Treatment Options in Chronic Kidney Disease

Treatment of chronic kidney disease varies according to the stage of illness. In all cases, active steps should be taken to control hypertension, to correct salt and water imbalance, to treat urinary tract infections and to reduce the risk for heart and blood vessel diseases.

Dietary management, including adjustments of protein and water intake, as well as a regular medication prescribed by your doctor can lead to improved symptom control and slow down the progression of the disease.

Read more about the nutritional management in CKD.

In stage 5, a patient cannot survive without renal replacement therapy, such as dialysis or kidney transplantation. In dialysis, wastes are washed out and water is withdrawn from the blood. Thus, dialysis can replace excretory functions of the kidney, but it cannot replace the production of hormones. Erythropoietin and vitamin D, which are normally generated by the kidneys, have to be supplemented in the form of medications. The two most widely used dialysis techniques are haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.

After kidney transplantation, the transplanted organ takes over from the damaged kidneys. For a variety of reasons (not enough organ donors, health of the recipient etc.), many patients cannot be treated with kidney transplantation. Therefore, more patients are treated with dialysis than with transplantation.

Did you know...?

  • During a haemodialysis session, about 4 to 9 g amino acids get lost through the dialyser membrane. If you have eaten directly before, it is 8 to 12 g.

  • Through peritoneal dialysis you lose about 9 g protein per day.

  • Particularly during the first months after kidney transplantation you should follow a germ-free nutrition to avoid infections.

  • The first successful kidney transplantation was performed in 1954 by surgeon Joseph Murray in Boston.

  • A low protein diet supplemented with keto/amino acids can slow down the CKD progression in compliant patients.

  • A dietary protein restriction can reduce the occurrence of renal death (defined as start of dialysis, renal transplantation or death) by approximately 30 %.

  • Already before an arteriovenous fistula is placed in your arm, you can perform a vein training in order to dilate the veins of your arm and thus create good conditions for haemodialysis treatment. Ask your doctor how to do it!