Surprising Facts Most Chronic Kidney Disease Patients Do Not Know About Dialysis & Kidney Transplant

Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients are well versed in common facts about Kidney Failure, Dialysis and Kidney Transplantation. For instance, most know that, "About 13 percent of U.S. adults have Chronic Kidney Disease" and "Most people are born with two kidneys, but you only need one functioning kidney to live a full, healthy life." However, there are still many surprising facts in these areas which Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients should know about. 

Recommended Reading: Busting Stereotypical Myths Which CKD Patients And Donors Hold That Prevent Kidney Transplantations

Fact #1: Life Expectancy 
Typically when discussing survival, patients refer to the commonly used average life expectancy of 5 to 10 years. However, the National Kidney Foundation noted, "Many patients have lived well on Dialysis for 20 or even 30 years." As most Chronic Kidney Disease patients know, life expectancy on Dialysis can vary greatly depending on their other medical conditions and how well they follow their Healthcare Teams' recommendations.   

Fact #2: Annual Medical Payments
Ever wonder where all of your monthly income went? Well according to the National Kidney Foundation, Chronic Kidney Disease is a very expensive condition. "Annual medical payments for a patient with kidney disease increase from $15,000 in stage 3 to $28,000 in stage 4 to more than $70,000 in stage 5."

Fact #3: Doctor's Visits
Did you ever wonder how many times a Chronic Kidney Disease patient visit his/her Doctor Annually? The answer is that on average, approximately 10.28 times a year. This is second only to Cancer patients. 

Fact #4: Most People Who Conduct Dialysis Are Happier Than Others Think
An American Psychological Association study found that patients on Dialysis specifically, "are just as happy as healthy people and are better at accurately estimating their overall happiness." Lead Researcher, Dr. Jason Riis (Princeton University) said about the study, "We forget that people often adapt to their health conditions, and illness ends up having a much smaller effect on mood than the day-to-day ups and downs of work and personal life that everyone experiences."

Although Chronic Kidney Disease patients exhibit "resilience," they are unaware that they are as happy as healthy people, the study indicated.

Fact #5: Are Peritoneal Dialysis Or Hemodialysis Patients More Satisfied With Treatments? 
Although the vast majority of Chronic Kidney Disease patients conduct Hemodialysis, studies suggest that Peritoneal Dialysis patients are actually more satisfied with their treatments and quality of life. In their study, Researchers at Yale University and the Renal Research Institute found that, "Peritoneal Dialysis patients in general are more satisfied with their overall care and believe that their treatment has less impact on their lives than Hemodialysis patients."

Fact #6: How Much Better Is A Kidney Transplant For Eligible Patients?
A kidney transplant doubles a recipient’s life expectancy, said Dr. Donny Segev, a transplant surgeon at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

Fact #7: Pregnancy & Dialysis 
While most believe that Dialysis patients cannot get pregnant, in fact pregnancy occurs in approximately 1% of patients, usually within the first few years of starting Dialysis.

Fact #8: You No Longer Can Eat All Of Your Favorite Food
This is not always the case. Yes, Chronic Kidney Disease patients must cut their sodium, potassium, phosphorus and other harmful nutrients. However, they can be creative! Avoid processed and canned foods and select fresh foods. Instead of salt or MSG, use herbs and spices. Those with Chronic Kidney Disease may consider eating more frequently at home and picking up a copy of Fight Kidney Disease and Diabetes for great recipe suggestions and peer-to-peer insights. 

Recommended Reading: 6 Myths About Dialysis That Chronic Kidney Disease Patients May Believe Are Facts

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