that come with dialysis. If this happens, seek professional counseling or positive support from your family and friends. They can help you stay actively engaged in your daily life. This can ensure that you maintain a high quality of life.
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Causes Of Kidney Failure
Some of the causes of kidney failure include:
- diabetes even if it is well managed, diabetes can cause kidney damage
- glomerulonephritis swelling or inflammation of the tiny filtering units in the kidney. Also known as nephritis
- polycystic kidney disease an inherited condition that causes thousands of cysts to form in the kidneys
- urinary reflux a bladder-valve problem that allows urine to flow back into the kidneys, causing scarring
- medications some drugs such as lithium and cyclosporin can cause kidney failure. Continued misuse of compound analgesic preparations was once a common cause of permanent kidney damage. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , taken in normal therapeutic doses, may occasionally cause acute kidney failure
- medullary cystic kidney disease an inherited kidney disease that leads to the kidneys gradually losing their ability to work properly due to cysts in the centre of the kidneys.
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What Are The Causes Of Kidney Failure
It depends on the type of kidney failure or kidney injury. Acute renal failure has a sudden onset that happens in days. In contrast, chronic kidney failure has a progressive and slow beginning that may take months even years.
Having kidney failure means that 85% to 90% of kidney function is gone. The following are the causes for each one of the possible scenarios of kidney failure.
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Treatment For Kidney Failure
When you have kidney failure , it means your kidneys have stopped working well enough for you to live without treatment. There is no cure for kidney failure, but with treatment many people with kidney failure are able to keep doing activities they want or need to do. Talk to your doctor about which treatment is best for you.
What Health Problems Can People With Kidney Disease Develop
Kidney disease can lead to other health problems. Your health care team will work with you to help you avoid or manage:
High blood pressure. High blood pressure can be both a cause and a result of kidney disease. High blood pressure damages your kidneys, and damaged kidneys dont work as well to help control your blood pressure. With kidney failure, your kidneys cant get rid of extra water. Taking in too much water can cause swelling, raise your blood pressure, and make your heart work harder.
Blood pressure-lowering medicines, limiting sodium and fluids in your diet, staying physically active, managing stress, and quitting smoking can help you control your blood pressure.
Heart disease. Kidney disease and heart disease share two of the same main causes: diabetes and high blood pressure. People with kidney disease are at high risk for heart disease, and people with heart disease are at high risk for kidney disease.
Anemia. When kidneys are damaged, they dont make enough erythropoietin , a hormone that helps make red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs to other parts of your body. When you have anemia, some organssuch as your brain and heartmay get less oxygen than they need and may not function as well as they should. Anemia can make you feel weak and lack energy.
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What Happens When Your Kidneys Fail
The slow loss of kidney function over a few months or years is called chronic kidney disease . Chronic kidney disease can occur when a condition damages your kidneys and keeps them from doing their job to keep you healthy. When your kidneys fail, dangerous levels of fluids and waste can build up in your body and make you feel sick. Kidney failure occurs when you have less than 15% of your kidney function. When your kidneys fail you may require dialysis or a kidney transplant to stay alive.
Chronic kidney disease may be caused by:
- High blood pressure and diabetes the most common causes of kidney disease
- Inflammation or infections
- Inherited genetic conditions such as polycystic disease
- Long-term blockage in the urinary system
Early detection and treatment can help prevent chronic kidney disease from getting worse.
How Kidney Failure Is Diagnosed
Often someone visits their doctor for another medical condition or symptom and kidney failure is discovered as a consequence of their disease or injury. If you have chronic kidney disease due to diabetes, high blood pressure, or another related health problem, your health care provider most likely monitors kidney function regularly. Tests to confirm kidney failure often include blood tests, urine tests, and abdominal ultrasounds.
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Acute Renal Failurewhen Kidneys Suddenly Stop Working
If you are confused about the difference between acute renal failure and chronic kidney failure, you came to the right place. Chronic kidney failure is a condition where the kidneys ability to filter waste from the bloodstream becomes worse over time, generally over a period of years.
Acute kidney failure is the sudden loss of this important ability. If your kidneys have experienced a direct injury or an obstruction, you are at risk. Although the condition can be life-threatening, it can also be reversible.
What else should I know about acute kidney failure?
Acute kidney failure is the sudden and dramatic loss of kidney function. This condition develops rapidly, often in just a few days.
Healthy kidneys filter and remove wastes and excess fluid from blood and turn it into urine. When you encounter acute kidney failure, the kidneys are operating at less than 10 percent of normal function. This means wastes such as creatinine and urea nitrogen build up in the bloodstream. If this waste is not removed, you can feel extremely ill.
What causes acute renal failure?
Renal failure symptoms can be difficult to detect. Acute renal failure may occur for a variety of reasons:
- A crush-type injury may damage internal organs, including the kidneys
- Over-exposure to metals, solvents and certain antibiotics and medication
- A kidney infection may cause them to shut down
What are the symptoms of acute kidney failure?
Manage Or Prevent Heart Disease
People with stage 4 kidney disease have a high risk of having heart disease. In fact, most people with kidney disease do not die of kidney failure – they die of heart disease. Why? Because, in addition to kidney disease, they usually have one or more of the following health risks:
You can help slow – or possibly prevent – heart problems by following your treatment plan. Ask your healthcare professional what you need to do to keep your heart healthy.
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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 an 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 risks. 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 a 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.
What Is The Best Treatment For Me
You should consider many things when choosing a treatment for kidney failure, including your lifestyle, your age, any other health problems you may have, and whether you have a friend or relative to help you. Your decision should be based on more than your medical history and your doctor’s opinion. It should also be based on what you and your family wants. Learning about your treatment choices will help you decide which one is best for you.
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What Is Chronic Kidney Disease
In this section:
Chronic kidney disease means your kidneys are damaged and cant filter blood the way they should. The disease is called chronic because the damage to your kidneys happens slowly over a long period of time. This damage can cause wastes to build up in your body. CKD can also cause other health problems.
The kidneys main job is to filter extra water and wastes out of your blood to make urine. To keep your body working properly, the kidneys balance the salts and mineralssuch as calcium, phosphorus, sodium, and potassiumthat circulate in the blood. Your kidneys also make hormones that help control blood pressure, make red blood cells, and keep your bones strong.
Kidney disease often can get worse over time and may lead to kidney failure. If your kidneys fail, you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant to maintain your health.
The sooner you know you have kidney disease, the sooner you can make changes to protect your kidneys.