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              his is the fifth book in a series of five, aimed at helping patients with kidney disease learn more
              about their illness. This book (BOOK 5) is specifically written for people who have been informed
        Tthat they have impaired (or reduced) kidney function and are classified as having Chronic Kidney
        Disease (CKD). CKD is a term that is used by doctors to describe a reduction in kidney function from
        diseases such as hypertension and diabetes which can affect a person’s health.

        BOOK 1 deals with the functions
        of the kidney, types of kidney   
        disease, diagnostic tests and
        medicines used to treat kidney
        conditions.  BOOK 2 deals with
        haemodialysis and peritoneal
        disalysis. BOOK 3 covers kidney
                                                            BOOK 1          BOOK 2          BOOK 3
        transplantation in more depth                    Petrina Donnelly, CNM  Prof. Peter J. Conlon, FRCPI  Helen Dunne, CNM
                                                          Helen Dunne, CNM
                                                       Prof. Peter J. Conlon, FRCPI  Petrina Donnelly, CNM  Petrina Donnelly, CNM
                                                                          Helen Dunne, CNM  Prof. Peter J. Conlon, FRCPI  BOOK 4
                                                                                           Ciara White, CNM
        whilst BOOK 4 addresses the area
        of the ‘living donor’ programme.
        CKD is generally a silent disease, that is for the most part, many patients will experience few if any
        symptoms. Kidney function can deteriorate gradually over time and some people can progress to kidney
        failure at which time a patient may require dialysis treatment and/or a kidney transplant. Early detection
        and treatment of kidney disease can often prevent it from getting worse. Good management of your kidney
        disease, by your General Practitioner (GP) and your kidney specialist (Nephrologist), will help prevent
        complications and protect your kidneys from deteriorating.

        This book will help you understand more about CKD, how to diagnose it, its complications, and who is at
        risk. It will explain the benefits of early intervention and inform you of practical things you can do that
        will help look after your kidneys. Knowing more about your condition can help you to protect your
        remaining kidney function and overall general health.

        You will read about steps you can take that are beneficial for your overall health and how you can come
        to terms with this diagnosis. The book also explains what will happen when and if your kidneys start to

        Whilst this book is primarily written for people with CKD, it is a useful resource for the people around you
        who want to find out more. Family and friends will be able to support you better if they understand more
        about your health condition.

        If you have been diagnosed with CKD, do not ignore it because you do not have physical symptoms or
        because your kidneys are not failing right now. Take action to look after your kidneys so that you can
        preserve their remaining function as long as possible and live a healthy life.

        We would like to sincerely thank the following contributors for their valuable input:
        Professor Austin G. Stack, Chair of Medicine, University Hospital Limerick and
               Graduate Entry Medical School, University of Limerick
        Ms Brid Collins, Renal Nurse Specialist, University Hospital Limerick
        Mr Mark Murphy, Chief Executive Officer, Irish Kidney Association
        Mr Mike Kelly, Counselling Service Co-ordinator, Irish Kidney Association.            September 2013
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