What is Kidney Disease?

What Is Kidney Disease?

What Is Kidney Disease?

One of the first things that you should know is that kidney disease comes in stages. Knowing your chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage is important for deciding your treatment. CKD has five stages, ranging from nearly normal kidney function (stage 1) to kidney failure or end stage renal disease (ESRD), which requires dialysis or a transplant (stage 5). At stage 5, kidneys function below 10-15 percent of their normal capacity. Understanding what stage you are in will help you learn how to appropriately manage your kidney disease.

In most cases, ESRD (stage 5) occurs after years of living with KD. Less common is acute kidney failure, which is a sudden compromise of kidney function. Whichever the case may be, when you are diagnosed with ESRD it’s necessary to receive dialysis or a transplant to remain alive. DaVita offers several treatment options that can suit your lifestyle.

Treatment Options »

There are various options to treat ESRD (stage 5). The most common treatment is dialysis. If you and your nephrologist agree on a kidney transplant as a treatment option, you could require dialysis while you wait for the right kidney donation.

Understand Your Kidneys

Understanding how kidneys work is the first step in taking control of your health. Following a suitable diet for your kidneys, managing diabetes, hypertension and other health conditions, and not smoking may help your kidneys function better and longer, even when you have kidney disease. Your kidneys play a very important role in regulating your overall health. They make up your body’s filtration system, cleaning waste and eliminating excess fluids from your body as well as producing a series of chemical substances that are necessary for your body to function.

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