Life on dialysis or
with a transplant can be happy and
enjoyable and rewarding. Those on treatment can
still go on holidays, get pleasure from work, sport
and hobbies and have fun with family. Yet
living with lifelong treatment remains a mental,
emotional and physical journey with
ups and downs. Getting your head right with
treatment is important. See
Kidneys slowly fail over time
(usually). If we find out that are kidneys are
failing there is often time to do something about
With today's lifestyle and food
industry we are all at risk of high blood pressure
and type 2 diabetes. These 2 diseases are the
biggest reasons why people end up on dialysis or
need a kidney transplant.
Whatever the cause of
kidney disease, regular exercise and a healthy diet
can help slow the disease down and for some even
prevent the need for dialysis.
A balanced healthy diet and
regular exercise can also keep more treatment
options open and can help people live longer and
feel better once they start treatment.
Regular exercise is suitable for
everybody. It’s finding the type of exercise that is
suitable for you. The rules of Exercise are that it:
Does not injure you.
Gets you a little out of
Gets your heart going
Warms your body up a bit
Is done 5 to 7 times a
week for about 30 minutes, and made a lifelong
Is enjoyable and leaves
you with a feel good factor
Anything is better than nothing.
You can read about exercise
and its health benefits here.
You can read about diet here.
We cannot survive without kidney
function. If the kidneys fully fail we need renal
replacement therapy (a kidney transplant or
dialysis) to stay alive.
Most people whose kidneys fail
are not medically suitable for a kidney transplant.
Your kidney doctor can tell you.
Some people are not suitable for
certain types of dialysis – again your kidney doctor
can tell you.
If you are medically suitable
for more than one type of renal replacement therapy
then it is your choice as to which one you do.
- The treatment options of RRT
(renal replacement therapy) are:
- Kidney Transplantation. There
are 2 ways to do this:
- Getting a kidney from
somebody who knows you (a live donor
- Getting a kidney from
somebody who has died (a deceased donor
- Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) - always
done at home - that means no regular need to
go to hospital for treatment. There are 2 ways of
- CAPD (continuous
ambulatory peritoneal dialysis)
- APD (automated peritoneal
- Haemodialysis (HD) - There
are 2 ways of doing HD:
- HD (haemodialysis). Done
at hospital. People go to hospital 3 times a
week (every week) for a 4 hour session.
- HHD (home haemodialysis).
HD done at home after training people how to
do it. All supplies are provided free. Saves
people needing to stick to inflexible hospital
These treatments are explained
under the tabs to the left but here is a PowerPoint
file summarising them to start with.
Everybody should preserve
their arm veins for the possible future need of a fistula – this is all explained under the
- Some people’s kidneys fail only
when they have become very frail and perhaps very old.
For these people doing any sort of renal replacement
therapy might cause more stress and harm than help and
not prolong their life or make them feel better. If
there is a risk that a person would not benefit from
any sort of renal replacement therapy (ever) then it
might be that choosing not to have these treatments is
best. This treatment option is called Conservative
Management of kidney failure and this is
explained under the tab on the left.