Frequently Asked Questions
“How do I know I have kidney disease?”
Kidney disease progresses silently. Most patients will not have symptoms until the disease has advanced significantly. Family history, diabetes, and high blood pressure are typical factors in CKD. Because symptoms are not always present, it is important to talk with your primary care doctor and educate yourself on causes and methods of early detection.
“I feel fine. Why should I get checked?”
Many people with kidney disease do not have symptoms. Early detection can help to help slow potential loss of kidney function. Occasionally, depending on the diagnosis, patients can be stabilized and lead fulfilling and productive lives. Making your kidneys part of your regular health exam is critical to early detection and reclaiming kidney health.
“My mother was on dialysis. Should I be concerned?”
Yes. Kidney disease can be hereditary. African Americans and Hispanic Americans are at increased risk compared to other ethnic groups. Any family history of kidney disease should be discussed with your physician. He or she may order special blood and urine tests.
“Going on dialysis is a ‘death sentence’. Is that true?
No. Dialysis therapy involves lifestyle adjustments, which can be challenging. However, many patients are on dialysis for a long time while still enjoying their quality of life. It is important for patients to work with their healthcare providers to derive the full benefits of this life-saving treatment.