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


Living Successfully with Kidney Disease

People with kidney disease can live long and live well. Learn about your role in helping yourself or your loved one to stay as healthy as possible in this introduction to Kidney School.

Module 1

Kidneys: How They Work, How They Fail, What You Can Do

For people at any stage of kidney disease, knowledge is power. Knowing the signs and symptoms of kidney failure can help you to get the treatment you need to feel your best.

Module 2

Treatment Options for Kidney Failure

Did you know that dialysis isn't always done with a machine? Or that kidney transplants can come from unrelated living donors? Whether you're new to kidney disease or a long-time veteran, you can learn something new about the pros and cons of kidney treatments in this module.

Module 3

Working with Your Health Care Team

You are the most important member of your health care team. Learning the roles of other care team members will help you ask your questions of the right people, so you'll be more likely to get the answers you need.

Module 4

Following Your Treatment Plan

Every day, with every meal and every medication, you make choices that can affect your health outcomes. Learn the how's and why's of following your medications, meal plans, fluids, and—for people on dialysis—dialysis treatments.

Module 5

Coping with Kidney Disease

Despite kidney disease, you are still you. In this module, learn about typical stages of adjustment, and find resources and ideas to help you live long and live well.

Module 6

Anemia and Kidney Disease

Anemia, a shortage of oxygen-carrying red blood cells, can cause heart damage in people with kidney disease. Learn how to protect yourself and be sure you're getting the testing and treatment you need.

Module 7

Understanding Kidney Lab Tests

Many people with kidney disease don't know that they can use their lab test results as a tool to see how well they're doing—and avoid some complications. How? Learn all about it in this module.

Module 8

Vascular Access: A Lifeline for Dialysis

Hemodialysis requires surgical creation of a special blood vessel—a vascular access—to handle high blood-flow rates. Learn which access is best and why, and how to protect your access so it will last as long as possible.

Module 9

Nutrition and Fluids for People on Dialysis

People on dialysis have special nutrition and fluid needs, but food is a major focus of family life and social events. Learn how to balance your food intake so you can eat the foods you love, in moderation, and stay as healthy as possible.

Module 10

Getting Adequate Dialysis

Healthy kidneys work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Dialysis replaces only a small part of kidney function, so getting adequate treatment is key to living long and living well with kidney disease. All dialysis is not alike; learn what you can do to make sure you get the treatment you need.

Module 11

Sexuality and Fertility

Maintaining a healthy sex life and having children are important goals for some people with kidney disease. Learn how kidney disease can affect sexuality and fertility—and what you can do about it.

Module 12

Staying Active with Kidney Disease

Don't let kidney disease stop you from doing the things you love! Learn how to keep up your energy levels and sleep better, so you can live long and live well.

Module 13

Heart Health and Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is the number two cause of kidney disease—and heart disease (often caused by high blood pressure) is the number one killer of kidney patients. Learn how to keep your blood pressure down to keep your kidneys and heart healthy.

Module 14

Patient Rights and Responsibilities

As key team members, people with kidney disease have important responsibilities related to their health care—and important rights as well. Learn how to handle conflicts with health care providers. Decision-making about end-of-life issues is also included in this module.

Module 15

Alternative Treatments

Acupuncture, massage, herbs, homeopathy. Which alternative therapies should you avoid and which ones can you try safely? Learn what questions to ask when you run into something new.

Module 16

Long-term Effects of Dialysis

People with kidney failure can live for decades with dialysis and/or a kidney transplant. Learning what you can do to avoid common complications can help you stay healthier in the long run.

Module 17

Kidney Failure and Your Work Life

Is it possible to work if your kidneys don’t? Yes!

You boost your chance when you take charge of your care and follow your treatment plan. And, it helps to choose or switch to a work-friendly treatment. We’ll tell you how.

Module 18

Paying for Dialysis or Transplant

Dialysis and transplant are costly, and you may worry about how to pay for them. This section will help you to see what your options may be.

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