FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise can assist in the prevention of Chronic Kidney Disease. Changing your lifestyle choices and behaviors can ultimately prevent individuals from developing the disease. Reducing sodium intake, limiting red meats, avoiding sugar-sweetened drinks and eliminating processed foods all contribute to a healthier lifestyle.
Signs and symptoms include: nausea, vomiting, ammonia breath or an ammonia/metal taste in the mouth, loss of appetite, fatigue or weakness, back pain, changes in urination, swelling of feet, ankles, hands or face, persistent itching, shortness of breath, high blood pressure (hypertension) or untreated diabetes or anemia.
Kidney disease often has no symptoms until the disease has advanced. If you are concerned about exhibiting any of the symptoms above, contact your physician to get tested.
Dialysis is a treatment for kidney disease that filters and purifies your blood using a machine. Hemodialysis is the most common method to treat kidney failure and can be performed at a dialysis clinic or in the home. Medicare will pay for 80% of the cost of dialysis and the remaining 20% is the patient's responsibility. If you are covered under medical insurance, the company may pay the remaining 20%. If not, you will be personally responsible unless or until you qualify for Medicaid, which will pick up the remaining 20%.
Healthy food choices and eating a well-balanced diet is important for everyone. Maintaining a kidney-friendly meal plan limits how much of certain minerals and fluid you eat and drink. There is not one plan that is right for everyone with kidney disease. Talk to your doctor or social worker about meeting with a Registered Dietitian for more information and creating a plan that is personalized for you.
Anyone can be diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease, at any age. However, African Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians are at an increased risk for developing the disease. You may also be at increased risk if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, family history of Chronic Kidney Disease and being 60 years of age or older. If you have any of these risk factors, talk to your doctor about getting tested for kidney disease.
A kidney transplant is an operation to place a healthy (donor) kidney in your body to perform the functions your own diseased kidneys can no longer perform. However, there is a shortage of organs available for donation. Many people who are candidates for kidney transplantation are put on a transplant waiting list and require dialysis until an organ is available.