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Top ten tips for people starting dialysis

Dialysis can be daunting – learning more about it and understanding your options might help you feel calmer and better prepared. Here are ten ways to get ready for dialysis.

1. Find a kidney doctor if you don’t already have one. A nephrologist — a kidney doctor — is an expert on kidney care. If you’re in the Pacific Northwest, use our search tool to find a nephrologist near you.

2. Learn about your treatment options. If you need dialysis, there are different options that might work for you. Learn about home dialysis and in-center dialysis, then talk to your kidney doctor about what could work best for you.

3. Meet with a nutritionist at your dialysis center to discuss the kidney diet. If you need dialysis, you’ll likely benefit from changing your diet. Eating the right foods while on dialysis will help you feel better.

4. Take a class about kidney health. There are many resources out there to help you learn how to feel good while on dialysis. Sign up for our free classes to understand your treatment options, how diet and exercise can make you feel better, and other ways to help slow the progression of your kidney disease.

5. Try to create a dialysis schedule around work and regularly scheduled activities. Dialysis is time-consuming but it doesn’t have to mean you’ll miss out on all your usual activities. Work with your dialysis care team to find a treatment schedule that helps you stay involved with work and your community.

6. Talk to the care team at your dialysis clinic about insurance. Speak with members of your dialysis clinic’s financial team to learn about Medicare and what kidney care it covers. 

7. Talk to someone who has been on dialysis. One of the best ways to understand what dialysis is like is to chat with people who are also on it. While undergoing treatment, talk to others who are dialyzing to get tips from them. Or, meet up with someone from The Road Back to Life, a group of people with kidney disease who have been on dialysis or received a kidney transplant.

8. Find recipes that follow your kidney diet and stock up on those foods. There are some absolutely delicious foods that align with the kidney diet. Check out our kidney-friendly recipes for some to try.

9. Make an exercise plan with your doctor. Fitness is important for everyone, including people on dialysis. Regular exercise — even short walks or stretching — will help you feel better and could help slow your kidney disease down. Work with your doctor to create a fitness plan that works for you.

10. Be your own advocate. No one knows you better than you. If something isn’t going well for you, speak up. Talk to your nephrologist or the kidney care team at your dialysis center to see how your care plan could change to make you feel better.

 

Although adjusting to being on dialysis can be difficult, there’s a community of people here to help. You’re not alone with your disease — talking with others and sharing your own experiences can help. Search, and share your own story, with #MyKidneyStory on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

It’s World Kidney Day!

Time to raise awareness of kidney disease and its effect around the globe

March is National Kidney Month in the United States and March 14 is World Kidney Day, a day when people all over the world raise awareness of the kidney and how important it is. This year’s theme is ‘kidney health for everyone, everywhere.’ Kidney diseases are increasing across the globe — 850 million people are estimated to have some form of it — and the campaign is calling for universal health coverage for prevention and early treatment of kidney diseases.

Global burden of chronic kidney disease

1 in 10 people around the world have chronic kidney disease, and half of people aged 75 or older have some degree of it. Luckily, there are ways to lower your risk of developing the disease.

Ways to prevent kidney disease

To prevent chronic kidney disease, you should:

  • Manage your diabetes, if you have it
  • Maintain a healthy blood pressure
  • Stop smoking
  • Exercise regularly
  • Follow a low-sodium diet

Check out this infographic to learn more about the global burden of kidney diseases as well as more ways to reduce your risk of kidney problems.

On social media? Share facts about the kidney and ways to keep your kidneys healthy this Thursday, March 14, in honor of World Kidney Day. We’ll be doing the same – share with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! And visit www.worldkidneyday.org to learn more about kidney disease and how people are recognizing World Kidney Day around the globe.

Fitness first in 2019!

Take control of your kidney health with simple daily workouts

Exercise is important for everyone, especially those with kidney disease. Regular exercise can help control blood pressure and may help slow your kidney disease down. At the same time, exercise can help you feel better and more in control. But, starting an exercise program can be daunting. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be! The key is to make a plan, start slow, steadily increase your workouts and always check in with your doctor to make sure your program is right for you.

Be a healthier you this year – make an exercise plan today! Here are some sample workouts to consider adding to your program.

1. Walk and talk. Walking out in the fresh air is good for your mental and physical health. Want some company? You can also use this as a chance to meet up with someone you haven’t seen in a while. Catching up while exercising will leave you feeling refreshed and better prepared to take on the day and the challenges it may bring. Not excited about bundling up in the winter and heading outside? Head to the mall, go to the gym or walk on the treadmill. Put some headphones on, listen to a podcast and start walking. As you get more fit, adjust your pace. If you are on a treadmill, change the ramp settings to add resistance.

2. Yoga at home. One of the best parts of yoga is the fact that it can be done virtually anywhere. You don’t need to enroll in a class and you don’t even need a yoga mat. Simply spread a towel out on your living room floor, find a beginner yoga video on YouTube and start learning the poses. Finding the workout too difficult? Not comfortable on the floor? Try yoga on softer grounds like grass in a park or sand on a beach. Also, you can search for a video that suits you. Chair yoga, for example, is a popular variation of yoga where the exerciser does poses while sitting in a chair, or standing up and using a chair for support. Start with just 10 minutes a day and build up to 30 minutes. The combination of breathing and stretching makes yoga a worthwhile practice for emotional and physical health.

3. Pool time. Water aerobics or swimming is a great way to get fit. It helps tone muscles and leaves you feeling refreshed and re-energized. Check your local pool for classes. With the music pumping and a group of others beside you, the time will fly by! Or, just go and swim some laps. Either way, you will get a great workout that is bound to be easier on your joints.

Remember to speak to your doctor before starting an exercise program. Your doctor should be able to suggest some simple exercises right for you—even for 15 minutes a day—that can make a big difference in how you feel and improve your kidney health at the same time. Let us know how your exercise program is going—share your experiences with us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Have some exercise Pinterest boards you like to follow? We are on Pinterest, too, and would love to hear about them!

2017 Gift of Life dinner & auction raises more than ever before!

A big thank you to the 240 guests who attended our annual Gift of Life dinner and auction in September. We raised a record $237,000—the most dollars ever raised—at this year’s event!

Guests at the event take a look at the Puppy Package during the silent auction.

 

“It was truly a great evening. It really is special to see so many people turn out to support the work we do at Puget Sound Kidney Centers,” says Harold Kelly, president and CEO of PSKC. “Those of us at PSKC feel very fortunate to be part of such a caring community of friends and colleagues who share in our mission to enhance the lives of people with kidney disease.”

 

The ‘wine grab,’ always a favorite!

 

This year’s event also had a record number of sponsors and auction donors, and because of their support we were able to raise additional funds to support patients.

See more photos from this year’s Gift of Life dinner & auction below. We’re already looking forward to next year’s event and we hope you are too!

 

Guests Denise and Pete Sontra.

Karen and Chris Schmitt.

Auctioneer Nelson Jay.

Guest Jenni Tyner and friends.

 

We couldn’t do what we do without the support of the amazing community around us. Learn more about what we do for kidney patients and those at risk for kidney disease in our community.