If you have kidney failure problems and you are visiting a kidney specialist in Kenya, then you must ask these questions at the time of your visit.
1. What caused my kidney failure?
In most of the cases, the prime reason for kidney failure is due to other health problems. Diabetes and high blood pressure are the main causes of kidney failure. There are several other diseases which can cause kidney failure.
- Autoimmune diseases like lupus and IgA nephrography
- Urinary tract problems
- Nephrotic syndrome
- Genetic diseases (polycystic kidney disease)
- Heart attack
- Illegal drug use
2. Do I have hypertension, diabetes, or other disorders that may worsen my condition?
If you are a diabetic, this means you have a high blood sugar level. High blood sugar can damage blood vessels in your kidneys. If blood vessels are damaged, your kidney may not work properly. People with diabetes may also develop high blood pressure that can damage your kidneys.
3. If I have an acute kidney problem, do you expect me to recover and how long might that take?
Yes, you can recover if you have an acute kidney problem. You can recover within a couple of days with fluid and antibiotics. If the condition is severe, then it might take two-three weeks or even longer for recovery.
4. If my kidney problem is chronic, how long can I continue without dialysis or will I ever need dialysis?
Early detection of chronic kidney disease prevents kidney failure. But when kidney disease progresses, then you may need dialysis (in centre dialysis) to sustain. Based on your condition (severity of kidney failure), your chances of survival depend without dialysis. People with chronic liver failure may survive days to weeks without dialysis.
5. What type of dialysis do you recommend?
Peritoneal dialysis is better than haemodialysis. In peritoneal dialysis, less amount of sodium, potassium, and fluid is accumulated. As a result, you can go for a more flexible diet.
6. Am I a good candidate for a kidney transplant?
Any patient (irrespective of adult or child) who has been diagnosed with stage 5 chronic kidney disease (CKD) or end-stage renal disease (ESRD) can be considered for transplant evaluation. The prime criterion for kidney transplant includes the presence of irreversible kidney failure.
7. What dietary changes do I need to make during treatment or recovery?
After your kidney transplant, you need to follow a diet which is low in sodium and high in fibre. You should consume a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, dairy products, and a lot of fluids. You must avoid certain foods like fatty and oily food and alcohol as much as possible.
8. Do I need to make any other lifestyle changes?
You need to follow a balanced diet and should drink a lot of water after a kidney transplant. You can start exercises gradually (at least three to four times a week). But consult with your doctor before starting exercises. After kidney transplant surgery, you don’t need to visit any dialysis centre in Kenya for dialysis. But you need to do some laboratory tests frequently to monitor your condition.
9. Do I have anaemia or any other complications?
The prevalence of anaemia after kidney transplantation varies on the duration of transplantation, immunosuppressive regimen, and frequency of treatment. While anaemia is present in almost 90 percent of patients within the first-month posttransplant, the prevalence falls to 34 to 45 per cent among patients more than one-year posttransplant.
10. How can those complications be treated?
Anaemia is a common problem in the general population because of iron deficiency, gastrointestinal blood loss, or by immunosuppressive medications. After a successful kidney transplant, most patients achieve (within 3 months of operations) haemoglobin levels greater than 12 g/dL.