In the early stages of kidney failure, long before dialysis is required, conservative (medical) treatment is sufficient to keep you fit and well. This form of treatment involves drugs and a special diet. Many people never need more than this. See our page on chronic renal failure and its progression.
There may be a time, however, when this is not enough and renal replacement treatment needs to be considered. This can be by dialysis, or for some people a kidney transplant is also a possibility. Others choose to have none of these – see below.
With advances in treatment and drugs you can look forward to a fairly good lifestyle, working and enjoying family life and most leisure activities as before – but this depends on your age and general health too.
While the renal team will do all they can to help you cope with your condition, you have a major part to play. A little motivation, a positive outlook and a bit self-discipline go a long way!
Treatment occurs at special kidney centres, or renal units. These have teams of specially trained staff knowledgeable in kidney disease, transplantation and dialysis. They are made up of doctors, nurses, dietitians, social workers, pharmacists, technicians and others.
What are the treatment choices?
There are several different options. More information on each of these is available by following the links below. Individual units will always have information on these, and will be able to help with which ones may be more suitable for you.