Health & Wellness Resources


Living with Kidney Disease


Kidney disease can happen at any age. It has no signs or symptoms in the early stages and once your kidneys are damaged, it cannot be undone. Therefore, regular screenings are important so the disease can be caught and treated in the early stages to prevent further damage.

In the advanced stages, one or both of your kidneys may fail completely. This is called kidney failure or end-stage renal disease. You may have symptoms including:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Itching
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

If you experience kidney failure, your doctor will talk to you about your treatment options. The most common treatment option is dialysis, followed by kidney transplant.

There are two kinds of dialysis — hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. During hemodialysis, your blood is run through an external filter to clean it, usually several times each week. Peritoneal dialysis involves surgically inserting a filter into the lining of your abdominal cavity to filter your blood daily while you sleep.

Because dialysis is not a permanent solution, most people will need a kidney transplant, which surgically replaces the damaged kidney(s) with one from a healthy donor.


Download the PDF version of this article.


Learn More

Balance, HCR ManorCare’s comprehensive health and wellness blog, supplies readers with healthy ideas throughout the year. The blog is designed to serve as a resource, not only for patients, residents and families, but for anyone who strives to live a healthy, “balanced” life. For more information and help in making healthy choices, go to and sign up to receive our newsletters. If you need help making a health care decision, visit our CareFinder and live chat.