Kidney and kidney care | VA Minneapolis Healthcare

Health care

Outpatient health services

  • Renal clinic
  • Hemodialysis clinic
  • Home dialysis clinic

Get ready for a clinic appointment

  • Please bring a family member or friend with you
  • Make a list of your concerns and prioritize them
  • Carry a list of your medications and the dosage you are taking
  • Bring a list of the medications you’ve tried and the reasons you stopped them
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions or for clarification

Education: kidney disease

What is kidney disease?

“Kidneys are two bean-shaped organs. Each kidney is about the size of a fist. Your kidneys filter excess water and waste from your blood and make urine. Kidney disease means that your kidneys are damaged and can’t filter the blood the way they should.

You are at greater risk of kidney disease if you have diabetes or high blood pressure. If you have kidney failure, treatment includes a kidney transplant or dialysis. Other kidney problems include acute kidney injury, kidney cysts, kidney stones and kidney infections.” From the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases – Kidney Disease

What is chronic kidney disease?

“Chronic kidney disease means that your kidneys are damaged and cannot filter the blood the way they should. The main risk factors for developing kidney disease are diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and a family history of kidney failure.” From the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases – chronic kidney disease

Treatment

“When your kidney disease gets worse, your healthcare provider can talk to you about preparing for kidney failure. Talking to your provider early about your treatment options—and making choices before you need any of these treatments—helps you take charge of Treatment will help you feel better and live longer.

Understanding the treatment you choose and getting used to the idea that you need that treatment takes time. Each type of treatment has pros and cons. Your choice of treatment will have a big effect on your daily life. By learning about the differences between treatment options, you can choose the one that will be best for you. The more you know about the types of treatment, the better equipped you are to make a choice.” From the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases – Treatment Choices for Kidney Failure

VA Resources for Veterans


VHA National Kidney Program

Convenient and quick access to a range of kidney-related resources within the VA health system.

eKidney Clinic

Learn how to care for your kidneys and make choices that will help you feel your best.

Support networks for chronic kidney disease


American Kidney Association

1-800-579-1970. AAKP is dedicated to improving the lives and long-term outcomes of patients with kidney disease through education, advocacy, patient engagement, and fostering patient communities.

Kidney Support Network

1-800-579-1970. The RSN promotes innovation, research and works with the community to provide the patient perspective.

VA Caregiver Support

The VA Caregiver Support Program offers clinical services to caregivers of eligible and covered veterans enrolled in the VA health care system. The program’s mission is to promote the health and well-being of caregivers who care for our nation’s veterans through education, resources, support and services.

Group activities

Chronic Kidney Disease Interdisciplinary Education Group Attending Class:

We offer an in-person training group at both our Minneapolis and St. Cloud Virginia campuses. Educational topics about chronic kidney disease, diet, treatment, and mental health are discussed during the first two hours of class, followed by time for questions and discussion with your fellow veterans.

  • One-on-one class in Minneapolis VA is offered every first Wednesday of the month from 8:30-10:30am
  • St. Cloud VA face-to-face class offered every second Thursday of every even-numbered month from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Chronic Kidney Disease Virtual Interdisciplinary Group:

The Virtual CKD Education Group occurs on the third Thursday of every odd-numbered month from 8:00-10:30 a.m. Educational topics about chronic kidney disease, diet, treatment, and mental health are discussed in the first two hours of class, followed by time for questions and discussion with your fellow veterans .

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