LIVING WITH CKD
TREATMENT AND WHAT TO EXPECT
Late stages of CKD (generally stage 3 and onwards), require more intensive treatments including dialysis, kidney transplant, and dietary changes. The brief descriptions below explain each of these components of living with CKD. Be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about your specific treatment needs and what other lifestyle changes you should expect.
Dialysis is usually needed needed for individuals with end-stage kidney failure, generally signaled by a GFR below 15. Dialysis helps to replicate the function of the kidneys, filtering blood and removing wastes and toxins that accumulate daily.
Although dialysis is not a permanent solution for CKD, it does extend life expectancy for 5-10 years, with some patients living relatively normal lives for 20-30 years.
Patients undergoing dialysis generally are placed on a waiting list for a kidney transplant. Kidney transplants are considered the most optimal treatment for CKD patients.
The prospects of undergoing a transplant surgery may seem daunting, but kidney transplants are considered very safe, with success rates of approximately 95% 1 year after transplant and 80% 5 years after transplant.
Diet is an incredibly important of life with CKD. It is generally advisable to reduce excess vitamin and mineral intake, which can often mean cutting back on foods that normally seem healthy, such as bananas, avocados, and whole grain bread.
Since individual diets vary greatly, it is strongly advised that you speak with your physician to determine the right plan and appropriate next steps for you.
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