TRUE OR FALSE?

True or False: All forms of kidney disease are incurable!

False: Many forms of kidney disease are curable, especially with early diagnosis and treatment. In fact, early diagnosis and treatment can even slow down or stop the progression of kidney disease.

True or False: Kidney failure can occur even if only one kidney fails.

False: A person is in kidney failure when both kidneys fail. Most people with only one functioning kidney have perfect health, and normal values of urea and serum creatinine in their bloodstreams. The problem arises when both kidneys fail because waste accumulates in their bodies, and results in elevated levels of urea and serum creatinine in their bloodstreams.

True or False: The presence of edema is always indicative of kidney failure

False: Edema is only present in certain forms of kidney disease. For example, a person can have swelling, but perfectly normally functioning kidneys.

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True or False: All patients with kidney failure have swelling

False: While most kidney failure patients have edema (swelling), some do not – even in the advanced stages of kidney failure. Therefore, doctors should never assume that people with higher urea and serum creatinine levels in their blood, but no swelling do not have kidney disease.

True or False: All patients with chronic kidney disease should drink lots of water

False: These people do not produce as much urine because their kidneys are failing, therefore they must limit the amount of water (and fluid in general) that they drink daily to maintain the normal fluid balance in their bodies. The exception is made for people who have kidney stones, or a urinary tract infection. They are advised to drink a lot of water to flush out their urinary systems.

True or False: I feel fine, therefore I cannot have a kidney problem.

False: Because most people with chronic kidney disease do not show any or many symptoms initially, the disease can only be detected by abnormal values in lab tests when the disease is in the early stages.

True or False: I feel fine, so I can stop treatment for my kidney disease.

False: Because the overall objective of treatment for kidney disease is to slow down or halt the progression of the disease, patients will naturally feel better. This leads many patients to think that they are cured, so they stop following their dietary restrictions, and they stop taking their medicines. However, this can be very dangerous because it can lead to rapid deterioration of their kidneys and may make it necessary for them to need dialysis or a transplant in a relatively short period of time.

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True or False: My serum creatinine level is slightly above normal, but I dont have to worry about anything because I feel fine.

False: A mild increase in serum creatinine levels are a strong indicator of kidney disease and decreased kidney function and requires immediate medical attention. Because many kidney diseases can do permanent damage to the kidneys, a person with even slightly elevated serum creatinine levels should consult his or her nephrologist immediately. Elevated serum creatinine levels are an important indication of the presence of any type of kidney disease. A person with kidney disease in the early stages may or may not show any symptoms, however his or her serum creatinine levels will be elevated, if only slightly, and this may be the only indication of the development of chronic kidney disease for a long time.

If a person has a serum creatinine level of 1.6mg/dl, it means that half of their kidney function is gone, and this is pretty serious. If the persons chronic kidney disease is diagnosed and treated at this point, the progression of the disease may slow, stop, or even be reversed. If a person has a serum creatinine level of 5.0mg/dl, it means that 80% of his or her kidney function is gone, and this means that their kidneys are severely damaged. This person needs proper therapy at this stage to ensure that his or her kidneys will continue to function at some level. It is important to keep in mind that the persons kidney disease is in an advanced stage, and most treatment options will not be viable for him or her.

If a person has a serum creatinine level of 10.0mg/dl, it means that 90% of his or her kidney function is gone, and this means that the person is in end stage kidney disease. The person will need either dialysis or a kidney transplant at this stage in order to survive.

True or False: Once a person undergoes dialysis, he or she will need it for the rest of his or her life.

False: The length of time that a person with kidney failure needs to undergo dialysis depends on the severity of his or her kidney disease. In fact, some people who are in severe kidney failure may only need to undergo dialysis for a short period of time! People who are in severe kidney failure can sometimes experience complete kidney recovery with proper treatment and a few sessions of dialysis. It is important to note that delaying dialysis for any reason when it is needed can be life threatening.

Because chronic kidney disease is a progressive type of kidney failure which cannot be reversed, people with end stage kidney disease will need dialysis for the rest of their lives.

True or False: Dialysis cures kidney failure

False: Dialysis does not cure kidney disease, nothing does. Dialysis saves lives because it is an effective way of removing waste products, extra water, and correcting electrolytes, and acid base disturbance from the patient. In essence, the dialysis machine acts like an artificial kidney for the person undergoing dialysis because it performs the functions that the persons kidneys are no longer able to. Dialysis keeps the person from showing symptoms, and it keeps the person healthy in spite of being in kidney failure.

True or False: Men and women cannot donate their kidneys to the opposite gender

False: Both men and women can donate their kidneys to the opposite gender


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