Medical News Today: What you need to know about kidney failure

Treatment for kidney failure often includes the following options:


Dialysis involves using a dialyzer machine, which performs the healthy function of the kidneys. The machine filters water and waste from the blood.

A type of dialysis called peritoneal dialysis uses the lining of a person’s abdomen to filter the blood.

After a dialysis nurse has trained them for 1–2 weeks, a person can perform this dialysis at home, work, or when traveling.

Dialysis does not cure kidney failure, but it may help improve a person’s quality of life.

Kidney transplant

If a person’s kidney function is 20% or less, they may be eligible for a kidney transplant. Donated kidneys can come from a living person or a deceased donor.

After receiving the new kidney, the person will need to take medication to make sure that the body does not reject it.

The transplant matching process is lengthy, and not everyone is eligible for a transplant.

Clinical trials

Clinical trials are also an option for some people with CKD.

Various trials are available that evaluate medications, treatments, and protocols for kidney failure.

Treatment plans

A treatment plan will be comprehensive and may include:

  • carefully self-monitoring to watch for signs of worsening kidney function
  • following a renal diet, as prescribed by a doctor or nutritionist
  • limiting or eliminating alcohol, which causes the kidneys to work harder
  • getting plenty of rest
  • exercising

A person may also need treatment for the complications of kidney disease. For example, to treat anemia, a doctor may prescribe iron, vitamin B, or folic acid supplements.

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