Managing PH1 takes a team

Primary hyperoxaluria type 1 (PH1) requires lifelong management and monitoring. A well-coordinated care team may help you approach the different aspects that managing PH1 can involve.

Since PH1 is a personal experience and affects everyone differently, you and your care team will work together to create a personalized plan. The makeup of your care team may include the healthcare providers listed below.

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Your care team in your corner:

Some of the specialists you may meet in your journey with primary hyperoxaluria type 1 (PH1)


Kidney specialist

A nephrologist specializes in diseases like PH1 that affect the kidneys, and may have a special focus in either children or adults. You and your nephrologist will create a personalized management plan based on how your PH1 is progressing.

Along the way, other specialists may play a part in managing your PH1.


A surgeon who specializes in disorders of the urinary tract. For some people with PH1, their urologist may treat only their kidney stones and refer them to a nephrologist to help manage PH1 as a whole.

Though some kidney stones may require medical attention, there is a lot more to managing PH1 beyond removing stones when you have them.

Genetic Counselor

A specialist who can answer questions you might have about genetic testing and interpret your results. Genetic counselors also help those who may be at risk for or be affected by PH1 understand the risks and make decisions, including whether other family members should consider being tested.

Dialysis Nurse

A nurse who is specially trained to assist and monitor a person undergoing dialysis. Dialysis nurses work in hospitals or in separate dialysis centers.  Healthcare providers at dialysis centers may not be familiar with PH1 since they are primarily responsible for conducting the dialysis process, not for treating diseases that create the need for dialysis. You can play an important role in educating others by memorizing a 1-2 sentence description of PH1. Here are some examples:

  • PH1 is a condition where the liver makes too much oxalate, which can damage the kidneys over time.
  • PH1 mostly affects the kidneys, and the most common symptom is kidney stone formation. But PH1 actually starts in the liver, where an overproduction of oxalate occurs.

Transplant Team

A transplant team can include transplant surgeons, transplant nephrologists, and other physicians who provide medical support during follow-up.

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As you work with your care team, friends and family may also be able to provide invaluable emotional and practical support.

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Management of PH1

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Your healthcare provider may consider these management options for your PH1:

Certain medications or supplements:

Your doctor may prescribe medications or recommend supplements to help reduce formation of oxalate crystals or reduce the amount of oxalate that your body is producing.


Staying hydrated:

Your doctor may recommend adequate hydration to help dilute oxalate in the urine.


Dialysis may be needed to remove oxalate and other waste products from the blood.

Developing a management plan with your doctors and closely following this regimen is important to staying as healthy as possible. Patients with PH1 should always talk to their doctor before making changes to their disease management plan.

PH1 perspectives: understanding progression

Primary Hyperoxaluria Type 1 Patient's Disease Progression Video
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Thinking ahead: when management is no longer enough

Oxalate overproduction can cause permanent damage and transplant surgery may eventually be necessary if your body reaches a certain point of advanced disease progression. Liver transplant can correct the metabolic defect in the liver and resolve oxalate overproduction. 

Patients may need a liver and kidney transplant to stop the overproduction of oxalate and replace the damaged kidney. 

Since overproduction of the oxalate is due to a metabolic defect in the liver, and PH1 primarily causes damage to the kidneys, both the liver and the kidneys may need to be replaced, either at the same time or during separate surgeries.

Transplant surgeries are major surgeries that require preparation, long-term follow-up, and lifelong medications. Your doctor can help you understand if transplant surgery is a treatment option for you.

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What is living with PH1 like?

Living with PH1 is more than just a management plan. Discover ideas on how you can make your care team's management plan part of your life.

Living with PH1
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