Helping you live a better life on dialysis

Print Page

Common Myths About Dialysis

Most people don’t know much about kidneys. It’s normal to have lots of questions. You may even believe some things that are not true, like these common dialysis myths below:

Myth: Dialysis will Make My Kidneys Get Better
Truth:  Once kidneys fail from chronic kidney disease, they do not get better. Dialysis is not a cure. Dialysis is a treatment that does some of what your kidneys did. You need dialysis or a kidney transplant to live.
Myth: Dialysis Hurts
Truth: During dialysis you may feel a pinch when each of the needles go in. There are skin numbing drugs that can help. The rest of your dialysis treatment should not hurt. If it does, tell your staff member so they can fix it.
Myth: My Loved Ones Can Catch My Kidney Disease
Truth: Kidney disease is not contagious. You can’t give it to someone by sharing a glass, kissing, or making love. Your family may be at risk, though, if they have diabetes, high blood pressure, or other problems that run in families. These conditions can lead to kidney failure. Ask your doctor if your family should be tested.
Myth: All I Need is Dialysis to Feel Better
Truth: Dialysis does some of the work your kidneys can’t do now—but not all of it. You will need some medications. Most people also need some diet changes, exercise, and fluid limits to feel their best.
Myth: I’ll Have to Stop Working
Truth: You may have to make some changes. Talk to your social worker about your dialysis options for work.
Myth: I’ll Have to Give Up All of the Foods I Love
Truth: The dietitian will work with you to have at least some of your favorite foods in your meal plan. Or, ask your care team about ways to get more dialysis, in the center or at home. With more dialysis treatment, your blood gets cleaner so you may be able to eat and drink with fewer limits.