Do Yourself a Big Favor and Control Your Phosphorus

Phosphorus is not removed by dialysis well. The phosphorus in your body comes from the food you eat and drink. We measure the phosphorus in your blood and the level should be less than 5.5. If your phosphorus is higher than this, you should be very worried about the damage that the phosphorus is doing […]

Diabetes Care in Dialysis Patients

A lot of dialysis patients have diabetes. If you do not have diabetes then you can skip this letter. Diabetic kidney disease is often the reason that a person needs dialysis. Once you are on dialysis, the diabetes can still damage other parts of your body. You need to keep your diabetes well controlled to […]

What is the Importance of Dialysis Temperature?

You may have noticed that there is a temperature dial on the dialysis machine. I want you to understand what this is for. Many patients want us to increase the temperature if they feel cold. While this helps you feel warmer, this is not safe. Using a cooler temperature helps prevent heart and brain problems […]

Why Taking Your Medications is Important for Your Health

This week’s letter is about the importance of taking the medications your doctor orders for you. Why is this important? Patients who take all the pills that their doctor orders are healthier, hospitalized less and live longer. Not taking pills as ordered can make you feel more ill, spend more time in the hospital and […]

The Length of Hemodialysis Effects your Health

One of my recent letters talked about options to in-center hemodialysis lasting about 4 hours. This message is for those of you continuing on this type of dialysis. I want to discuss the amount of time that you spend on dialysis. We know that a minimum of 4 hours of on dialysis 3 times each […]

Choosing the Right Type of Dialysis Effects Your Health

I am writing this Medical Director Letter to talk about the dialysis options that dialysis patients have to try to improve their health. First of all, what do I mean when I say improve your health? This can mean to generally feel better. This can mean to be able to go back to work or […]

Management of Fluid Status

It is important to avoid excess weight gain between treatments. Gaining too much increases your chances of dying, increases your chances of being hospitalized and makes it more likely you will develop heart problems.  Also gaining too much may make you either feel sick before dialysis or feel more washed out after dialysis. I understand […]

Introduction and Missed Dialysis Sessions

We want to educate all of our dialysis patients about important items that help determine how healthy they will be.  I particularly want to stress things that patients can do that either can make the patient healthier or less healthy. This includes actions that:  1) increase or decrease the chance that you will die over […]

Risk of Having a Hemodialysis Catheter

Having a catheter for hemodialysis leads to many more deaths and hospitalizations compared to having an access in the arm (or if the arm is not possible, in the leg).  Other than coming for dialysis, making sure that you do not have a catheter is the most important thing you can do.   If you […]