For most people with mild CKD (stages 1-3) treatment will consist of adopting a healthy lifestyle and taking some medications to control their blood pressure and prevent their kidneys from getting worse.
If your CKD progresses to stage 4-5 you will need to start thinking about the treatment options available for kidney failure.
Read our guide to living with early stage chronic kidney disease (PDF 4Mb)
Choosing the treatment option that's right for you
At home, you will need enough space to store the dialysis machine and your supplies.
Many hospitals offer home haemodialysis. This gives you more flexibility about when you dialyse - and more independence. You can choose when during the day you want to dialyse, or possibly dialyse overnight. You will be trained how to do home haemodialysis by your healthcare team. This can take up to three months.
How will I know if my home is suitable?
Often someone will come and visit your home to make sure it is suitable. For example they will check there is enough space to store the machine and supplies.
You will be provided with the equipment you need. You will be told if there are any changes which may have to be made to your home so you can dialyse there. In the United Kingdom there is no charge for delivery and disposal of supplies or for any reasonable adjustments made to your home. This is the case in many other countries but you should ask your healthcare team.Why it might be right for you
Why it might not be right for you
- You do not have to travel to a unit to dialyse. You will still have to come into hospital every six to eight weeks for clinic appointments.
- In a dialysis unit you will dialyse three times a week for between three and a half and five hours. At home you have the freedom to dialyse more often and/or for longer if you wish. Dialysing for longer usually means that you will feel better and it reduces the risk of developing other medical conditions.
- You may be able to dialyse overnight instead of during the day.
- You have access to telephone support if there are any problems with your dialysis.
- You will have more independence and flexibility to fit dialysis around your work, family and leisure time.
- You might feel you need the support of nurses around you.
- You might not have enough room in your home for the dialysis machine and other equipment.
- Your diet will be more restricted than if you choose Peritoneal dialysis, unless you dialyse daily.
- If you live alone you might not want to have home haemodialysis as most people prefer some support from family and/or friends.
- There might be a medical reason why you are not able to dialyse at home.