Managing Kidney Disease
Hi! I’m Mary, a Dialysis Nurse at Fresenius Kidney Care
- Here are some essential facts to understand about chronic kidney disease (CKD):
- CKD has 5 stages.
- There are treatments that can help slow disease progression.
- Eventually, CKD progresses to end stage renal disease (ESRD) or kidney failure—but it could take years.
- You have several treatment options for ESRD. Talk to your doctor about what fits best with your life.
Meet Your CKD Treatment Team
Your treatment team is the dedicated group of healthcare providers, specialists, counselors and family and friends who are there for you throughout your chronic kidney disease (CKD) treatment. Living—and thriving—with CKD takes support, so reach out to your team whenever you need them.
Potential team members who will support you
You’ll have different people on your treatment team depending on your CKD stage and the treatment you choose. You can learn more about specific treatment teams here: in-center hemodialysis team, at-home peritoneal dialysis treatment team and at-home hemodialysis treatment team. If you choose another option like transplant or supportive care without dialysis, your team structure may look different, but support will be just as important.
Nephrologist (kidney doctor)
This kidney expert has advanced training in kidney care and is responsible for monitoring your kidney health, stages of CKD and dialysis treatment or transplant care.
Primary care physician
This general doctor oversees your overall health, including any conditions you may have, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. If you have any health concerns outside of your CKD, this is the person to go to.
A licensed registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN) is responsible for assessing progress, overseeing day-to-day dialysis sessions and monitoring medication.
At-home dialysis training nurse
A licensed registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN) is responsible for training people on at-home dialysis equipment, overseeing at-home dialysis treatments and monitoring medication.
A social worker is an invaluable partner who can educate you on CKD, help set treatment goals, offer tips and tools for adjusting to life with CKD and help both you and your family thrive after a CKD diagnosis.
This kidney diet expert will work with you to create a personalized eating plan that incorporates kidney-friendly foods and your favorite flavors. Your plan will be refined as necessary to meet your unique nutritional needs at each CKD stage.
Patient care technician
At the center, this expert helps you with the day-to-day dialysis processes, including setting up dialysis machines, putting in dialysis needles and overseeing treatment sessions all the way through completion.
This is the group of people who will support you throughout your CKD treatment journey. Your personal support network may include family, friends, neighbors and coworkers you feel close with—anyone who cares about you and wants to see you thrive. Reach out to this group when you need them and keep them updated on how you’re doing.
Reach out to your team
Good communication is essential to your physical and emotional health and well-being, so talk to the experts! Questions? Ask your doctor or nurse. If you’re on dialysis, be sure to tap your social worker or counselor when you need support.START A CONVERSATION WITH THIS LIST OF QUESTIONS