Coping With Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

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Several emotions and feelings can be evoked with the diagnosis of a kidney disease: fear, grief, denial, depression, anger or even feeling overwhelmed. Thus many people find it challenging to accept, embrace and act on news of the diagnosis of kidney disease. The first thing is to understand that these are all perfectly normal reactions, and that it’s all part of a process. But support must be made available to help the patients deal with these emotions and walk them through the process to ensure a good health outcome.

In addition to professional support from trained health care worker, some coping mechanisms that can adopted involves the patient empowering themselves through:

  1. Education – Education is power, thus knowing and learning all you can about CKD will be an invaluable asset in helping with decision-making processes. Visit this link for more on CKD
  2. Plan ahead – You can research more about CKD treatment from this link It’s easier to plan for what’s ahead when you have the details of available treatment options and health coverage for those on health insurance.
  3. Build your support team – Surround yourself with people who are close to you and care about you, you need them to look out for you and help you through the toughest moments.
  4. Acceptance – This is also very key, CKD will certainly bring changes to your life and people close to you, which may not be easy. Thus accepting these changes and embracing the positive results will make things easier on the long run.
  5. Communicate – Good communication is key and vital to adjusting and living with CKD. It’s very important to always talk about how you feel and also listen to how your family feels.
  6. Ask for help – To take the best care of your self and survive CKD may require more help than usual. The patient needs to get used to such and as such must engage the treatment team as closely as possible. Most critically, CKD is a disease that is very expensive to treat in our environment. A kidney transplant costs over N10,000,000.00 (conservatively) if carried out locally and far more abroad with medical tourism, there are also the costs of dialysis and several other costs attached to it, thus it is a huge burden to the patient and their family. It can have catastrophic spending consequences that may entail selling houses, cars and properties leaving the patient and their families distraught. When the financial burden gets overwhelming it is important to seek help in terms of financial support, kidney donors, subsidy, government intervention etc. There are lots of organization that can provide help and support, you can try out some of these:

There are all kinds of literature on how to cope with CKD. I would recommend you access and read some.

In addition to the links provided above, there is a publication by the National Kidney Foundation titled – Coping Effectively, A Guide to Living Well with Kidney Failure – Read, educate and empower yourself to be able to live well with and overcome CKD.




Dr Timothy Akinmurele contributed this article.

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