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Nutrition and Kidney
Disease

National and State
Kidney Foundations

Recipes in the Renal
Diets Cookbook

Recipes in the Renal
Diabetic Cookbook

Glossary of Kidney
Failure Terms

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Kidney Failure 

A Glossary of  Kidney Failure Terms

 

Access Route
A surgically formed connection of an artery and vein or an implanted artificial conduit in the arm or leg to allow easy access to the bloodstream for processing blood through an artificial kidney and returning to the body. (Also called cannulae, fistula, shunt)

Acute Renal Failure
A sudden short-term loss of kidney function.

Air Detector
A box-like device which is part of the artificial kidney machine.   It will clamp off the venous blood line if there is any danger of air entering the bloodstream. 

Anemia
A condition occurring when the blood is deficient in red blood cells and / or hemoglobin which decreases the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.

Antacid
Medicine that neutralizes stomach acid.  For dialysis patients, these are used mainly as phosphorus binders.

Antibiotic
A medicine used to kill bacteria that may be causing an infection in the body.

Antibody
A substance in the body that fights disease and foreign substances.

Antigen
A substance in the body that stimulates the production of antibodies.

Antihypertensive
A medication that relieves and controls high blood pressure.

Antimetabolites
A class of medication given to transplant recipients to help prevent rejection of the new organ (by suppressing the body's natural immune response to foreign tissues), usually called immunosuppressives.

Arterial Line
The tube carrying blood from the body into the artificial kidney

Arteriogram
An x-ray test involving injection of dye into an artery.  A renal arteriogram injects dye into the artery to the kidneys to see if the blood vessels are normal.

Artery
vessel carrying blood away from the heart; part of the circulatory system.

Artificial Kidney
Also referred to as "dialyzer."  A filtering device that removes excessive fluid and waste products from the bloodstream and corrects chemical imbalance of the blood.

Ascites
Fluid that is retained in the abdominal cavity.

Aseptic Technique
Sterile procedure used to prevent bacteria from entering the body, thus limiting the risk of infection.

Batch System
A method of supplying dialysate that involves the preparation of a large amount of dialysate by mixing concentrated chemicals with large amounts of purified water.

Bath
Dialysate fluid or bath is composed of fluids and chemicals similar to body fluids without the waste products.  Waste products will flow from the blood into the dialysate and then be flushed away.

Bilateral Nephrectomy
Surgical removal of both kidneys.

Bladder
The sac in which urine, produced by the kidneys, is collected and stored until the urine is released from the body.

Blood Flow Rate
The amount of blood passing through the artificial kidney each minute.   This is determined by the speed at which the blood pump is set.

Blood Pressure
The pressure exerted by the blood upon the walls of the blood vessels; recorded in two numbers.  The larger number is the SYSTOLIC or the pressure when the heart contracts.  The second, DIASTOLIC, is the pressure in the blood vessels between heart contractions.

Blood Pump
A pump that is used to push the blood from the patient through the artificial kidney and back to the body.

Bubble Trap
The larger part of the arterial and venous bloodlines which eliminates air from the lines and prevents clots from entering the vein by "trapping" them in a filter.

BUN
Abbreviation for "Blood Urea Nitrogen," which is a waste product normally excreted by the kidneys.  This waste product is a marker for all waste products.  When waste products cannot be properly excreted by the kidneys in the form of urine, they must be taken away by dialysis.

Cadaver Kidney
A kidney that comes from a donor who has recently died and who has offered the kidney for transplantation.

Calcium
A mineral found in the blood that is important to bone growth and body functioning.

Cannulae
Special tubes that carry blood from an artery directly to a nearby vein.

Capillary Kidney
A dialyzer consisting of thousands of tiny hollow fiber tubes lying parallel to each other.

Catheter
A tube passed through the body for infusing or withdrawing fluids from body cavities.  There are different types of tubes for different procedures.

Chronic Renal Failure
permanent, irreversible damage to both kidneys.  Dialysis and transplant are treatments for severe chronic renal failure.

Clotting Time
A method of determining the length of time it takes for blood to clot.   Heparin dosage may be determined by clotting times.

Coil Dialyzer
A dialyzer in which the cellophane membrane is in the form of a long tube coiled in a spiral.  Blood flows through the tube and the dialysate flows around it.

Compliance
Following doctors orders.(i.e.: taking medications that are ordered)

Congestive Heart Failure
A condition in which the body retains too much fluid, causing the heart to pump less blood from the lungs into the general circulation than it should.  This can result in too much fluid in the lungs and the eventual filling of some of the lungs' airways.  Treatment consists of removing the body fluid during dialysis, restriction of fluid intake and other medical measures.

Contraindications
Something (such as a condition, symptom or behavior) that makes a particular treatment or procedure inadvisable.

Creatinine
A waste product in the blood which is caused by working muscles.   It is used as an indicator of how well the kidneys are functioning.

Cross Matching
The testing of a transplant or blood donor and recipient's blood cells and serum to determine if compatibility exists.

Cytomegalo Virus - CMV
Any of several herpes viruses that cause cellular enlargement and and formation of inclusion cells.  Both donor and recipient are tested for this virus before transplantation.

Dialysate
The cleansing solution that is used in both hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis to clean the waste products from the blood.

Dialysate Fluid
Dialysate fluid or bath is composed of fluids and chemicals similar to body fluids without the waste products.  Waste products will flow from the blood in the dialysate and then be flushed away.

Dialysis Therapy
The process of maintaining the chemical balance of the blood when the kidneys have failed: removal of waste products from the blood.  May refer to hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis or CAPD (continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis).

Dialyzer
Also referred to as the artificial kidney, the device containing the cellophane membrane through which blood passes during hemodialysis.

Diaphragm
A layer of muscle separating the abdominal and chest cavities.  It is the major muscle for breathing.

Diffusion
Passage of particles from a solution of high concentration to a solution of low concentration.

Disequilibrium
Term used to describe a condition which may result from rapid dialysis therapy.  Some symptoms may be headache, cramps, nausea or vomiting.

Donor
Someone who offers his or her kidney to be transplanted into another person.  The donor may be living or have recently died.

Dry (or Ideal) Weight
The weight at which blood pressure is normal and no swelling is present.

Edema
An abnormal accumulation of fluid in the tissues causing swelling in the ankles, face (particularly the eyelids), and sometimes in the abdomen or lungs.

End-Stage Renal Disease
Any irreversible kidney which requires dialysis therapy or kidney transplant in order to sustain the persons life.

Erythropoietin
It is a hormone made in the kidney which stimulates special bone marrow cells to produce red blood cells.

Etched Connector
The tube that carries blood from one cannula of a shunt to the other cannula while the patient is not on hemodialysis.

Exchange
The term describes the cycle of draining used dialysate and infusing fresh dialysate solution within the peritoneal cavity during peritoneal dialysis.

Fistula
A connection surgically made between an artery and a vein beneath the skin that ultimately allows a person to be connected to an artificial kidney machine.

Folic Acid
A substance necessary for red blood cell production.

Glomerulonephritis
Also called nephritis.  It is an inflammation of the glomeruli (part of the function unit in the kidney called the nephron).  It usually affects both kidneys and generally first occurs in early childhood.  Recovery from the acute form may take one year.  Those with the chronic form suffer slow progressive damage which may ultimately lead to dialysis therapy and / or transplantation.  Bright's disease is a type of glomerulonephritis.  There are several others.

Glucose
A type of sugar found in the body.

Graft
A type of permanent blood access made from a synthetic material to form a conduit between an artery and a vein beneath the skin.  It provides blood flows necessary for connection to the artificial kidney machine.

Hematocrit
A measure of the volume of red blood cells in the blood.

Hematoma
A swelling caused by an accumulation of blood in the tissues.  A hematoma may occur at the site where the needle has slipped out of the vein.  Also called a bruise or "black and blue" mark.

Hemodialysis
The process by which extra body wastes and extra fluid are removed from the blood when passing through an artificial kidney.

Hemoglobin
The chemical compound in red blood cells which carries oxygen.

Hemostat or Clamp
The instrument used to stop the blood flow in the lines.

Heparin
A substance given to prolong blood clotting time, allowing blood to flow through the artificial kidney without clotting.

Heparin Pump
A pump that can be set to give Heparin at a specified rate per hour throughout hemodialysis.

Hepatitis
Inflammation of the liver.  May be caused by one or more viruses.

Hepatitis Antigen Test
A test which determines the presence of an antigen associated with a type of hepatitis.

High Flux Dialysis
A high blood pump speed and high efficiency hemodialysis treatment.

Hyperkalemia
A high level of potassium in the blood; can cause irregular heart beat and ultimately cardiac arrest.

Hyperglycemia
A high level of sugar in the blood.

Hypertension
High blood pressure.  Some cases of hypertension can result in kidney damage.  Some cases of hypertension are caused by kidney damage.

Hypertonic Dialysate
A strong dialysis bath solution (4.25% dextrose) used in peritoneal dialysis therapy which will withdraw a large amount of excess fluid from the body.

Hypoglycemia
A deficiency of sugar in the blood.

Hypokalemia
A low level of potassium in the blood: may cause muscle weakness or low blood pressure.

Hypoplastic/dysplastic Kidneys
Kidneys that are small in size with defective anatomy.

Hypotension
Low blood pressure.  A potential problem during hemodialysis treatments.

Immunosuppressive Drugs
Medications given to transplant patients to help prevent rejection of a transplanted kidney.

Intravenous
Within a vein.  Also called IV.  Liquids or medicines may be given in the vein with a needle.

Kidney
One of the two organs located at the back of the abdominal cavity; one on each side of the of the spinal column.  Their function is to maintain the chemical balance of the body.

Kidney Transplantation
A technique in which a healthy kidney from a qualified donor is surgically implanted to replace kidney function.

Living Non-Related
A living person who is not related to the person who needs a kidney transplant and who donates one kidney.

Living Related
A related donor who offers one kidney to a family member for transplantation.

Malignancy
Having cancer or a cancerous tumor.

Membrane
In hemodialysis, the membrane refers to the cellophane-like substance in the artificial kidney through which wastes from the blood filter into the dialysate fluid.   In peritoneal dialysis, the membrane is the lining of the peritoneal cavity.

Membrane Leak (Blood Leak)
A tear in the fibers of the artificial kidney which causes blood to leak into the dialysis bath.

Metabolism
Process in which foods are broken down and used for body energy and function.

Monitor
An electronic device used to check, remind or warn.

Needle Insertion Procedure
A procedure to place large needles through the skin into a fistula or graft.  The needles are then connected to the artificial kidney machine.   Sometimes referred to as "needle" stick.

Negative Pressure
Pulling pressure exerted in the dialysate compartment that causes excess water to be pulled from the blood compartment of the dialyzer across to the dialysate compartment.

Nephrectomy
Surgical removal of a kidney(s).

Nephrologist
Doctor specializing in diagnosis and treatment of non-urologic kidney problems, hypertension and other metabolic abnormalities of the body.

Nephron
The filters of the kidney which act to maintain the body's chemical balance.  There are approximately one million nephrons in each kidney.

Nephrosis
A condition in which there is a large and abnormal leakage of protein into the urine.

Neuropathy
Refers to any disease of the nerves.  Sensitivity of the nerves is usually decreased as a result.

Non-Compliance
Not following doctor's orders.

Osmosis
The passage of fluid through a membrane separating solutions of varying thickness.  The fluid passes through the membrane from the region of lower concentration of dissolved substance.  The two solutions tend to reach equal concentrations.

Parathyroid Glands
Glands producing parathyroid hormone which regulates calcium metabolism.

Parathyroidectomy
The procedure of surgically removing the parathyroid glands.

Perfusion Machine
A machine that keeps a donor kidney in the best possible condition outside the body until it is transplanted into a recipient.

Peritoneal Dialysis
A process in which dialysate is put into the peritoneal cavity.   The peritoneal membrane in the abdomen functions in the same way as the membrane in the artificial kidney.

Peritonitis
Infection in the peritoneal cavity.

Phosphorus Binders
Medication used to prevent phosphorus absorption in persons with kidney disease.  This may help prevent bone disease.

Plasma
The fluid portion of the blood.

Polycystic Kidney Disease
A hereditary disease in which cysts are formed in the kidneys.  The cysts get larger with time and gradually squeeze out normal tissue until the kidneys slowly lose the ability to function.

Positive Pressure
In hemodialysis, referred to as "back pressure" or "venous drip chamber."  Pressure exerted on the artificial kidney to cause removal of water from the blood.  Increasing the positive pressure increases fluid removal.

Posterior Urethral Valves
Found in male children; it is an obstruction in the urethra which slows the free flow of urine.

Potassium
A mineral necessary to the body, but harmful when found in excess.   Hyperkalemia is a condition in which there is too much potassium in the body.

Prime
The normal saline used to fill the lines and dialyzer and lines prior to dialysis.

Pyelonephritis
An infectious inflammation of the tissue of the kidneys, which at the outset may not interfere with kidney function but, if left untreated, may lead to gross disturbances of kidney function.

Recipient
The person who is receiving the kidney transplant.

Renal
Referring to the kidney.

Renin
Hormone produced by the kidney which may cause high blood pressure.

Saline
A salt water solution.

Semipermeable membrane
A material through which only certain particles may pass, and through which other particles will not pass.  Dialyzers are semipermeable membranes.

Serum
The fluid portion of the blood remaining after a clot has formed.

Shunt (external)
Two small plastic tubes (cannulae) surgically implanted, one in an artery and one in a vein.  When not on dialysis, the two are joined by a connector (bridge) forming a "shunt." 

Sodium
One of the major chemicals of the body, found and taken into the body most commonly as table salt.  When too much sodium cannot be excreted from the body by the kidneys, edema and hypertension may result.  The intake of this element must be controlled by diet in patients with most types of renal failure.

Steroid Drugs
natural or synthetic chemicals closely related to certain hormones manufactured by the adrenal gland (located on the top of each kidney).  These powerful compounds are effective in the management of a variety of kidney diseases.

Thrill
Vibration or buzzing sensation felt over the vein of a cannulae or fistula.

Tissue Typing
Refers to matching cells of individuals who are to undergo transplantation with their potential donors.  The success of the transplant may be related to the closeness of the tissue match.

Toxins
Wastes that accumulate in the blood of dialysis patients that are harmful to the body's metabolic systems.

Triple Drug Therapy
The use of three drugs to treat transplant rejection.  The goal in using these drugs is to give each one in small amounts to avoid long term side-effects from large amounts.

Ultrafiltration
The process of removing water from the blood during dialysis by exerting positive or negative pressure on the blood in the artificial kidney.

Uremic Syndrome or Uremia
All the changes of the body's various organ systems that occur when kidney function fails.

Ureter
One or two tubes within the body that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder.

Urethra
A tube for the discharge of urine from the bladder.

Urinary Tract
The system in the body containing the kidneys, the ureters, the bladder and the urethra.  The urinary tract produces urine, stores it and carries it to the outside.

Vein
A blood vessel which carries blood back to the heart from other parts of the body.

Venous Line
The tube carrying the blood back into the body from the artificial kidney machine.

Venous Resistance
The opposing force to blood flow in the vein.

Glossary from "Living With Kidney Disease - A Patient Manual," by The Tri-State Renal Network

 

 

 

 

 

 

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