Chronic kidney disease involves a variety of conditions that cause kidney damage and diminish the kidneys’ effectiveness at maintaining your health. If kidney disease worsens, wastes can accumulate in the blood to a toxic degree and make you sick. Conditions like malnutrition, weak bones, hypertension, nerve damage and anemia are common complications with chronic kidney disease.
Symptoms and Treatment
Kidney disease can also raise the risk of vascular disease and heart attack. These issues may develop gradually over the course of several years. Chronic kidney disease can result from uncontrolled hypertension, diabetes or other health problems. Detecting and treating it early can often prevent the condition from worsening. If it is allowed to progress, kidney disease can ultimately result in kidney failure. A kidney transplant or routine dialysis is required to prevent death in these cases.
How Palliative Care Can Help
Palliative care is an area of medicine often used for people with serious ailments like HIV or AIDS. Its primary focus is to help you and your loved ones maintain a reasonable quality of life. Anyone can receive palliative care, regardless of their age or the severity of their illness, and it can also be used alongside curative therapies.
Palliative care is performed by a team consisting of specialists, nurses and physicians who work in concert with your normal doctors to give you another branch of support. The burdens that come with kidney disease and failure can be overwhelming. Aside from the emotional and physical strain, you and your loved ones are also saddled with making hard choices about your care.
Your Palliative Care Team
Specialists in palliative care work closely with you, your doctors, other healthcare professionals and your family members to give you the comprehensive care you need. They put an emphasis on managing pain and other symptoms, general support, care coordination and communication. A team of palliative care specialists can assist you during any stage of your illness.
Controlling symptoms is a major component of palliative care. By cooperating with your nephrologist, your team will help you more effectively manage the symptoms of your disease. They will also assist and support you in making important choices regarding your treatment options, including dialysis, which is offered to virtually everyone with serious or worsening kidney disease.
Managing Your Illness
Your palliative care team will aid you in laying out your personal values, your feeling on various treatments and the goals of you and your family. They will also inform you about the potential benefits of dialysis and help you balance those against any downfalls.
If you’re already undergoing dialysis and your health is worsening, palliative care specialists can help you decide when therapy is becoming more of a hardship than boon and assist you in transitioning away from it. Patients who are able to receive a kidney transplant frequently choose palliative prior to, during and after the transplant. Like with dialysis, transplants carry risks and benefits, and these must be carefully considered.
Regardless of your choice, your care team will work alongside your nephrologist and, if necessary, your transplant team to give you the support you need. They will provide medications for symptom relief and utilize alternative therapies like relaxation techniques, talk therapy and massage to help with emotional or spiritual stress. They will even help you and your loved ones gain a better understanding of your disease and its treatments.
It is your palliative care team’s utmost mission to do whatever they can to give their undivided attention to your needs in a sensitive fashion.
Receiving Palliative Care
It’s simple to locate a hospital that provides palliative care teams in your area. Alternatively, if you or a loved one needs palliative care – contact Harbor Light Hospice directly to learn about our beneficial services.