Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q. What is chronic kidney disease?
A. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a term used to describe kidney damage or reduced kidney function (regardless of the cause) that persists for more than 3 months. Sometimes, CKD leads to kidney failure or end stage renal disease (ESRD), which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant to keep you alive. LEARN MORE ABOUT CKD
Q. What is end stage renal disease?
A. End stage renal disease (ESRD) is total and permanent kidney failure. When the kidneys fail, the body retains fluid and harmful waste builds up. If you have ESRD, you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant to stay alive. LEARN MORE ABOUT ESRD
Q. Is there a cure for CKD or ESRD?
A. There is no cure for CKD or ESRD. However, there are ways to manage CKD and ESRD that can help those who have these diseases live a full, productive life. If you have CKD, it’s important to have regular checkups. With early diagnosis and treatment, you may be able to slow the progression of your disease.
Dialysis treatmentsQ. What is dialysis?
A. Put simply, dialysis is a way of cleaning your blood. It is a medical treatment for people with ESRD that does some of the work healthy kidneys would do, including:
- Removing waste, salt and extra water from your body
- Regulating your body’s fluid balance
- Helping to control your blood pressure
Q. What are the different types of dialysis treatments for kidney disease?
A. There are 2 main types of dialysis—hemodialysis (HD) and peritoneal dialysis (PD)—and each has different advantages, requirements and scheduling options. Depending on your health, lifestyle and other factors, you and your doctor should decide which type of dialysis is right for you.
The word hemo means “blood” and dialysis means “filter.” Simply put, hemodialysis is a process where blood is filtered outside the body by a machine called a dialyzer or “artificial kidney,” and then returned to your body.
Learn about: IN-CENTER HEMODIALYSIS AT-HOME HEMODIALYSIS
Peritoneal dialysis gets its name from the lining of your abdomen, which is called the peritoneum. This lining is a membrane that surrounds the space in your abdomen called the peritoneal cavity. This natural lining can be used to filter your blood.
Learn about: CONTINUOUS AMBULATORY PERITONEAL DIALYSIS (CAPD) CONTINUOUS CYCLING PERITONEAL DIALYSIS (CCPD)
Traveling with dialysisQ. If I’m on dialysis and I’m planning on traveling, what do I need to do?
A. You should ensure that you have adequate dialysis medication and access to a dialysis facility. If you are using Fresenius Kidney Care for your dialysis treatments, contact Fresenius Kidney Care Patient Travel Services. One of our specialists can help you plan and arrange services for all of your dialysis needs—from finding centers to booking treatments—before your trip and even while you’re on your trip.
For more information, call Fresenius Kidney Care Patient Travel Services at:
1-866-434-2597, Option 2
Monday through Friday
8 AM to 6 PM EST
LEARN MORE ABOUT TRAVELING WITH DIALYSIS
Diets for CKD and ESRDQ. Is there a special diet for CKD and ESRD?
A. What you should eat—and how much—depends on the stage of CKD you are in and how well your kidneys are working. Check with your doctor or renal dietitian, to find out the specific dietary requirements for your kidney condition.
However, in general, you’ll need to:
- Lighten up on protein, especially if you have stage 3 or 4 CKD.
- Shake off the salt—sodium can have a negative effect on your kidneys and raise your blood pressure.
- Watch out for too much phosphorus—it’s a mineral found in many foods, which helps control your heartbeat. When you have CKD, too much phosphorus can build up in your kidneys.
LEARN MORE ABOUT A KIDNEY-FRIENDLY DIET GET KIDNEY-FRIENDLY RECIPES
Living with dialysisQ. Now that I’ve been diagnosed with ESRD, I’m having trouble with my feelings. What can I do?
A. Getting the word that you have ESRD can open up a floodgate of emotions. It’s a serious disease, but thanks to kidney dialysis treatments and other forms of support, you can still live your life and even thrive. If you’re finding it hard to stay optimistic, talking to a trusted friend or loved one can help. If you need a professional counselor, speak with a social worker who can help you sort out your feelings and also connect you to other counselors or resources.
LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT YOU CAN DO
Q. How will dialysis affect my sex life?
A. You will probably feel very tired and may have feelings of depression that ebb and flow. But it’s important to know that while dialysis may affect your sex life, it doesn’t put an end to it.
LEARN HOW YOU CAN STILL BE INTIMATE
Q. How can I reach out to others for support?
A. Reaching out to others is no small thing—especially if you pride yourself on being independent.
While there are still many things you can do on your own, you will still need to manage the physical and emotional realities of being on dialysis. For starters, you can:
- Speak with your social worker—he or she can educate you on all the ways you can build support
- Get the word out to friends and family—have a conversation with those closest to you and consider the power of social media for getting the word out to larger groups of friends and acquaintances
- Build and join support groups—ask your social worker for tips on finding or starting a support group
Additional resourcesQ. What resources and helpful tools are available through Fresenius Kidney Care?
A. Fresenius Kidney Care has a variety of resources and tools to help you manage your life and your treatment with CKD. Find helpful tools below and contact Fresenius Kidney Care for more helpful information.
Healthy Lifestyles E-Newsletters
Get diet tips and recipes for CKD and ESRD, get fitness tips to keep moving and be inspired by success stories from people on dialysis who are thriving. Learn how you can too.
SIGN UP FOR HEALTHY LIFESTYLES E-NEWSLETTERS TODAY
Treatment Options Program
Interested in learning about dialysis and all your treatment options? Sign up for one of our free Treatment Options Program (TOPs) classes.
Treatment Decision Guide
Ready to create your treatment plan with your doctor? Download the Fresenius Kidney Care Treatment Decision Guide.
Treatment Team Discussion Guide
For questions to ask your treatment team about your CKD or ESRD treatment, download the Treatment Team Discussion Guide.
If you are using Fresenius Kidney Care for your dialysis treatments, FreseniusRx pharmacy services can fill your dialysis prescriptions and deliver your medication directly to your dialysis center or home anywhere in the US. Have questions about your meds? FreseniusRx pharmacists are trained renal (kidney) pharmacists who will be happy to answer your questions, notify you of any potential interaction with any other medications you may be taking and make sure your prescriptions are always up to date.
Fresenius Kidney Care Patient Travel Services
If you are using Fresenius Kidney Care for your dialysis treatment and are planning to travel, be sure to contact Fresenius Kidney Care Patient Travel Services. When you call, please have your patient MRN information handy.
Use this handy checklist to help you plan for dialysis on your trip.
Emergency Kit Checklist
Always be prepared. Keep a paper copy of this Emergency Kit Checklist.
DOWNLOAD PDF LEARN ABOUT DISASTER PREPAREDNESS
Personal Medication List
It’s always a good idea for you and your care partner to have a list of your current medications. Download this form to help you list and organize the names and dosages of each of your medications. Bring this list with you to your doctor appointments and keep your pharmacist informed about all your medications. You’ll also want to have this list handy in case of emergencies or if you are hospitalized.
Personal Information Sheet
For doctor appointments and in case of emergencies or hospitalization, you’ll want to have your basic personal information readily available, including your name, contact info, insurance, medical information and the name of your emergency contact. Download and fill out the Personal Information Sheet form and keep it in your pocket or handbag so you can have it if you need it.
When you receive treatment through Fresenius Kidney Care, one of our financial coordinators can help you manage your medical costs and answer any questions you may have in regard to health or disability insurance.
LEARN MORE ABOUT PAYING FOR TREATMENT
Q. What other resources are available to me?
A. There are many health, educational and government organizations, as well as advocacy groups, that offer information and support for patients with CKD and ESRD.
LEARN MORE ABOUT OTHER HELPFUL RESOURCES AND WEBSITES
News and mediaQ. To whom should I direct media inquiries?
A. Members of the media should use the media relations contact information below for inquiries. Please note, should you receive any photo files and video assets, all should be credited to Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA) and are general file images and footage. These files should not be portrayed in any way as photos or videos from a specific Fresenius Kidney Care dialysis center.
Media Relations Contact:
GET MORE INFORMATION
Website technical issues
A. Yes. In the dark blue bar at the very top of the right-hand side of this page, there is an icon that looks like TEXT +. Click on the + to increase the size of the text.