Frequently asked questions about Chronic Kidney Failure

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Why have I developed itchiness?

This is a result of the dry skin produced by chronic kidney disease and/or high phosphorus levels. You must use a moisturising body lotion every day and reduce your consumption of phosphorus-rich foods.

Why do I have bad breath?

The toxins that accumulate in kidney disease patients are partly eliminated during respiration. It is very important to follow good dental hygiene practices and attend regular dental check-ups to try and minimise the bad breath.

Why do I suffer nausea and vomiting?

These are potentially signs of an advanced stage of kidney disease.

What is wrong with me if I feel fatigue?

Fatigue could be due to anaemia, which is often associated with chronic kidney disease, or a sign of a sudden decline in kidney function. In the former case, your doctor will instruct you to self-administer erythropoietin injections (using a small syringe) at a frequency that depends on each case.

What is wrong with me if I notice weakness in my legs?

This is often caused by an excess of potassium in the blood and so you must modify your diet because this excess is also toxic for the heart.

What is wrong with me if I feel choked, my legs swell or I gain weight very quickly?

This could be due to an excess of fluids; consequently your volume of daily fluid intake should be checked and your dose of diuretics may need to be adjusted.

What should I do if the fistula bleeds when I'm at home?

Use a clean gauze to apply pressure at the point of bleeding but without cutting off the circulation. You should notice the sound of the fistula on your finger.

What happens if I do not attend dialysis?

The toxic substances and excess fluid produced by your body could eventually lead to death.

How long will I have to receive dialysis for?

Once the doctor recommends you start dialysis treatment, then you will have to attend the sessions for the rest of your life, unless you receive a successful kidney transplant.

What should I do if another doctor prescribes me a new medication?

Discuss it with your nephrologist to ensure the dose is appropriate given the state of your chronic kidney disease.

What is a kidney transplant waiting list?

It is a record of dialysis patients who are waiting to receive a kidney transplant from a deceased donor. There are currently less deceased donors than patients on the waiting list; this means the transplant waiting time is always growing longer. Patients who receive a transplant from living donors do not have to be placed on the waiting list. Patients can only be registered on a single waiting list for a public hospital. Waiting lists are rigorously controlled and updated with each patient’s clinical and immunological information.

Substantiated information by:
Marta QuintelaNurse — Nephrology DepartmentManel VeraNephrologist — Nephrology DepartmentÁngeles MayordomoPeritoneal Dialysis Nurse — Nephrology DepartmentMaría Teresa LópezNursing of Vascular Access — Nephrology DepartmentBárbara Romano AndrioniNutritionist — Dietetics and Endocrinology DepartmentAnna YugueroPhysiotherapist — Nephrology DepartmentMontserrat MonereoSocial Worker — Nephrology Department

Published: 20 February 2018
Updated: 20 February 2018

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