- Understanding Chronic Kidney Disease
- Kidney Disease Stages
- What Is a Nephrologist?
- What to Expect with CKD
- Managing Kidney Disease
- Understanding Acute Kidney Injury
- How Kidneys Work
- Take a FREE CLASS on Kidney Disease
Managing Kidney DiseaseManaging Kidney Disease
Meet Your Kidney Care Team
A care team is a dedicated group of healthcare providers, specialists, counselors, family, and close friends who surround you with comfort, support, and guidance throughout your kidney disease journey. Living with chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a group effort with you—the most important member—at the center of your care team.
Your care team members are ready to support you
You can take the leading role in your physical and emotional health by communicating with your care team. You’ll have different people on your team that will be available to address your needs depending on your stage of CKD and the level of support you need.
A doctor, also known as a primary care physician (PCP), assesses your overall health, including any conditions you may have, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, and recommends a healthcare plan if necessary. They will monitor your overall health and as your kidney disease progresses, they may refer you to a nephrologist. If you have any health concerns outside of your CKD condition, this is the person to go to.
Nephrologist (kidney doctor)
A nephrologist is a kidney expert with advanced training in kidney care and is responsible for monitoring your kidney health. A kidney doctor will develop a Care Plan with you so you can stay your healthiest and feel your best throughout your kidney disease journey.
A social worker or counselor is a trusted partner who will educate you about CKD, help set health goals, and offer tips and tools for adjusting to life after a kidney disease diagnosis. Involving a social worker promotes comfort and provides reassurance that you are not alone as you navigate your journey together.
A kidney diet specialist works with you to create a personalized meal plan that incorporates a healthy diet that aligns with your favorite foods and flavors. Your plan may be refined as necessary to meet your unique nutritional needs.
Working closely with a trained pharmacist who is knowledgeable about different medications is important. With CKD, your kidneys may process some medications differently and need to be adjusted or even avoided, depending on your lab values and level of kidney function. It’s important to talk to a pharmacist about all of the medications you’re taking. A pharmacist can help you understand your medications, learn how to take them as prescribed, and be aware of any possible side effects to look out for.
An insurance coordinator can help explain all of your health insurance coverage options, so you can choose the best coverage for you. If you ever have questions about your coverage or if your coverage needs to change, talk to an insurance coordinator before making any changes to your existing plan.
A support network is the group of people who will comfort and help guide you throughout your CKD 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. It’s important that you maintain close contact and reach out to them when you need their encouragement, love, and support.
Communicate with your care team
Good communication starts with you and is essential to your physical and emotional health and wellbeing. So talk to the experts! Questions? Rely on your dedicated care team when you need support.
TAKE A FREE KIDNEY CARE CLASS
Learn how to look after your kidney health and thrive—in a class that fits your life. Choose an educator-led or self-guided format.
EAT WELL WITH CKD
With CKD, what you eat—and how much—can have a big impact on your health. Learn the basics of kidney-friendly eating.