Helping you live a better life on dialysis

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Monitoring Your Care

As the person in charge of your day-to-day care, there are a number of things you’ll learn to do to check how you’re doing. These include:

  • Pay attention to how you feel: You’re the best judge of your energy level, the ease of your breathing, any pain or swelling.
  • Track amount of fluid removed: Keep accurate treatment records of how much fluid you put in at each exchange and how much comes back out. If you're not getting all of the fluid back out—plus excess water—you'll need to tell your nurse. Keeping the right fluid balance is critical to your health. You can learn more about this important topic on our Controlling Fluids page.
  • Take your blood pressure: Using a home blood pressure cuff, measure and record your blood pressure to see if it’s in your healthy range.
  • Track your weight: You’ll weigh yourself each day, wearing the same thing, to help see if you are taking off enough fluid.
  • Have monthly blood tests: Your doctor will conduct blood tests to measure such things as potassium and phosphorus in your blood, as well as to determine whether you are receiving adequate peritoneal dialysis.
  • Collect urine for testing: You’ll collect all of your urine for 24 hours in a refrigerated jug and bring it into the facility. A test for Residual Renal Function measures how much work your kidneys are still doing. In the first year on PD, this test should be done every 2 months.
  • Collect dialysate for testing: A couple of times a year your doctor will ask you to bring some or all of your used dialysate for a Peritoneal Equilibrium Test (PET). You’ll come into the facility and do a series of short exchanges, and then have a blood sample drawn. The PET will help figure out how long you should leave fluid in your abdomen to get the best results.