Your kidneys are one of the most important parts of your body. They act as a filter to remove wastes and excess fluid from your body. This prevents these things from building up in your body and affecting your health.

However, kidneys don’t always work perfectly. If you’ve been dealing with chronic kidney disease, you should get familiar with ESRD. Below, you’ll learn everything you need to know about this medical condition and how you can treat it with your Medicare coverage.

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What is ESRD?

ESRD is an acronym that stands for End-Stage Renal Disease. It’s a medical condition that occurs when a person’s kidneys are no longer capable of operating on their own. When someone has ESRD, they need a regular course of long-term dialysis or a kidney transplant to stay alive.

ESRD can be caused by a few different things. The most common causes of the condition are diabetes and high blood pressure. Most people who end up getting ESRD have already been dealing with chronic kidney disease for quite some time. In fact, your kidneys could slowly lose their efficacy over a period of 10 to 20 years before you’re diagnosed with ESRD.

How Can I Prevent ESRD?

The best way to prevent ESRD is to take care of yourself and your kidneys. You can do this in a few key ways. First, try to keep your blood sugar under control as much as possible if you have diabetes. You can also make a positive impact on your health by keeping both a healthy blood pressure and a healthy weight.

Doing this may require you to change your lifestyle and diet. Experts recommend that people who are concerned about chronic kidney disease follow a low-salt, low-fat diet. Additionally, you should try to exercise for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. Doing so will significantly increase your chances of preventing ESRD.

Treating ESRD with Dialysis

Most people who are diagnosed with ESRD receive dialysis. Although this is a serious condition, dialysis can extend the life expectancy of an ESRD patient significantly. The average life expectancy for a dialysis patient with ESRD is 5-10 years. However, people regularly live for 20 or even 30 years while on dialysis.

The good news is that you should be able to have most of your medical costs covered by Medicare. The specifics depend on whether you have Medicare Part A or B or a Medicare Advantage plan. Either way, Medicare should cover a significant portion of the costs you incur from:

  • Home dialysis training
  • Inpatient dialysis treatment
  • Outpatient dialysis treatment
  • Certain home support services
  • Home dialysis equipment and supplies
  • Most prescription drugs related to dialysis

If you’d like to learn more about ESRD and your Medicare coverage, consider contacting a partnered licensed agent with Time for 65. They’re the Medicare experts who can tell you exactly what you need to know about your plan. You can reach an agent today by filling out this form or giving us a call. We look forward to hearing from you.