kidney function falls below a certain point, it is called
kidney failure. Kidney failure affects your whole
body. It can cause serious heart, bone, and brain problems and make you feel
very ill. Untreated kidney failure can be life-threatening.
When you have kidney failure, you will probably have
two choices: start
dialysis or get a new kidney (transplant). Both of
these treatments have risks and benefits. Talk with your doctor to decide which
would be best for you.
Dialysis is a process that filters your
blood when your kidneys no longer can. It is not a cure, but it can help you
feel better and live longer.
Kidney transplant may be the best
choice if you are otherwise healthy. With a new kidney, you will feel much
better and will be able to live a more normal life. But you may have to wait
for a kidney that is a good match for your blood and tissue type. And you will
have to take medicine for the rest of your life to keep your body from
rejecting the new kidney.
Making treatment decisions when you are very ill is hard.
It is normal to be worried and afraid. Discuss your concerns with your loved
ones and your doctor. It may help to visit a dialysis center or transplant
center and talk to others who have made these choices.