Help For Kidney Failure: Having a Support Group

help-from-familiyHelp for kidney failure isn’t all about treatments and medications. Most of the time, the way a patient thinks about his disease and how he’s coping with it emotionally and mentally also say a lot about his prognosis. If you are feeling low or not sure about how you’re handling your condition, reaching out to a support group can really make a big difference.

Here are more reasons why a support group is necessary for kidney failure patients.

Peer Mentoring

For someone who’s struggling to cope with kidney failure, it’s essential that they don’t only get medical advice; they also need to be provided with support. If you are going through this situation, you would want to talk to someone who can really understand what you are going through. Peer mentoring involves people who have gone or going through the same life experiences as you. Although they are not encouraged to give medical advice and solutions, they can serve as role models and offer support.


It’s an overwhelming experience to be told you need to undergo treatments for your kidney. Upon diagnosis, it’s helpful if you can talk to people and ask for help for kidney failure adjustments. You can ask them what food they eat and what type of treatment they are going for just to get an idea of how they were able to cope. Small conversations like this can happen in clinics and treatment areas, but there are also more formal peer support systems you can reach out to.

Less Cases of Depression

Depression can easily develop in people who think and feel that they are alone. And this doesn’t only happen to actual patients, but their caregivers and families as well. When you have someone to talk to, vent out your emotions or just share your ideas with, it lessens the negative emotions that come with the situation. It fosters acceptance and encourages a sense of purpose.

Boosts Well-Being

Participating in self-help groups can mean lesser chances of feeling useless and unimportant. Just the idea of being able to encourage other people and help them adjust to the situation can give you a sense of accomplishment. Aside from that, helping other patients can also reinforce your skills in taking care of yourself.

Increased Survival Rate

Aside from the actual treatment, your predisposition can also affect the course of your disease. Most kidney failure patients face a lot of stress and challenges that push them to the brink of depression and even suicide. By having people who listen and cares for you, a support system can help ease your negative thoughts while encouraging your self-esteem and an optimistic point of view in life.


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Family Resources to cope with Renal Failure

Family Resources to cope with Renal Failure

Family ResourcesFamily resources are the main way people deal with kidney disease. When the kidney’s filtration process is compromised its ability to remove the body’s waste from the blood is ineffective. The result of which can lead to the accumulated of toxins in the body, presence of protein in the urine and reflects relatively high numeric figures in the glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Some kidney failure can be acute, which is treatable while other causative factors can lead to the development of chronic renal failure.

When the kidneys do not function well, patients may be advised to undergo dialysis. Dialysis is an artificial alternative to filter the waste in the blood. The mechanical filtration removes the excess water as well as metabolic wastes just like the what the kidneys. However, patients undergoing dialysis can face up to a number of challenges, which can be fatal. This is the point where family resources really come into play.

Drop in Blood Pressure

In the dialysis, the water is mechanically removed from the body following certain rate. However, when there are instances when the speed of water filtration during dialysis can cause the blood pressure to fall. The drop in B/P can cause fatigue, chest pain, irritability, and fainting, temporary loss of vision. In this case, the hemodialysis is stopped, and patient’s legs are elevated with their head down to increase the cardiac filling.


During the ultrafiltration process, patients may experience cramps towards the end of the hemodialysis. This happens where there is a significant amount of water is removed from the body. This is managed by immediately restoring the intravascular volume though isotonic saline like the 0.9% saline solution given in small boluses.

Family resources will involve driving the kidney patient to and from dialysis as well as helping to prepare meals. The sheer inability to cope with the effects of dialysis may frighten many, but the shock to the body has an expected outcome. Be patient, be kind and understanding as you undertake assistance to a family member.


Patients with fistulas may experience bleeding, which can add up to their stress level during their dialysis session. In instances where there is positive bleeding, the clinic can provide special bandages to stop the bleeding quickly.


Although all the dialysis clinics follow the highest standard of patient care and hygiene practices, but there are still risks for infection. The point of entry can be the dialysis catheter when it is compromised or when it comes out from where it is embedded. Infection is managed by antibiotic when it is positively traced.

Fluid overload

Patients undergoing dialysis are provided with the accurate volume of water consumption during the dialysis session. Drinking too much water in between sessions can cause water overload. Fluid overload can be fatal; it can cause pulmonary edema or heart failure.

Once the functions of the kidneys are upset patients are managed by the artificial means, which is through dialysis. This management can take a lifetime unless the organ is replaced by another kidney. On the other hand, patients can forget about dialysis when the kidneys are functioning well


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Transplant Centers and Living Kidney Donation in USA

Transplant Centers and Living Kidney Donation in USA

Transplant Centers In USADid you know that the Transplant Centers in the USA are broken down into 11 different regions? Each region encompasses several states. Why is this important information to have?

Wouldn’t you want to discover which Transplant Center has the shortest waiting list and the best chances of helping you in Living Kidney Donation?

Region 1 is on the East Coast and includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.  Massachusetts leads the states with 9 Transplant Centers.

Region 2 includes the states of Delaware, Dist. Of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and W. Virginia. Pennsylvania has the most Transplant Centers with 18.

Region 3 includes the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Puerto Rico. Florida leads the states with 12 Transplant Centers.

Region 4 only has two states in the region: Oklahoma and Texas, but Texas has a whopping 26 Transplant Centers.

You should look up Transplant Centers in the USA to discover which hospitals have the shortest wait time!

Region 5 includes the states of Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah. California has the most Transplant Centers with 22.

Region 6 includes the states of Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington with Washington leading the way with 5 Transplant Centers.

Region 7 includes the states of Illinois, Minnesota, North & South Dakota and Wisconsin. Illinois has the most Transplant Centers at 9.

Region 8 includes the states of Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. Missouri has the most Transplant Centers at 8.

Region 9 only includes two states; Vermont and New York, The latter having 13 Transplant Centers.

Region 10 includes the states of Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio, with Michigan leading the pack with 9 Transplant Centers.

Region 11 rounds out the remainder of the states and include Kentucky, North & South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Tennessee has the most Transplant Centers with 9.

This information about Transplant Centers in the USA is provided by UNOS


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Appeal To Live and be optimistic about Kidney Donation

Appeal To Live and be optimistic about Kidney Donation

An Appeal To LiveCan you even talk about an Appeal To Live? How does one make an appeal for something so precious as to save a life? How would you ask friends to part with some rather integral equipment in order to save your own life? How do you ask someone to give up their kidney in order to save your life?

I have never been in this position to ask, but I have spent time with kidney patients and though it took me a while to understand their mindset, I think I finally get it.

I believe them when the mindful stuttering begins, this sudden impasse in brain circuitry. Though their minds were clear moments ago, the mere suggestion of a living donor usually stops them in their tracks. They will eventually give me their reasons–the thoughtful, meditative respite after painful examination and conclusion. I am sure they must have rehearsed their answers for weeks and months and yes, even years.

Their conclusions will be short, ideas conceived about the health of others and certainly family ties and plans for generations to come. I listen. I always listen though I probably already know the story. But I wish for a new story, so I listen. I know it involves life-an Appeal To Live!

Kidney patients for the most part live in isolation. They connect to machinery that cleans blood, sometimes at home and more often at a dialysis clinic. They have no choice if their inexhaustible desire is to live and though this life process commands and dictates their lives, they comply and command themselves to survive another day. I have watched dialysis patients give up. They do so in many fashions, but as life leaves, their eyes become empty. Their stare is a void and some whimper. Who can hold them, sit with them, and tell them it will be all right when, in fact, it cannot be without a transplant?

When my own father was alive, he used to tell me that my biggest problem was refusing to believe that everybody was different, that others, my siblings as well, marched to the beat of a different drum and they would never be able to see the world through my eyes. Now, I think about him often as I try to grasp the world through the eyes of people so utterly sick that the simple act of existing is as much as they can expect of their bodies.

Why wouldn’t they ask for a kidney donation? Why wouldn’t they do whatever is necessary to extend life? This troubles me, and I suppose by a lack of concern within our communities. I am ill with confusion, at times consumed with rage and I wonder if I am alone. I even went so far as to try to donate my own kidney, but was told I was too old.

In general, I think people are consumed with lack of perspective and my obvious discomfort indicates that I suffer from this tragedy as well. Often securely locked inside our own minds, generations of repeated rituals continue, and we are usually correct.

And if others disagree, they are certainly wrong, but all of this rehearsal and focus on being right, I have discovered, is a waste of time. If I needed a kidney transplant and if I were hooked to a machine several times per week, I would find a way to get a living donor to offer up their most valuable resource: an organ.

Appeal To Live

In this case I would be hesitant to find anybody who disagreed with me, that is, except for those who actually need a kidney. Still, I would charge on. No way would I sit idly by and wait my turn. Wait for someone to die so that I can live. Not a chance I would be compliant, wondering if tomorrow will come. I would make sure tomorrow arrived and with the dawn of the new day, I would expect a used kidney to be waiting for me. I would be right and you and I would agree. We would both be absolutely correct. And this thinking, this lack of perspective is what has caused me great pain and terrible emotional trauma.

When a friend of mine told me that I would end up living in a commune in Northern California, it did not trouble me. His insistence that I was joining the left wing radicals because of my thinking had certainly unnerved him. All I had done was to retell the story a group of Buddhists had conveyed to me during a particularly difficult time of my life. So insistent on being right, I was shaken for days when I was told that there really is no such reality as right and wrong. These doctrines firmly engrained into our soul are really, in fact, just labels human beings use to justify their actions. In essence, we are all right and, I was told, we are surely as wrong.

Unless I needed a kidney transplant in order to live, I couldn’t gain the perspective of a kidney patient. I have no idea how it feels to stare death down each day and I have no idea what it must be like to have to ask someone for his or her kidney so that I could live. Yet, I can help kidney patients not by building a bridge between patients and would-be donors, but by understanding that what is right for me is not necessarily right for them. During my life, I have had to stand in the center of the fire with this dichotomy. The uncertainty is all I know and now I bring it to the kidney world. Isn’t this the right thing to do?


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Kidney Infection Symptoms and My Family

Kidney Infection Symptoms and My Family

Kidney Infection Symptoms and My FamilyKidney Disease and My Family was life altering. Looking back, renal failure was much harder than I led others to believe. Not only for me, but for my family, especially.

I was 24 years old and never sick. Never. Suddenly, my life turned on a dime and everybody had to follow because that’s the way we do it in my family. Even my girlfriend left her old life behind.

Amanda quit her job to take care of me, my dad put work on hold so he could cook and prepare the challenging meals that dialysis requires, and my mom juggled the pressures of work while still attending my countless doctors appointments.

They watched me slowly deteriorate. I lost 30 pounds in a matter of weeks. My hair fell out and an uncontrollable rash slowly engulfed my entire body. It’s hard for any family member to watch a loved one go through something tragic, but without my family, I wouldn’t have been able to do it on my own.


I remember my mom and dad and the look on their faces. They were in shock and what was supposed to be the waning years of their lives suddenly turned into the most dynamic.

Not only did they push through the kidney transplant process to a near record of 182 days, but they used their own resources and started a non-profit organization so they could help other people to also get a kidney transplant.

Kidney Infection Symptoms and My Family was also hard because we didn’t know anything about kidneys. But each and everyone came through. They were my foundation and structure when I started to become discouraged and lose hope. I can’t even begin to express how fortunate I am to have been blessed with such a great support system. 

Now, we are invested so deeply in the kidney world that we are helping others. Why can’t we get donors and kidney patients together? As a family, we are tackling this challenge. That’s the way we do it in my family!

Without my family, I am not sure I could have made it. Thank you to all the caregivers for everything you do for others. You make the difference in this world.

Michael Machado


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