Diagnosis and Treatment Options
A diagnosis of chronic kidney disease can be scary and stressful. Educating yourself about treatment options and resources will empower you to shape your healthcare outcome.
Living with Chronic Kidney Disease
Watch how our two patients managed their diagnosis and treatment of chronic kidney disease
Here are 3 important steps to managing life around CKD:
Step 1. Manage Your Health
A diagnosis of CKD doesn’t mean that you have kidney failure. Know your stage of kidney disease. In the early stages, there are many things that you can do to help slow disease progression. See Self-care for Kidney Health to learn more.
Your lab test values are a guide to how slowly or quickly your kidney disease is progressing. Keep close watch on your results. The Kidney Health Checklist for a Doctor’s Visit is a helpful tool for tracking your labs and keeping a list of questions. Follow up regularly with your healthcare team so that they can monitor for early problems and complications.
Step 2. Learn About Treatment Options
If your kidneys fail, you will need treatment to replace the work your own kidneys can no longer do. Treatment options include dialysis and kidney transplantation. What works for some people may not work for you. Everyone’s journey with kidney disease is different. Take the time to learn the positives and negatives for each option so that you can make decisions based on your needs.
Step 3. Be Your Own Advocate
Be your own advocate. Get involved in developing your treatment plan—don’t just leave it to your healthcare team to make all the decisions for you. Managing your kidney disease requires coordination among doctors, nurses, dieticians, pharmacists, social workers, and psychologists. Stay in close contact with your healthcare team.
Ask questions. Make sure you understand your treatment options. Make your wishes known. Learn about strategies and resources that will empower you to shape your own health outcome.
You have the power to help shape your outcome with kidney disease through awareness, education, and active participation in selecting your treatment options. Here are some strategies that will empower you: