Chronic kidney disease – Living with

Many people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are able to live long lives without being unduly affected by the condition.
Although it ‘s not potential to repair damage that has already happened to your kidneys, CKD will not necessarily get worse .
CKD only reaches an advanced stage in a little proportion of people .
But even if your condition is meek, it ‘s authoritative to take good caution of yourself to help stop it getting worse and reduce your risk of other health problems, such as cardiovascular disease.

Regular reviews and monitoring

You’ll have regular contact with your caution team to monitor your condition .
These appointments may involve :

  • talking about your symptoms – such as whether they’re affecting your normal activities or are getting worse
  • a discussion about your medicine – including whether you are experiencing any side effects
  • tests to monitor your kidney function and general health

It’s besides a good opportunity to ask any questions you have or raise any early issues you ‘d like to discuss with your concern team .
You may besides want to help monitor your condition at family – for exemplar, by using a home blood pressure proctor .
Contact your GP or healthcare team if your symptoms are getting worse or you develop new symptoms .

Relationships and support

Coming to terms with a condition such as CKD can put a deform on you, your family and your friends. It can be unmanageable to talk to people about your condition, even if they ‘re close to you .
Learning about CKD may help you and your family understand what to expect and to feel more in control of the illness, alternatively of feeling that your lives are now dominated by CKD and its treatment .
Be afford about how you feel, and let your family and friends know what they can do to help. however, do not feel shy about telling them that you need some clock time to yourself, if that is what you need .

Get support

Your GP or healthcare team can reassure you if you have questions about your CKD, or you may find it helpful to talk to a aim advocate, psychologist or specialist telephone helpline operator. Your GP operation will have data on these .
Some people find it helpful to talk to other people with CKD at a local support group or through an internet new world chat board .

Want to know more?

  • Kidney Patient Guide: online forum
  • National Kidney Federation: helpline

Sex and pregnancy


Having CKD can affect a sexual relationship. Some couples become close after a diagnosis of CKD, while others find their love ones are affected by worries about how they ‘ll cope with the illness .
Both men and women may have issues about body image and self-esteem, and this can affect a relationship .
Problems such as erectile dysfunction and reduce sex drive are besides fairly common in people with CKD .
Try to share your feelings with your partner. If you have problems with arouse that do not get better with meter, speak to your concern team. treatment and support is available .

Want to know more?

  • Kidney Care UK: sexual health and contraception


If you have mild to moderate kidney disease, it ‘s improbable your condition or its treatment will affect your chances of having children.

More advance kidney disease may affect a woman ‘s periods and reduce a world ‘s sperm reckon, which can make it more unmanageable to get fraught, although this does not mean you will not be able to have a child .
It ‘s important to use contraception if you do not want to get fraught .
If you do want to try for a baby, it ‘s a good idea to speak to your healthcare team for advice first. There may be risks to mother and baby, and changes to your treatment or check-ups may be necessary .

Want to know more?

  • National Kidney Federation: kidney failure and having children

Work, finances and benefits

Can I continue working?

If you ‘re well enough, you can keep working for deoxyadenosine monophosphate long as you feel able .
talk to your employer angstrom soon as you feel your stipulate is affecting your ability to do your job so you can find a solution that suits both of you. For example, it may be possible for you to work half-time .
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 requires employers to make fair adjustments to help a person with a disability .
This might, where possible, include changing or modifying tasks, altering workplace patterns, installing special equipment, allowing time off to attend appointments, or helping with travel to work .

What happens if I can no longer work?

If you have to stop cultivate or work part-time because of CKD, you may find it hard to cope financially .
You may be entitled to one or more of the following types of fiscal support :

  • if you have a job but cannot work because of your illness, you are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay from your employer for up to 28 weeks
  • if you don’t have a job and cannot work because of your illness, you may be entitled to Employment and Support Allowance
  • if you’re aged 65 or over, you may be able to get Attendance Allowance
  • if you’re caring for someone with CKD, you may be entitled to Carer’s Allowance     
  • you may be eligible for other benefits if you have children living at home or a low household income

Want to know more?

  • Kidney Patient Guide: finances
  • Money Advice Service
  • Kidney Care UK: benefits

Holidays and insurance

If you have mild CKD or you ‘ve had a transplant, going on vacation should not pose extra health problems, whether you ‘re staying in the UK or going overseas .
Speak to your care team before you travel, and make certain you take enough medicine with you to cover your trip and some back-up medicine in case you end up needing to stay away from home for longer than planned .
If you ‘re on dialysis, you can inactive enjoy holidays if you bible your treatment before you go away .
If you want to travel to another part of the UK, discuss your plans with your nephritic whole a early as you can so they can arrange dialysis at a unit close to your destination .
In many parts of the state, the miss of facilities restricts the exemption of patients to travel, but Kidney Care UK ‘s Dialysis Freedom service runs a holiday dialysis “ barter ” scheme to help with dialysis handiness in early areas.

If you ‘re going abroad, it may be easier to arrange dialysis at short notice as some overseas centres have more facilities, although vacation destinations may get booked up early .
It ‘s a good estimate to take out vacation health insurance in addition to carrying the EHIC. Anyone with kidney disease should declare it as a preexistent checkup condition on criterion insurance lotion forms. It may exclude you from some policies .

Want to know more?

  • Kidney Care UK: travel insurance

foliate last reviewed : 29 August 2019
Next inspection due : 29 August 2022

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Category : Healthy