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Coping with Kidney Disease: A 12-Step Treatment Program to Help You Avoid Dialysis Paperback – April 12, 2004

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Coping with Kidney Disease: A 12-Step Treatment Program to Help You Avoid Dialysis + Kidney Health Gourmet Diet Guide & Cookbook + Smoothies For Kidneys: (And The Heart)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (April 12, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471274232
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471274230
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Drawing on his work treating hundreds of adult kidney disease patients at his institution's Clinical Research Center, Walser (pharmacology & medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine) aims to assist readers in understanding kidney failure, a condition that can be caused by diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. Many of his points--e.g., how to recognize the early warning signs, get a correct diagnosis, and evaluate treatment options-are illustrated by the stories of real patients. Walser also presents a low protein diet as the center of his J 2-step treatment to help kidney disease patients avoid dialysis. Despite the use of patient stories and sample menus for the low protein diet, this book will not suit consumers owing to the prevalent medical jargon. The National Kidney Foundation offers more accessible and useful information on its web site, Not recommended.  —Marge Kars Bronson. Methodist Hospital, Kalamazoo, MI (Library Journal , May 1, 2004)

From the Back Cover

A revolutionary program that can indefinitely postpone the need for dialysis

If you’ve been diagnosed with kidney failure, this book could save your life. If you suffer from diabetes, hypertension, obesity, or any of a host of conditions that put you at risk for kidney disease, you owe it to yourself to read what is in this book. If you are among the 60,000 North Americans who go on dialysis each year, the information in this book could substantially improve your quality of life.

In Coping with Kidney Disease, a leading expert tells you, in plain English, what you need to know to:

  • Understand kidney failure
  • Recognize early warning signs of kidney failure
  • Get a proper diagnosis
  • Talk with your doctors about it
  • Confidently evaluate treatment options
  • Take charge of your treatment
  • Delay dialysis or even avoid the need for it altogether

The centerpiece of Coping with Kidney Disease is Dr. Walser’s revolutionary 12-step program for avoiding dialysis. Based on treatments he has pioneered with his own patients at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the program calls for a supplemented low-protein diet supported by treatments to control blood pressure and correct high cholesterol. So effective has this breakthrough strategy proven to be that in many patients it actually worked to slow or arrest the progression of kidney failure to the end stage.

Knowledge is power. Coping with Kidney Disease empowers you with what you need to take charge of kidney disease.

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Customer Reviews

This is a very informative book.
That being said it is very helpful and gives the unvarnished information about having kidney disease and how to possibly avoid dialysis.
K. Holland
I did not consistently stay with all of the advice in the book but I tried a lot and things that didn't work I did not continue to do.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

130 of 131 people found the following review helpful By Diane Smith on August 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
Coping with Kidney Disease is a really useful, well-written and organized helpful book when you are approaching dialysis or transplant. It is written for the layperson, however it is still very technical. Precise directions are given as to how one can go about arresting the downward progression of kidney disease once protein appears in the urine. Limiting protein to 22 grams each day and supplementing with essential amino acids accomplishes this. I have seen this working with one extremely well motivated individual. If it will also work before nephrotic syndrome develops, remains to be seen. The book corrects any acidosis instantly, by using sodium bicarbonate pills. With PKD, sodium bicarbonate oftentimes causes kidney stones to develop. If your doc will go along with using sodium citrate, this might be a better alternative alkalizer. There are several unique observations made by Dr. Walser - nausea and vomiting associations with anemia - leg cramps and itching when the body is too acid. He corrects anemia early so it does not lead to LVH left ventricular hypertrophy. I would add when taking iron tablets also take rose hips vitamin C for increased absorption. He clearly explains certain practices that make individuals worse with PKD as opposed to diabetic kidney disease. He goes over which medications including many OTC's which precipitate a decline in kidney functioning. Very interesting reading and it so far it seems to be working.
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84 of 84 people found the following review helpful By S. Calton on August 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
I have met many of the people who are featured as case histories in this book and their story is fantastic. Many have delayed dialysis from 5-12 years. They all had to struggle with their personal physician and with their local nephrologists, many of whom do not believe that people will change their diet to avoid dialysis. Dr. Walser maintained a lonely struggle in this country to get others nephrologists to push a strategy that had a 2.5% death rate (unrelated to the diet) vs. a 24% per year death rate for patients on dialysis.

This book presents a cheaper and far superior lifestyle as opposed to the costs of dialysis and ultimately transplantation (for those who are not too old). The real question, which Dr. Walser does not address in this book, is why aren't other physicians, especially primary care physicians, recommending this approach as a first line response for the ever increasing number of Americans with kidney disease? The strategy really does work.
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81 of 81 people found the following review helpful By M. K. Foley on October 9, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book, in my opinion, is a must for kidney patients. Well written and easy to understand, it gave me a much better understanding of CKD and what I need to do to live a longer and healthier life. Dialysis is not something I want to experience.

After being diagnosed with CKD 18 months ago (stage 3)I did a lot of research on diet, etc. and happened upon Dr. Walser's book. With the approval of my nephrologist, I started using the amino acid suppliments in place of most of my dietary protein. My GFR went from 45 to 75 in three months. Very heartening!

Most of the recipe books for CKD patients, in my opinion, offer a nutritionally deficient regimen and many seemed more like recipe books for developing diabetes. Being a person who likes whole foods, I decided to create my own diet regimen. I bought a copy of DietPro (a diet program that tracks food nutrition by weight) for my computer, a digital food scale, some Calwood Nutritionals amino acid powders and some of the other nutritional suppliments Dr Walser recommended. Since I'm still in the earlier stages of CKD, some days I still eat a small amount of animal protein with my evening meal, but limit it to under 4 ounces raw. I keep my potassium at 2000-3000 mg, phosphorus at 1500-1000 and sodium to under 1500 daily.

It wasn't easy at first, but I'm used to it now. It takes a bit of time to set up the menu plan initially, but after that I spend about 15 minutes a day on DietPro working out my daily menu. My nephrologist says I'm doing very well and says he wishes more of his patients took a more active interest in managing their CKD. My bun creatine levels have improved and my blood potassium levels have dropped to the normal range. The swelling in my ankles and hands is pretty much gone too.

Thank you Dr. Walser!!!!
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By MuffieNH on January 11, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Too bad some didn't read the book. The premise is you supplement the low protein diet with amino acids that the body can use in place of what protein supplies without the kidneys having to be overloaded. I personally have delayed dialysis for 3 years on a 40 gram protein diet, based in part on advice from this book, but I'm not using amino acids yet. I also saw a nutritionist. None of my doctors, from Tufts to Mayo, suggested this dietary change, and expected me to require a transplant or dialysis long before this. I credit a low protein diet for slowing my kidney failure, but see my doctors as regularly as they require.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By N. Azzu on March 27, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book then went to see the book reviews again, I agree with all positive comments and disagree with some negative ones. I found the tables of food protein content not very handy. Although tables classified food from low to high protein content and what is safe to eat and what is not, the amount of protein was given per 100 calories of that food not per a measured quantity, cup, table spoon..etc. which does not serve the ordinary reader much. Otherwise, I found the book extremely helpful and a must-read for every kidney patient. It explains in easy-to-understand language ALL the topics that can in a way or another affect your kidney. After reading the tons of tips, you'll end up with SOLID education about kidney function and disease. Remember, in a 10 minute visit, your doctor will not educate you about your kidney, he barely has time to give you few important tips, and here is where this book comes into play. EDUCATION IN MY OPENION IS AS IMPORTANT AS MEDICATIONS. I looked at the publications available in the market that deal with kidney disease and found this book a unique source of hundreds of tips to help you push dialysis or kidney transplant as far as possible. Thankfully, not only a doctor or a professor at a top university for decades, Dr. Walser has solid background in kidney disease, and for a $12 price, this book is Walser's contribution to kidney patients compared to other publications written by, what I like to call, human word-processors with no medical background selling for 6 times as much.
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