Muscle And Joint Pains
If you have muscle or joint pain, it’s ideal to use topical preparations , which are rubbed on to the painful area. Avoid tablets containing ibuprofen or similar drugs such as diclofenac if your kidney function is below 50%. Ibuprofen gel or spray is safer than ibuprofen tablets, but it isnt completely risk-free as a small amount of the drug penetrates the skin into the bloodstream.
What Are The Risks Of A Ct Scan Of The Kidney
You may want to ask your healthcare provider about the amount of radiation used during the test. Also ask about the risks as they apply to you.
Consider writing down all X-rays you get, including past scans and X-rays for other health reasons. Show this list to your provider. The risks of radiation exposure may be tied to the number of X-rays you have and the X-ray treatments you have over time.
Tell your provider if:
- You are pregnant or think you may be. Radiation exposure during pregnancy may lead to birth defects.
- You are allergic to or sensitive to medicines, contrast dyes, local anesthesia, iodine, or latex
- You have kidney failure or other kidney problems. In some cases, the contrast dye can cause kidney failure. People with kidney disease are more likely to have kidney damage after having contrast dye.
- You take certain diabetes medicines. You may be at risk of developing metabolic acidosis. This is an unsafe change in blood pH.
You may have other risks that are unique to you. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider before the procedure.
Certain things can make a CT scan of the kidney less accurate. These include:
- Metal objects like surgical clips in your belly
- Barium in your intestines from a recent barium test
- Recent tests that used dye or other substances
What Do The Kidneys Do
The kidneys have several jobs. One of the most important is helping your body eliminate toxins. The kidneys filter your blood and send waste out of your body in urine.
The kidneys are bean-shaped organs about the size of your fist. They sit under your ribcage, toward your back. Most people have two working kidneys, but people can live well as long as at least one is working correctly.
When the kidneys dont work effectively, waste products build up in your body. If this happens, you might feel sick. In the most serious situations, kidney failure can be life-threatening. However, many people can manage kidney failure with the right treatment.
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What Happens During A Ct Scan Of The Kidney
You may have a CT scan as an outpatient or as part of your stay in a hospital.
The way the test is done may vary depending on your condition and your healthcare provider’s practices.
Generally, a CT scan of the kidney follows this process:
Correction Of Phosphate Balance
If you have stage four or five kidney disease, you can get a build-up of phosphate in your body because your kidneys cannot get rid of it. Phosphate is a mineral that, with calcium, makes up most of your bones. Phosphate is obtained through diet, mainly dairy foods. The kidneys usually filter out excess phosphate. If phosphate levels rise too much, it can upset the normal calcium balance of the body. This can lead to thinning of the bones and furring of the arteries.
You may be asked to limit the amount of phosphate in your diet. Foods high in phosphate include red meat, dairy produce, eggs and fish. Your GP or dietitian should be able to advise you about how much phosphate you can eat. However, there is no advantage in reducing your intake of these foods unless you have a raised phosphate level. Always ask a healthcare professional before changing your diet.
If reducing the amount of phosphate in your diet does not lower your phosphate level enough, you may be given medicines called phosphate binders. These medicines bind to the phosphate in the food inside your stomach and stop it from being absorbed into your body.
To work properly, phosphate binders must be taken just before meals. The most commonly used phosphate binder is calcium carbonate, but there are also alternatives that may be more suitable for you.
The side effects of phosphate binders are uncommon but include:
- itchy skin
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What Happens After Your Imaging Test
After most imaging tests, you can go home and resume normal activity. Some tests that involve catheters may cause minor discomfort. Tests that include medication, dyes, or sedatives occasionally trigger allergic reactions.
Tests that may cause discomfort include
- Tests involving a catheter in the urethra. You might feel some mild discomfort from an irritated urethra for a few hours after the procedure.
- Transrectal ultrasound. You might feel some discomfort from an irritated rectum.
If you have a catheterization, your health care professional may prescribe an antibiotic for 1 or 2 days to prevent an infection. If you have any signs of infection, including pain, chills, or fever, call your health care professional immediately.
Tests that may cause an allergic reaction include
- Tests involving contrast medium. If you have a rare sign of reaction, such as hives, itching, nausea, vomiting, headache, or dizziness, call your health care professional immediately.
- Tests involving sedatives. If you have a rare sign of reaction, such as changes in breathing and heart rate, call your health care professional immediately.
About Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease is a long-term condition where the kidneys do not work effectively.
CKD does not usually cause symptoms until it reaches an advanced stage. It is usually detected at earlier stages by blood and urine tests. Main symptoms of advanced kidney disease include:
- swollen ankles, feet or hands
- shortness of breath
Read more about the symptoms of chronic kidney disease
Chronic kidney disease is most frequently diagnosed through blood and urine tests.
If you are at a high risk of developing CKD, you may be screened annually. Screening may be recommended if you have:
Read more about diagnosing chronic kidney disease
What Is A Kidney Ultrasound
A kidney ultrasound is a noninvasive diagnostic exam that produces images, which are used to assess the size, shape, and location of the kidneys. Ultrasound may also be used to assess blood flow to the kidneys.
Ultrasound uses a transducer that sends out ultrasound waves at a frequency too high to be heard. The ultrasound transducer is placed on the skin, and the ultrasound waves move through the body to the organs and structures within. The sound waves bounce off the organs like an echo and return to the transducer. The transducer processes the reflected waves, which are then converted by a computer into an image of the organs or tissues being examined.
The sound waves travel at different speeds depending on the type of tissue encountered – fastest through bone tissue and slowest through air. The speed at which the sound waves are returned to the transducer, as well as how much of the sound wave returns, is translated by the transducer as different types of tissue.
An ultrasound gel is placed on the transducer and the skin to allow for smooth movement of the transducer over the skin and to eliminate air between the skin and the transducer for the best sound conduction.
Another type of ultrasound is Doppler ultrasound, sometimes called a duplex study, used to show the speed and direction of blood flow within the chest. Unlike a standard ultrasound, some sound waves during the Doppler exam are audible.
Coping With The Diagnosis
Being diagnosed with cancer can be very distressing. The news can be difficult to take in and make sense of.
Talking to your friends or family may help, although you might also find it useful to speak to a counsellor, a psychiatrist or other people in a similar situation to you.
Cancer UK has more information and advice on coping with kidney cancer.
Page last reviewed: 03 December 2019 Next review due: 03 December 2022
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Is There An At
There are home tests that allow you to collect blood or urine samples and drop them off at a lab or mail them in. Results are interpreted by a doctor and sent to you. These may be a good option for people who are unable to visit a doctors office or don’t have insurance to cover the tests. However, if youre able to make an appointment to see a doctor, consider that option first.
What Are The Risks Of A Kidney Ultrasound
There is no radiation used and generally no discomfort from the applicationof the ultrasound transducer to the skin.
There may be risks depending upon your specific medical condition. Be sureto discuss any concerns with your physician prior to the procedure.
Certain factors or conditions may interfere with the results of the test.These include, but are not limited to, the following:
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Can An Imaging Test Cause Kidney Damage
A test that uses a special dye, known as contrast medium, can cause kidney damage in people with certain conditions, such as impaired kidney function or diabetes. In most people, there is no damage or damage is minimal and temporary, healing on its own within a week or so. In rare cases, contrast medium can cause lasting kidney damage. Drinking plenty of fluids before and after a CT scan with radiocontrast will dilute the dyes and help your body remove them faster, reducing the risk of kidney injury.
Kidney damage or reduced kidney function is usually diagnosed by lab testing.
How Is A Renal Scan Used To Diagnose Kidney Failure
Normally, the two kidneys: A change in renal function typically begins gradually and without symptoms. In many cases, routine blood and urine tests, such as whats done on an annual physical, show the first signs of reduced kidney function. A renal scan can identify the cause of reduced kidney function.
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What Is The Urinary Tract
The kidneys filter wastes and fluids to produce urine. The urine travels from the kidneys down two narrow tubes called the ureters. The urine is then stored in a hollow, muscular, balloon-shaped organ called the bladder. When the bladder empties, urine flows out of the body through a tube called the urethra at the bottom of the bladder.
Reasons For The Procedure
A KUB X-ray may be performed to help diagnose the cause of abdominal pain,such as masses, perforations, or obstruction. A KUB X-ray may be taken toevaluate the urinary tract before other diagnostic procedures areperformed. Basic information regarding the size, shape, and position of thekidneys, ureters, and bladder may be obtained with a KUB X-ray. Thepresence of calcifications in the kidneys or ureters may be noted.
There may be other reasons for your doctor to recommend a KUB X-ray.
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Symptoms Of Chronic Kidney Disease
Most people with CKD have no symptoms because the body can tolerate even a large reduction in kidney function.
In other words, we are born with a lot more kidney function than is necessary for survival. Kidney function is often sufficient if only one kidney is working. That is why people can give a kidney to someone needing a kidney transplant.
A change in kidney function is usually discovered through a routine blood or urine test. If you are diagnosed with kidney disease, your kidney function will be monitored with regular blood and urine tests, and treatment aims to keep any symptoms to a minimum.
If the kidneys continue to lose function and there is progression towards kidney failure , this will usually be tracked by blood tests and monitoring. If kidney failure does occur, the symptoms may include:
- weight loss and poor appetite
- swollen ankles, feet or hands
- shortness of breath
- blood or protein in your urine
- an increased need to urinate, particularly at night
- erectile dysfunction in men
These are general symptoms and can be caused by many less serious conditions. Many of the symptoms above can be avoided if treatment begins at an early stage, before any symptoms appear.
If you are worried by any of the symptoms above, arrange to see your GP.
Want to know more?
- National Kidney Federation: Symptoms and Problems
What Does Imaging Mean
Imaging is a general term for techniques used to create pictures. In medicine, imaging produces pictures of bones, organs, and vessels inside the body. Imaging helps health care professionals see the cause of medical problems. Imaging techniques include
- hydronephrosis, or urine blockage, in newborns following suspicious or abnormal imaging during the pregnancy
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What Lifestyle Changes Can I Make
Chronic kidney disease will gradually get worse, but there is plenty you can do to slow the progression and improve your quality of life. Changes you should make include:
- stop smoking
- eat a healthy diet. That means eating a variety of vegetables, fruits, wholegrain cereals, lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, legumes and beans, and low-fat dairy products. Make sure you limit salt to less than 6g a day and limit your intake of saturated and trans fats. In the later stages of chronic kidney disease, you may need to follow specific instructions from your doctor on what you can eat or drink
- maintaining a healthy weight. If you have chronic kidney disease, you should ideally have a BMI of 25 or less
- limit alcohol to less than 2 standard drinks a day
- be physically active on most, preferably all, days of the week. Aim for 150 to 300 minutes of moderate or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous physical activity each week, and make sure you do some muscle strengthening exercises
- take medicines to treat high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol or other underlying conditions
If you are being treated for chronic kidney disease, your doctors may need to change other medicines you are on, since many medicines can affect the kidneys, such as blood pressure drugs and anti-inflammatories. Some medicines which leave the body through the kidneys may need to have their dose adjusted.
Preventing Chronic Kidney Disease
The main way to reduce the chances of CKD developing is to ensure any existing conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, are carefully managed.
Some lifestyle changes can also reduce the risk of CKD developing, these include:
- having a healthy diet
- avoiding drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
- exercising regularly
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Choices If You Have Established Renal Failure
If you have established renal failure , you will need to decide whether to have treatment with dialysis or a kidney transplant. You may decide to have neither treatment and to have supportive care. These choices should be made with your healthcare team.
For people who want active treatment for their ERF, a transplant would be the best option. However, a transplant is only suitable for about half of all people with ERF. This is because they may have had recent cancer or are not physically fit.
Many people who have slowly progressive kidney failure and other serious health problems, and who are usually older, may choose to avoid dialysis. Supportive care can still allow you to live for some time with a good quality of life.
What Causes Kidney Failure
When the kidneys lose function suddenly , its called acute kidney failure . This type of kidney failure is often temporary. Common causes of acute kidney failure can include:
- Autoimmune kidney diseases
- A urinary tract obstruction
- Uncontrolled systemic disease like heart or liver disease
Kidney failure usually doesnt happen overnight. Chronic kidney disease refers to a group of health conditions that affect how well your kidneys function over time. If left untreated, chronic kidney disease can lead to kidney failure.
The biggest causes of kidney failure from chronic kidney disease are:
- Diabetes: Unmanaged diabetes can lead to uncontrolled blood sugar levels. Consistently high blood sugar can damage the bodys organs, including the kidneys.
- High blood pressure: High blood pressure means blood travels through your bodys blood vessels with increased force. Over time, untreated high blood pressure levels can damage the kidneys tissue.
Other causes of chronic kidney disease include:
- Polycystic kidney disease, a hereditary condition where cysts grow inside your kidneys.
- Glomerular diseases, such as glomerulonephritis, which affect how well the kidneys can filter waste.
- Lupus and other autoimmune diseases that can affect multiple body systems.
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