3 Common Kidney Disease Misconceptions
Family, friends, and others may be eager to share thoughts and ideas on how to help you with a diagnosis of chronic kidney disease (CKD). While our loved ones typically have good intentions, without direct CKD experience, it’s easy for them to misunderstand the facts, leading to experimentation with unproven and risky remedies that will even further complicate your health.
Being confident in the facts is essential for you to be your best health advocate.
Misconception #1: Chronic Kidney Disease is Curable
Fact: Chronic Kidney Disease is NOT Curable
- Chronic kidney disease is not a curable medical condition.
- Taking your medications and following your kidney diet can slow the progression of loss of kidney function.
- At some point, renal (kidney) replacement therapy in the form of dialysis or kidney transplant will be necessary.
Misconception #2: A Kidney Transplant is a Cure for Kidney Disease
Fact: A Kidney Transplant Is NOT a Cure for Kidney Disease
- A transplant is a form of therapy for kidney disease.
- After a transplant, you are required to take immunosuppressant drugs for the rest of your life.
- Overall, the average functional lifespan of a donated kidney is roughly 13 years. This means you may need another transplant in the future.
Misconception #3: What Causes Kidney Failure is a Mystery
Fact: Doctors Know What Causes Kidney Failure
- Diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure) damage the tiny blood vessels in your kidney and are the top two causes of kidney disease.
- A large percentage of kidney function is lost before you may have symptoms. This is why routine kidney function tests are important if you have diabetes or hypertension.
- Controlling diabetes can prevent or delay kidney disease.
- Kidney inflammation (glomerulonephritis), infections, kidney stones and polycystic kidney disease can also lead to kidney failure.
Know the facts. Listen to your healthcare professionals. Do whatever you can to live the longest, healthiest life possible. You deserve it.