Getting the kidney disease support that you need
If you’ve received news from your doctor that you have chronic kidney disease (CKD), your emotions — including fear and anxiety — are high. You turn to your family and friends for support, and they provide comfort. Yet, can they really understand what you are going through? When you learn about kidney disease and connect with people who are living with it, you’ll know what to expect and feel less isolated. Interacting with others who have kidney disease allows you to vent, share information, get advice and receive the kidney disease support you need.
There are many resources available to help you get support for dealing with kidney disease. A great place to start is online where there are many websites, discussion forums, blogs and email lists for people with kidney disease. Your friends and family members can also benefit from these online resources. If you prefer face-to-face interaction, there may be kidney disease support groups in your area. If not, you can start your own kidney disease support group with some guidance from experienced professionals.
National kidney organization sites that offer kidney disease support
Several national kidney organizations have websites that are dedicated to educating and empowering individuals with kidney disease and their friends and families. Most offer extensive coverage of kidney-related topics, and may provide discussion forums and other community building efforts. Some have local chapters that may sponsor in-person gatherings. For more information, visit the websites listed below.
- National Kidney Foundation (NKF) www.kidney.org/
- American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) www.aakp.org/
- Renal Support Network www.rsnhope.org/
- Kidney & Urology Foundation of America (KUFA) www.kidneyurology.org/
Online kidney disease support forums
There are a number of online groups that provide interactive forums to help people with kidney disease connect through email and message boards. Most discussion forums are free to join. Listed below are a few kidney disease support forums to get you started.
- Davita.com discussion forum is a place where people at all stages of CKD can share their experiences. There are kidney disease forums and sub-forums designated to lead you to specific topics that you wish to discuss. This is an active site with a lot to offer.
- Kidney Fun takes a lighter approach to creating a chronic kidney disease community. You’ll find all kinds of fun stuff here, such as games, photo sharing and chitchat as well as more serious medical forums on a variety of kidney disease topics.
- Nephkids sponsors a kidney disease support forum for families, patients and medical caregivers to share information and experiences with the purpose of helping children and adolescents with kidney disease. The Nephkids website also offers comprehensive information about chronic kidney disease.
- Yahoo! groups and Google Groups have several kidney disease discussion groups that you can join for kidney disease support. You’ll need to do a keyword search to find the right one for you.
Local kidney disease support groups
While online interactions fulfill the need for support for many, others may want to meet face-to-face. Your doctor, social worker or other renal practitioners should know about local support groups. If there aren’t any established in your area, you may want to contact a renal social worker to help you get one started. Local kidney organizations can also be good resources for finding or establishing a support group.
You are not alone when you join a kidney disease support group
You may have been overwhelmed when you found out that you have kidney disease, but now you know you’re not alone. There are many kidney disease support groups and resources out there to help you connect with others who are living with chronic kidney disease. Reach out to get the kidney disease support that you need so you can feel better.
Related articles on DaVita.com
- Support groups for people living with kidney disease
- Support for people on dialysis and their loved ones
- Your emotions and chronic kidney disease (CKD)