What to Expect After
CKD Diagnosis

Learning that you have chronic kidney disease (CKD) can be a surprise. Give yourself time to absorb the news and determine the next steps that work best for you. Remember, there are treatments for every stage of CKDthat can help. Talk openly with your nephrologist and get support rom family and friends.


Learn how to take care of yourself and live well with kidney disease—from eating well, to getting support, to finding the right resources.

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5 Steps to Take After a CKD Diagnosis

After a CKD diagnosis, what should you do first? Here are some initial steps to get you started no matter what stage you’re in. 
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    1. Be your strongest advocate.
    Make a conscious decision to take on the role. You know yourself best and therefore you are the best person to ensure that your needs are addressed.
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    2. Learn everything you can about CKD and coping with chronic conditions.
    The more you know about what to expect when diagnosed with CKD, the better equipped you’ll be to manage and take an active part in your care and treatment (external link).
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    3. Talk to your doctor.
    Ask everything you can about your current CKD stage and what to plan for next. Bring along a loved one to contribute to the conversation and take notes.
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    4. Prioritize your well-being.
    Honestly assess your lifestyle. Make time for things that contribute to your physical and emotional health (external link) — and drop whatever takes away from it.
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    5. Commit to your treatment goals.
    Know the objectives for your current CKD stage and follow through on all treatment and medication exactly as directed.

"I'm a person who believes you've got to ask questions."

—Gloria, on dialysis since March 2013

Watch Gloria's Story
Create a to-do list on your phone.

Tackling change

Prescribed a new routine by your doctor? To help make a big change seem more manageable, break it down into doable steps. Creating a to-do list of action items and checking each one off as you go can help you prioritize what to do first—and see all the progress you’re making.
Talk about your emotions after a kidney disease diagnosis.

Navigating your emotions

It’s normal to feel anxious or down after an unwanted diagnosis and if you’re feeling discouraged, you’re not alone. An estimated 75% of people on dialysis experience some form of depression at some point. But there is help
— and adjustments you can make to live well on dialysis. Talk to your doctor and social worker or counselor about ways to cope, including finding a support group. You can also lean on your support network of family and friends.


Whether you’re getting ready for dialysis or want to switch to a different type of dialysis, our Treatment Decision Guide can help you decide what treatment option is best for you.

Download the guide

Eating well matters

When you’ve got CKD, what you eat—and how much—can have a big impact on your health. Learn about nutrition needs for CKD and eating to be your healthiest.
See what’s on the menu

Covering costs

No matter what stage of CKD you’re in, finding out about coverage for kidney care and dialysis can give you peace of mind and help with financial planning. Getting informed early in the process will also give you a head start on time-sensitive decisions.
Learn about managing your costs