Living with Kidney Failure
Things You Need To Know About
Are you one of over 100,000 individuals living with kidney failure? It’s a common misconception that kidney failure can readily mean end of life.
The truth, however, is that although there will be limitations and restrictions in terms of what a person can eat or do, most people who have this condition are still able to live their lives to the fullest.
What are your treatment options?
You have three treatment options when it comes to addressing renal failure
- Hemodialysis is the most common treatment option today. It involves the use of a special machine to remove toxic wastes and excess fluid from your body.
- Peritoneal dialysis involves the use of your peritoneum, or the lining of your abdomen, to filter out your blood.
- Kidney transplant can also be performed if the symptoms worsen or if you are no longer responding well to the other treatments.
Your treatment of choice will depend on the severity of your condition as well as your lifestyle. To get the best approach, it’s a wise move if you can ask for your doctor’s opinion. He can give you the pros and cons of each treatment plan as well as what you should and shouldn’t expect from them. You may also want to talk to and involve your family in your decision as they will serve as your main support system throughout the treatment and recovery phase.
What are the physical changes should I expect?
- Swelling of your extremities as well as your belly isn’t uncommon, particularly if there’s fluid accumulation inside your body. Aside from these body parts, swelling can also involve your face.
- You are also expected to lose your appetite as your sense of taste gets affected.
- You will also experience feeling tired most of the time.
- Shortness of breath can also happen as fluid accumulates in your lungs.
Can you still work?
By law, your employer can’t terminate you just because of your condition. Instead, he has to find a way to accommodate your needs while working. It can mean giving you a lighter workload or scheduling your work to meet your dialysis appointment. If your employer fails to do these things, then you can file a complaint.
When thinking about returning to work, it’s essential that you also assess your physical capacity. You may want to talk to your doctor first before actually resuming work to avoid complications.
Can I support an active lifestyle?
Physical activity is essential in improving blood circulation and oxygenation. It’s also helpful in strengthening your heart, bones and muscles. Depending on your physical capability, you can engage in mild to moderate activities. This can include brisk walking, gardening or even swimming. You don’t necessarily need to commit to strict exercise routines every day. The idea is to aim at least 30 minutes twice or thrice a week.
Living with kidney failure is not the end of life, but should be viewed as a waiting period for an eventual kidney transplant.