Chronic kidney disease (CKD) occurs when your kidneys deteriorate in functioning. Since the kidneys are responsible for filtering the blood and helping remove toxins and waste from your body, their deterioration can be life-threatening. If you are diagnosed with CKD, there are several ways to manage the condition.
Address The Underlying Issue
Whenever CKD is the result of an underlying disease, it is important to find treatments that help minimize the deterioration of your kidneys. Many cases of CKD are the result of long-standing hypertension that went uncontrolled for decades. Another condition that can affect the kidneys is lupus. Once you are diagnosed with hypertension, it is important to follow your doctor's instructions by taking medications and trying to lead a healthier lifestyle, which can minimize kidney damage. For people with lupus or other autoimmune diseases affecting their kidneys, trying different medications to minimize the instance of flare-ups and using steroids during a flare-up can help bring the disease under control. Unfortunately, there are people with lupus who struggle to keep their disease under control, despite their best efforts.
There may come a time in CKD when the disease becomes advanced and dialysis, with a machine like the Baxter Dialysis Machine, is necessary to prolong your life. Hemodialysis is more common and is usually performed at a dialysis center, but you may have the option to do it at home. A needle is inserted into your arm so your blood can go through the tube and into the machine for "cleaning" and be returned to your arm. People who have long-term hemodialysis often need a surgical procedure for an arteriovenous fistula, which creates a connection between the artery and vein in your arm, so it is easier to insert the needle for dialysis. If you want to try home dialysis, you will need to go through significant training and find out if there are places within your locality that offer training and can assist you.
Learn About Transplant Options
Once you are approaching a point in your CKD where you need to go on permanent dialysis, you should also discuss transplantation with your doctor. There are many criteria regarding whether you can receive a kidney. If you are a candidate for a kidney, your doctor will likely call a transparent center to have you placed on the list. The journey to a kidney transplant can be difficult because there are many people on the list and not enough donors. Some people are fortunate and have a friend or family member willing to be a living donor. If a kidney becomes available and it is suitable for donation, you must also be well enough to attempt the surgery. If you are considering a transplant, it is best to be placed on the list as soon as possible and to do everything possible to maintain your health in the meantime.
CKD can be an especially difficult chronic disease to manage. Addressing any underlying conditions may slow the progression of CKD. If your kidneys deteriorate further, dialysis may help until a kidney becomes available.