What is included in patient education about chronic glomerulonephritis?

Updated: Feb 24, 2020
  • Author: Moro O Salifu, MD, MPH, FACP; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Dietary education is paramount in managing patients with CKD. The typical dietary restriction is to 2 g of sodium, 2 g of potassium, and 40-60 g of protein a day. Additional restrictions may apply for diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and fluid overload.

Patients should be educated regarding the types of ESRD therapy. The specific choices of ESRD therapy include hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, and renal transplantation. For further information, see Mayo Clinic - Kidney Transplant Information.

Patients opting for hemodialysis should be educated on home hemodialysis (in which patients are trained to do their dialysis at home) and center hemodialysis (in which patients come to a center 3 times a week for 3.5- to 4-hour dialysis sessions). They should also be educated on the types of vascular access. Arteriovenous fistulae should be created when the GFR falls below 25 mL/min or the serum creatinine level is greater than 4 mg/dL to allow maturation of the access before the initiation of dialysis.

In the United States and most developed countries, patients on dialysis can travel. In fact, there are even dialysis cruises. However, patients should inform their social workers to make the necessary arrangements beforehand to ensure that the destination has the right resources to continue dialysis.

Sexual dysfunction and loss of libido are common in patients with kidney disease, especially men. Patients should be instructed to seek medical therapy if they experience these symptoms.

Renal failure and hypertension worsen during pregnancy in patients with CKD, particularly when the serum creatinine level exceeds 2 mg/dL, and this leads to decreased fetal viability and increased maternal morbidity in pregnant women with CKD. Therefore, women with CKD should consult their doctors before becoming pregnant. [9, 10]

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