Learn About Kidney Disease
“I am not a survivor… I am an overcomer! I do not find myself in a valley, I am climbing a mountain.” Jesse C.
“I had so many emotions when I was told I was in stage 4 CKD. I had always lived a healthy lifestyle, never abused my body, etc. I was angry and scared. I didn’t know what kidney disease would mean. I went home and cried for days. Then I started researching my disease, changed my diet, and got on with my life, including working.” Terry S.
Learning that your kidneys are not working as well as they should can be scary. In most cases, kidneys do not gain back function they have lost. But, there is a lot you can do to help protect the function you do have. And, there may be steps you can take to keep your kidneys from getting worse.
For now, the key thing to know is you can have a good life with CKD. You can do things you enjoy. You can spend time with loved ones. You can work and travel. Even if your kidneys do fail one day, your life can go on with treatment. People who have CKD say that keeping a positive attitude is one of the keys to a good life.
How can you stay positive when you find out that you have kidney disease?
- Find Someone To Talk To. Burdens can shrink when you share them. Your care team can answer your questions. Since your loved ones may be just as scared as you are, finding someone who has CKD and is living well with it may be useful. There are online support groups, or your kidney clinic may know of a group near you. If you are a person of faith, your church leader may be able to ease your mind.
- Know That Things Could Be Worse. Some people with CKD take comfort in the fact that they have an illness that can be treated. Sadly, some health problems do not have good treatments yet.
- Look For Meaning. What can you learn from having CKD? Is there a way that knowing you have this health problem can improve your life? Maybe CKD will be the wake-up call you need to spend more time with loved ones, change your lifestyle, or focus on what you really want to do with your life.
Causes & Stages
Having a chronic disease can make it feel as if your life has spun out of control. But, knowledge is power.
How to Have a Good Life
To live well and as long as you can, you will need to take an active role in your CKD care.
Blood & Urine Tests
Testing your blood and urine can let you and your healthcare team see how your body is working.
Work with Your Doctor
Doctors are vital to your healthcare, but they are busy and not always easy to talk to.
Slowing Kidney Disease
If you can slow your CKD, you can delay the need for treatment of kidney failure.
What to Eat & What Not To
When you have CKD, one way to feel better and protect your kidneys is to take a fresh look at what you eat.