Kidney School™—a program of Medical Education Institute, Inc.

Module 2—Treatment Options for Kidney Failure


When you reach the point of choosing a treatment for kidney failure, it may feel like a crisis. You probably hoped this day would never come! You're not alone. Each year, more than 115,000 people in the U.S. have kidney failure.

Your health care team can offer support. There are also groups to help people with kidney disease, which we'll list at the end of this module. By the end of this module, you will have a Personal Plan that you can print out to remind you of the key points you've covered. So, let's get started.

Years ago, kidney failure was always fatal. It gives some people hope to know that there are treatments today that can help them to live long and live well.

But others fear they will have no quality of life on dialysis. They may even insist there is no way they want to be kept alive by a machine. Choosing a treatment—or not—is a big decision, and this module of Kidney School is here to help you think about the options.

Take the Kidney Quiz!

You'll have a better sense of how much you're learning if you take our quick kidney quiz before you start. It's just 10 questions. How about it?

take quiz

In this module, you'll hear from people who are living with some of these treatment choices. They'll tell you what they chose and how it worked for them. They'll show you that it is possible to have a good life while being treated for kidney disease. One of these people is David, a freelance writer (see photo above). David's kidneys failed in 1985. David says:

When I first heard that I had to go on dialysis, I can remember thinking that my goose was cooked. That was actually what went through my head! I thought that at the age of 35 my life would end, and I kind of rationalized it in my own mind. I think I was ready to give up. I could never picture myself being hooked up to a machine to keep my life going. I just couldn't accept that at the time. So I was really ready to die.

What does David think about dialysis now? Keep reading this module to find out.

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