You’ve taken an important step with your willingness to learn about chronic kidney disease. The system you’ll learn about here is called Take Control – Make a Plan – Stay Your Course. Being an active partner in your health care and sharing concerns with your doctor, your family, clergy, and your friends, will help you to take control of your CKD for a better today and future.

Take control by learning as much as you are comfortable with, one step at a time. Ask questions of your health care team, and don’t hesitate to ask again, if you find yourself puzzled or worried about information or instructions you’ve been given. Although right now you may still feel a bit as though you’re at the mercy of your kidneys, by taking the time to learn about CKD, and playing an active role in your health care, you will prepare for life with CKD.

Use this online education program, but also attend classes. You might consider joining a support group in your area – talking with other people with CKD can go a long way to setting your mind at ease, and getting your questions answered. Stay organized  -- write down questions, note symptoms, set out your medication schedule, and place copies of your lab work and other test results in a health diary. That way you’ll easily be able to talk with your health care team about them when you have your next visit.

Making a good plan has several parts. It includes following a kidney-friendly diet, quitting smoking, getting regular exercise, and following your doctor’s recommendations about medications and other therapies.

At this early point, it is important to set goals and draw on support from family and friends, and even at work, to help you stay your course.

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