Resources For Living Well With Kidney Disease

Stay informed and empowered with helpful information on kidney disease treatment, thriving on dialysis and following a kidney diet—plus, useful checklists, topics and guides to help you live a full life.

Select a topic from the list below, then view or download and print.

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  • Sign up to learn more This expert-led class at a location near you will help you understand kidney function, kidney-friendly nutrition, treatment options, and how to thrive with kidney disease.
  • The Basics of CKD

    view | download | Spanish Learn the basic stages of CKD, treatment options for ESRD as well as tips and resources to support you.
  • watch now It’s important to be aware of the risk factors and symptoms of chronic kidney disease. Join us as we walk through the signs and symptoms of CKD so you can feel empowered and start taking control of your health.
  • Questions to Ask for Early Stage CKD

    view | download | Spanish If you’re getting ready to talk to your doctor about CKD, here’s a list of questions that can help get the conversation started.
  • Questions to Ask for Late Stage CKD

    view | download | Spanish Your nephrologist and dietitian can help you address the specific needs for your current stage and plan for the next. Use these questions to help get the conversation started.
  • Questions to Ask for ESRD

    view | download | Spanish The more you share with your treatment team about your condition, the more tailored your treatment will be. Here are some questions about ESRD for you to consider.
  • Questions to Ask Your Care Team

    view | download | Spanish Your care team is dedicated and committed to your success while on dialysis. Use this list of questions to help guide your conversations.
  • Resources for Living with CKD

    view | download | Spanish This list of resources will help you learn more about kidney disease and the support available to you and your loved ones.
  • How to Preserve Your Residual Renal Function

    view | download | Spanish Learn about the importance of residual renal function (RRF) which indicates your kidneys’ ability to remove water and toxins from your body and how PD supports RRF to help you feel your best.
  • What is acute kidney injury (AKI)?

    view | download | Spanish Understand what causes acute kidney injury (AKI) and how it can be managed with dialysis.
  • Dialysis and Your Prescribed Treatment

    view | download | Spanish Learn why staying for your full prescribed dialysis treatment time may help you feel better and stay out of the hospital.
  • Treatment Decision Guide

    view | download | Spanish Dialysis should fit into your life, not the other way around. Our Treatment Decision Guide will help you identify the treatment type that's right for you.
  • Learn More Try MEI’s tool My Life, My Dialysis Choice to help you decide which treatment option is best for you.
  • watch now Learn more about the options for home dialysis. Home hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis can be gentler on your body, meaning lower risk of health complications, feeling better, and having the energy to do the things you love.
  • watch now If you have an active lifestyle or are often on the go, then peritoneal dialysis (PD) may be the right choice for you. PD offers additional freedom and flexibility as a treatment option that's closest to natural kidney function.
  • watch now Home hemodialysis gives you the flexibility to fit treatment into your lifestyle and may help you feel better with fewer medications and dietary restrictions.
  • Kidney Transplant Guide

    view | download | Spanish A kidney transplant is one of the most effective treatments for ESRD. Our guide discusses some of the factors that can lead to a successful transplant.
  • 5 Things to Know When Considering a Kidney Transplant

    view | download | Spanish Kidney Transplant is one of the most effective treatments for end stage renal disease. Here are 5 things you should know and discuss with your social worker and insurance coordinator.
  • How to Feel Your Best on Dialysis

    view | download | Spanish To feel your best on dialysis, it is important to follow every step of your treatment exactly as your doctor prescribes. These 4 essentials will help you get started.
  • Benefits of Home Dialysis

    view | download | Spanish Looking for more freedom and flexibility around treatment to fit your lifestyle? Learn about the benefits of home dialysis and whether it may be the best treatment option for you.
  • Home Dialysis Treatment Options

    view | download | Spanish Choosing the right treatment option can help you stay committed and thrive. Learn about the home dialysis treatment options to help keep you feeling your best.
  • watch now It’s important to make sure you have all the facts to help you make the best treatment decision. Watch our video to uncover the truths about home dialysis.
  • Preparing for Peritoneal Dialysis Training

    view | download | Spanish Now that you’ve chosen home peritoneal dialysis, you may have a lot of questions about what to expect. This handout will help prepare you for the start of your training.
  • Preparing for Home Hemodialysis Training

    view | download | Spanish Now that you’ve chosen home hemodialysis, you may have a lot of questions about what to expect. This handout will help prepare you for the start of training.
  • Managing your treatment plan for kidney failure

    view | download | Spanish

    Work closely with your care team to identify next steps and develop your treatment plan if your kidney function doesn’t return.

  • Types of Access Guide

    view | download | Spanish Your access site is your lifeline—use this guide to help you choose the access type that is right for you.
  • My Access Plan

    view | download | Spanish Follow a plan to have your new or secondary access placed and/or your HD catheter removed. Partner with your care team to get the best access possible.
  • Caring for Your PD Catheter

    view | download | Spanish Take these steps to ensure you feel your best by keeping your PD catheter clean and preventing peritonitis.
  • Caring for Your HD Catheter

    view | download | Spanish Ensure you feel your best by taking these steps to care for your hemodialysis catheter and keep it clean.
  • Caring for Your Fistula or Graft

    view | download | Spanish Keep your access site clean and healthy. Learn how you can monitor your fistula or graft daily to help identify infections and complications early.
  • Emergency Care for Your Fistula or Graft

    view | download | Spanish Your access site is your lifeline. If you notice a problem or concern, act quickly to get it treated as soon as possible.
  • Handwashing Tips

    view | download | Spanish Follow these easy steps to make sure you’re keeping your hands clean throughout the day to help avoid infection.
  • watch now Practicing good hand hygiene helps you reduce the spread of viruses and prevent infection. Follow these steps to help stay healthy.
  • Tips to Care for Yourself at Home During COVID-19

    view | download | Spanish Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. Practice these tips to stay healthy and reduce further spread of the illness at home.
  • Tips to Avoid Coronavirus

    view | download | Spanish Learn more about coronavirus and the simple things you can do, like washing your hands, to help you stay healthy.
  • Hand Hygiene

    view | download | Spanish Practice proper hand hygiene at all times to avoid infection before, during and after your dialysis treatment. Follow these tips to keep your hands clean and to stay your healthiest.
  • Tips to Fight the Flu

    view | download | Spanish Learn more about the flu and ways to fight off infection so you can thrive all year long.
  • Pneumococcal Pneumonia

    view | download | Spanish The best way to prevent pneumococcal pneumonia is to get vaccinated. Learn more about completing the vaccination series and tips for feeling your best.
  • Tips for a Healthy Mouth

    view | download | Spanish Good oral hygiene is important for you to feel your best. Follow these tips for a healthy mouth.
  • Caring for Your Feet

    view | download | Spanish Did you know your feet can provide clues to your overall health? Learn how to take care of your feet so you can prevent minor injuries from turning into more serious problems.
  • Skin Care for Amputations

    view | download | Spanish If you have an amputation, skin care is very important. Use these tips to make skin care a daily routine when checking your stump, especially if you have diabetes.
  • Teaming up for Hepatitis C Management

    view | download | Spanish If you are diagnosed with Hepatitis C, you are not alone! Our Hepatitis C Care Management Program will support you every step of the way. See how our program can support you.
  • Tips to Prevent Slips, Trips and Falls

    view | download | Spanish It is always important to be aware of your surroundings so you can stay safe and feeling your best. Check out these tips to help prevent any accidents both at home and at your dialysis center.
  • Tips for Tobacco Cessation

    view | download | Spanish When you have kidney disease, it is important to take control of your health by being informed about the harmful effects of tobacco use. Follow these important tips to help you quit smoking and feel your best.
  • What is Anemia?

    view | download | Spanish Learn about anemia and the symptoms you may experience if you are anemic. Work with your care team to learn about your lab values and your hemoglobin goal.
  • How is Anemia Treated?

    view | download | Spanish Did you know that during dialysis, you may lose lots of iron and essential vitamins? If you are anemic, find out what medications your doctor may prescribe to help you feel your best.
  • Coping with Depression and Anxiety

    view | download | Spanish Depression and anxiety are much more common than you may think. Learn to recognize the signs of depression and anxiety so you can find healthy ways to cope.
  • Coping with Grief and Loss 

    view | download | Spanish It is not uncommon to experience grief after the loss of kidney function and at the beginning of dialysis. Try these tips to help cope with these feelings so that you can continue to feel your best.
  • Tips to Store Your Home Supplies

    view | download | Spanish You don’t need a lot of space to store your home dialysis supplies. Check out these tips to help you store your supplies.
  • Support, Information, Advice: Join the Kidney Care Community

    view | download | Spanish Your support system just got bigger! Sign up to join the community where you can ask questions, share stories and make connections with others going through similar experiences.
  • Your Social Worker is Here to Help

    view | download | Spanish Thriving on dialysis starts with great medical care, but it doesn’t end there. Your social worker can provide information, ideas, and suggestions to help you thrive on dialysis.
  • Honoring Your Loved One Through Tribute and Donation

    view | download | Spanish Learn more about where and how you can make a donation to honor the memory of your loved one.
  • Manage Your Dialysis Care with PatientHub

    view | download | Spanish If you dialyze in-center, PatientHub can help you stay active in your care by checking your health information and treatment progress. Talk to your care team about joining today!
  • Telehealth Visits During Coronavirus

    view | download | Spanish Learn how you can visit with your care team and nephrologist virtually, so you don’t have to be in the same location to get the care you need.
  • ER vs Urgent Care: Where to Go

    view | download | Spanish If you have an urgent medical issue and it’s outside of your doctor's regular business hours, use this guide to help you decide whether to go to an urgent care center or the emergency room.
  • Manage Your Care at Home with PatientHub

    view | download | Spanish If you dialyze at home, talk to your care team about PatientHub. Join today to play a more active role in your care and track your progress.
  • Monitoring Your Health with Acute Kidney Injury (AKI)

    view | download | Spanish Help your care team monitor your health during AKI treatment by telling them about any changes you experience day to day. Track these health factors daily and report them to your care team.
  • Shopping List: Flexible-Potassium Diet

    view | download | Spanish Here’s a list of healthy food choices that can help you manage your potassium intake and keep your levels in check.
  • Shopping List: Low-Potassium Diet

    view | download | Spanish Use this handy guide—designed specifically for a lower-potassium lifestyle—to make healthy food choices while you shop.
  • Manage Your Diet With Diabetes and Kidney Disease

    view | download | Spanish If you have diabetes and kidney disease, use this handout and complete the activity on the back to better learn how to build kidney-friendly meals, understand how carbs work, and identify and count carbs in food and drinks.
  • Foods to Choose for CKD

    view | download | Spanish If you have CKD and aren't on dialysis yet, here’s a list of 100+ great food choices to use as a quick reference guide.
  • Foods to Choose for ESRD

    view | download | Spanish Whether you are on a low-potassium or flexible-potassium ESRD diet, this handy guide will help you make the right food choices.
  • Tips for Eating Well During the Holidays

    view | download | Spanish Use these helpful tips to eat well and feel your best during the holidays.
  • Manage Potassium, Feel Your Best

    view | download | Spanish Learn about potassium’s role in maintaining a kidney-friendly diet and key tips to managing your potassium level.
  • Focus in on Phosphorus

    view | download | Spanish Do you know your most recent phosphorus level? Learn tips to help manage your phosphorus intake and how to identify hidden phosphorus.
  • The Power of Protein

    view | download | Spanish Did you know that protein is monitored by measuring your albumin level? Learn about the importance of protein for a dialysis diet and add these easy and delicious protein-packed snacks to your kidney-friendly diet today.
  • Better Protein Options for CKD

    view | download | Spanish What you eat and drink – and how much – can impact your kidney health and how you feel. Learn how choosing proteins like plant-based options or fresh, lean animal proteins can be better for your overall health.
  • Guide to Plant-Based Eating

    view | download | Spanish Use this flyer to learn about the health benefits of a plant-based diet. The piece features helpful tips and food substitution ideas for those looking to incorporate more whole, plant-based foods into their diet.
  • Control Calcium, Feel Your Best

    view | download | Spanish Learn why it's important to keep your calcium levels balanced. Use these tips to help manage your calcium intake and how to identify hidden calcium.
  • Fluid Tracker

    view | download | Spanish Use this tracker to record your fluid intake and urine output—and share your results with your nurse or doctor.
  • Tips and Tricks for Fluid Management

    view | download | Spanish Learn how to manage your fluid and sodium intake so you'll feel your best during dialysis and in between treatments.
  • Shake Off the Salt to Better Balance Your Fluids

    view | download | Spanish Learn how eating salty foods directly affects your fluid intake and build healthier, lower-sodium meals.
  • watch now Fluids are typically limited on a dialysis diet, but the exact amount you should have each day may depend on your health and the type of dialysis you're on. Watch this video to learn some quick tips to help manage your fluid.
  • watch now If you need help cutting salt out of your diet, this video will provide tip and tricks to reduce your salt intake.
  • Monitoring Your Blood Pressure and Fluid

    view | download | Spanish High blood pressure can be a sign of fluid buildup. Learn tips and how to monitor your blood pressure at home daily.
  • Managing Fluid and Edema

    view | download | Spanish Excess fluid may cause edema. Learn how to check for edema with a few easy steps as well as tips to help with managing fluid.
  • Monitoring Your Weight and Fluids

    view | download | Spanish Know your estimated dry weight and weigh yourself daily to monitor your fluid gains. Check out these great tips to keep in mind when weighing yourself.
  • Urine Tracker

    view | download | Spanish Use this tracker to record your urine output and weight each day—and share your results with your nurse or doctor.
  • Travel Checklist

    view | download | Spanish If you’re planning to travel, our handy checklist helps you get organized with tips on what to pack and what information you should have with you.
  • Tips for Traveling on Dialysis

    view | download | Spanish When you’re traveling on dialysis, a little planning can go a long way. Here are some tips on how to prepare for a successful trip.
  • Traveling with Medications

    view | download | Spanish If you are planning a trip, it’s important to ensure that you have the medications you need to keep you healthy. Use our guide for tips you need to know.
  • Air and International Travel with Medications

    view | download | Spanish When flying, either within the US or internationally, it’s important to have the medications you need. Download the guide to learn more.
  • Getting Dental, Vision, and Hearing Coverage

    view | download | Spanish Learn how to get insurance coverage for dental, vision, and hearing services including eyeglasses and routine exams.
  • Healthcare.gov Exchange Coverage: Don’t Miss Special Enrollment

    view | download | Spanish Learn about insurance available through the Affordable Care Act on Healthcare.gov and if this coverage could be an option for you. A new special enrollment period due to Covid-19 is open February 15 – August 15.
  • watch now Watch this webinar from the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) to learn more about health insurance coverage for dialysis, including updates to Medicare for 2021.
  • Medicare Open Enrollment Checklist

    view | download | Spanish Use this guide to see what actions you should take for open enrollment. Be sure to take the time to learn about all of your options, including the new option of Medicare Advantage.
  • Managing Costs

    view | download | Spanish Learn the basics about insurance coverage and dialysis with these simple truths and frequently used terms.
  • Considering Health Insurance Options

    view | download | Spanish Use this tool to compare key considerations between plan types to help you decide which coverage options may work best for you.
  • Insurance Basics: Employer Plans

    view | download | Spanish Understand the health insurance benefits offered by your employer and how you can continue your employee benefits while on dialysis.
  • Insurance Basics: Medicare Advantage

    view | download | Spanish Learn the basics of Medicare Advantage including coverage benefits and how Medicare Advantage compares to traditional Medicare.
  • Consider Calling SelectQuote

    view | download | Spanish

    Learn about Medicare Advantage by talking to your insurance coordinator, visiting Medicare.gov or by talking to an independent licensed insurance agent-like one from SelectQuote. Learn how SelectQuote may be able to help you best understand your insurance options and compare health insurance plans available to you.

  • SelectQuote Consent Form

    view | download | Spanish Download, sign this form, and return it to your insurance coordinator or social worker to receive a call from an independent licensed insurance agent at SelectQuote or you can call SelectQuote directly at 1-877-213-1342.
  • Insurance Basics: Medicare

    view | download | Spanish Learn the basics of Medicare, parts A, B, C and D, and additional resources available to supplement your coverage.
  • Insurance Basics: Medicaid

    view | download | Spanish Learn the basics of Medicaid including coverage benefits, continuity of coverage, and how Medicaid works with other insurance plans.
  • Pay Less With In-Network Dialysis Services

    view | download | Spanish Learn why it’s important to receive dialysis services that are in-network with your health plan.
  • Health Coverage Options Guide

    view | download | Spanish Whether you're just beginning dialysis, or your circumstances have recently changed, this guide will help you understand your options for healthcare insurance coverage.
  • Compare Your Options with Dialysis Plan Choice

    view | download | Spanish Learn about Dialysis Plan Choice, a coverage comparison tool to help you explore health insurance options available to people on dialysis.
  • Learn More Learn more from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) about Medicare Advantage as a new option for people with ESRD in 2021.
  • Learn More CMS has announced historically low average Medicare Advantage premiums for 2021 and a new program that caps insulin prices at $35 a month with participating insurers and drug manufacturers.
  • Learn More Download this in-depth booklet that provides details about what Medicare and Medicare Advantage cover for dialysis, transplant, and related services.
  • Keep Your Insurance Information Up-to-date

    view | download | Spanish Help us keep your insurance information up-to-date by bringing your insurance cards in once a month. Verifying your insurance information can help reduce billing errors and notify us of changes to your plans.
  • Keeping Your Medication List Up to Date

    view | download | Spanish Keeping a list of your medications is the best way for you and your care team to stay up to date with all of your medications. Use this handout to understand how to track and organize your medications.
  • My Medications List

    view | download | Spanish It’s important to have a list of your medications, prescriptions and any medicines that you may be allergic to, ready and in one place. Use this form to complete or update your medication information.
  • Managing Medications: Phosphate Binders

    view | download | Spanish Food and binders go together to make a healthy heart and strong bones. Use this list with your dialysis care team so they can choose the right binder for you.
  • My Important Information

    view | download | Spanish It’s always helpful to have all your important personal information organized in one place. Use this form to complete or update your personal information.
  • Emergency Kit Checklist

    view | download | Spanish The best time to prepare for an emergency is when there isn’t one. Our checklist helps you plan so you’ll be ready in the event of an emergency.
  • Emergency Kit Checklist for Peritoneal Dialysis

    view | download | Spanish Make sure you're prepared in the event of an emergency. Review this checklist specific to peritoneal dialysis so you'll be ready.
  • Emergency Food and Water Supply

    view | download | Spanish Putting together an emergency food and water supply lets you eat healthy in the event of a disaster—especially if you’re forced to miss a dialysis treatment. Our checklist can guide you on how to prepare.
  • Emergency Meal Plan

    view | download | Spanish Being prepared is always a good idea. If you cannot receive dialysis due to a natural disaster, follow this daily meal plan until you can receive treatment.

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USEFUL LINKS

Check out this list of additional resources to help you learn more about kidney disease, pursue your interests, take care of yourself and thrive.
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