The DPC Education Center just launched a new online course called: Exercise and the Benefits to You and Your Kidneys. Exercise is important for our physical and mental health. This course explains why exercise is important, how it benefits people living with kidney disease and how you can develop a personalized exercise program that will work for you. Check out the Course
Our two popular booklets, "Tips for Teens Living with Kidney Disease" and "Kidney Disease Tips for Teens Living with Cystinosis" are now available for download in Spanish. These booklets provide information for teens who learn they have kidney disease. They include a brief overview of living with End stage renal disease, the importance of diet and medication adherence, and potential treatment methods. They also touch on feelings related to having a chronic illness, family and friends, and being a teen. Download the booklets
Flu season is approaching, and it is just as important to get your shot as ever before. People with chronic kidney disease are more susceptible to developing severe flu complications, due to a weakened immune system. The COVID-19 pandemic adds some complexities to flu season this year as there is risk for infection from either illness. Although there is no vaccine available for COVID-19, you can lower your risk for getting the flu by getting the flu vaccine. In fact, the flu vaccine prevented 39 percent of flu cases among people that received the vaccine last year. In addition, the types of activities people have been doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19—such as handwashing—will [...]
By Elizabeth Steinberg Christofferson, PhD An increasingly vital aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic is how the pandemic impacts our mental health, overall well-being, and how we cope with the pandemic, especially as it continues on for a longer period than we may have anticipated or hoped. This article provides psychoeducation on the connection between stress, chronic illness, and COVID-19, tips for managing anxiety related to these stressors, and resources for further support. Stress During COVID-19 and Symptoms to Look Out for COVID-19 adds to already present stress that impacts patients and families on many levels in terms of their medical and physical health, emotional and mental health, family, school, and social lives. Having a chronic [...]
By Marijke Vroomen Durning, RN People who live with kidney disease are more susceptible to contracting infections than the general public. A weakened immune system, frequent hospital or clinical visits/stays, and possible points of entry for infection (catheters, ports, etc.) all contribute to this increased risk. Unfortunately, some of these infections can lead to sepsis, which can be life altering, even fatal for thousands of people. Sepsis is your body’s inflammatory response to an infection. It can be any type of infection—viral, as with influenza; bacterial, as with a urinary tract infection (UTI); even fungal or parasitic. No one knows why two people may get the same infection, but one may develop sepsis while the [...]
By Elizabeth Steinberg Christofferson, PhD and Leah Grande, MA Preparing for and receiving a kidney transplant, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, can be an uncertain and overwhelming process. This article discusses tips to promote positive mental and physical health for yourself or your loved ones. Preparing for a Transplant There are many different emotions associated with deciding to go on the transplant list, and all of these feelings are normal and valid! You may feel excited about the potential for improved health and energy, fewer restrictions on what you can eat and drink (although you still want to eat a heart-healthy diet!), more time in your day, and changes in quality of life.7 Many [...]
New medical treatments and products are continually being developed for people living with kidney disease. Part of the development process for high quality, scientific, and safe options is through research to test the treatment or product before it becomes available on the market. This phase of research is called a clinical trial or a clinical research project. People can volunteer to be part of a clinical trial if they meet the specific requirements for the study. You might consider participating in the research process for many reasons including if it has a personal meaning for you or if you want to give back in an effort to help other patients. Some clinical trials reimburse patients [...]
As officials across the country make decisions on how to safely reopen cities amid a global pandemic, people with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) must remain vigilant about taking precautions to lower their risk for COVID-19 infection. COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations increased significantly among ESRD patients from May 16 to June 20, as reported by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The number of kidney disease patients who were diagnosed reached 3,818 per 100,000 people, while hospitalizations were reported at 1,911 per 100,000 people. These rates are more than double that of the general population during that same time frame, demonstrating how vulnerable kidney patients may be as well as the need for continued vigilance. [...]
Emergency grants can help cover costs for transportation, medication, rent and food when someone is sick. This one-page guide will help you better understand the submission process with a summary of searching, preparing, applying and tracking grants. Included is a list of documents you may be asked to submit with your grant request. Reach out to your social worker if you need help. Check out the guide.
The U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) recently released the PHS Guideline for Solid Organ Donor Assessment for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), and Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Infection and Transplant Recipient Monitoring. This document updates existing PHS guidance pertaining to solid organ donors and recipients and testing for HIV, HBV, and HCV in addition to informed consent and appropriately communicating the risk of disease transmission to transplant candidates. The revised guideline reflects substantial advances in testing technology and treatment that improve patient safety. Key things for you to know: Risk of infection due to transplant is very low. Advances in highly accurate testing have made it easier for healthcare providers to quickly [...]
During this webinar You will learn about 1) The risks vs benefits of a transplant, 2) The choice of a deceased vs living donor, 3) How to find a living donor, and 4) Tips from patients’ own transplant experiences.
Updated September 10, 2020 We are living in a time of uncertainty with the COVID-19 pandemic, which can lead to stress, fear, depression, and anxiety. We may feel overwhelmed at times and bored at other times. We may be at a loss for how to cope with social distancing, not seeing friends and family, and the possibility of getting sick. If you are a dialysis patient, receiving treatment either in-center or at home, your facility social worker is a great resource for you. Or, if you are a transplant patient, you can talk to your transplant social worker for support. You have people who can help you through this challenging time, either at your [...]
Hyperkalemia is a potentially life-threatening electrolyte disorder and is more often seen in people who have End Stage Kidney Disease than the general public. For people WITHOUT kidney failure, potassium, an important mineral within the body, helps regulate fluid balance, muscle contractions and nerve signals. When people eat more potassium than their body needs, the kidneys filter and excrete out any extra through the urine. However, when the kidneys do not work, potassium can build up in the blood and cause hyperkalemia/high potassium. You can learn more about foods high in potassium and hyperkalemia in Issue 10 of our patient newsletter, The Kidney Citizen. You also can learn more about the basics of kidney disease [...]
By Satchin Panda, University of California San Diego Social distancing and washing hands have become the frontline in the fight against COVID-19, but there is another powerfully protective resource immediately available to all: your circadian rhythm. I head a lab that researches circadian rhythms, the daily cycles of bodily functions that form the foundation of good health. These body clocks, found in nearly every organ of the body and part of the brain, are central and vital to a properly functioning immune system. A synchronized circadian rhythm in the lungs, heart, kidney and brain ensures that the processes in our body go as planned while the immune system can effectively fight and defeat a virus. [...]