Treating Chronic Kidney Disease
There is no cure for chronic kidney disease, although treatment can slow or halt the progression of the disease and can prevent other serious conditions developing.
People with CKD are known to have an increased risk of a heart attack because of changes that occur to the circulation.
In;a;minority of people, CKD may cause kidney failure, also known as established renal failure or end-stage kidney disease. In this situation, the usual functions of the kidney stop working.
To survive, people with ERF may need to have artificial kidney treatment, called dialysis, or a kidney transplant.
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What Do The Kidneys Do
When blood flows to the kidney, sensors within specialized kidney cells regulate how much water to excrete as urine, along with what concentration of electrolytes. For example, if a person is dehydrated from exercise or from an illness, the kidneys will hold onto as much water as possible and the urine becomes very concentrated. When adequate water is present in the body, the urine is much more dilute, and the urine becomes clear. This system is controlled by renin, a hormone produced in the kidney that is part of the fluid and blood pressure regulation systems of the body.
Kidneys are also the source of erythropoietin in the body, a hormone that stimulates the bone marrow to make red blood cells. Special cells in the kidney monitor the oxygen concentration in blood. If oxygen levels fall, erythropoietin levels rise and the body starts to manufacture more red blood cells.
Urine that is made by each kidney flows through the ureter, a tube that connects the kidney to the bladder. Urine is stored within the bladder, and when urination occurs, the bladder empties urine through a tube called the urethra.
Ok So How Do I Make Sure I Never Get A Uti Or A Kidney Infection
As they say, prevention is the best cure! And there are many things you can do to ensure that youre reducing your risk for an infection, and preventing build up from occurring in the kidneys.;
Practice good hygiene. Always wipe from front to back, keep your genital area clean, wash before and after sex. Basically, do your best to keep bacteria from even having a chance of getting into the urinary system in the first place.
Drink lots of water. If youre dehydrated, youre not only increasing your chance of a UTI, but youre also decreasing your urine output, meaning that more minerals have a chance to build up and settle in the urinary tract or kidneys.
Make sure to urinate whenever you feel you have to go. Dont hold it in. This concentrates the urine allowing bacteria to build up and spread.
Alter your diet if you find youre prone to kidney stones. Cut down on certain meats and shellfish and opting instead for more vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Avoid consuming too much sugar. Cut back on sodium, and eat more oxalate-rich foods .
And if you do start experiencing any of the symptoms above, be sure to see a doctor right away. UTIs, kidney infections, and kidney stones can usually be treated fairly easily, but its important to seek medical attention before any complications develop.
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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.
What Is The Prognosis And Life Expectancy For Kidney Failure Can It Be Prevented
The outlook for kidney failure depends upon the underlying condition that caused it. Kidney function may return to normal, especially if it is due to an acute obstruction and that obstruction is relieved. Other causes of decreased kidney function leading to kidney failure are due to underlying disease and occur slowly over time.
Prevention is the best chance to maintain kidney function, and controlling high blood pressure and diabetes over a lifetime can decrease the potential for progressive kidney damage. Chronic kidney failure may be managed to help monitor electrolyte and waste product levels in the bloodstream. Major abnormalities can be life-threatening, and treatment options may be limited to dialysis or transplant.
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How Low Is Low
A healthy kidney filters wastes from the blood at a rate of 90 milliliters per minute or more. This is known as the glomerular filtration rate, or GFR. With time, many men’s kidneys start to slip, but function must decline quite a lot before you start to really feel the impact. You feel fine up to the point that kidney function is almost gone, which means you can lead a normal life with reduced kidney function.
On the other hand, lack of early warning from symptoms can deny you the chance to slow the slide. Most people don’t start feeling really ill until kidney function is under 10%.
Getting A Medical Diagnosis
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Signs And Symptoms Of Kidney Infections
The symptoms of kidney infections depend on age, but in general, it starts with symptoms of a lower urinary tract infection, such as discomfort when urinating and frequent urination. Then, once the infection reaches the kidneys, there will be more serious symptoms, such as:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Painful and frequent urination: The infection can cause irritation and swelling in the urinary tract which makes urination painful and makes you think you need to urinate more.
- Blood in urine: Red blood cells in your urine might only be seen when checked under a microscope, but in some cases, the urine is visibly pink, red, or brown. This means that the filters in the kidneys or other parts of the urinary tract are allowing blood to leak into the urine.
Young children under two may only have a high fever without any other symptoms. People above the age of 65 may not have typical symptoms but may seem confused, have muddled speech, or hallucinate.
If left untreated, kidney infections can result in serious complications. Kidney failure can result from the infection. A kidney infection can also cause , an adverse reaction to infection in your bloodstream, which can lead to organ failure and death.
How Is A Kidney Infection Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, do a physical exam, and likely run some diagnostic tests. Those include a urinalysis, to check your pee under a microscope for bacteria and white blood cells, which your body makes to fight infection, and a urine culture to help find out what kind of bacteria is causing the infection, the NIDDK says. Your doctor may even take a blood sample to check for bacteria or other organisms in your blood, the Mayo Clinic says.
Other tests that might come up include an ultrasound, a CT scan, or a form of X-ray called a voiding cystourethrogram, which involves injecting a contrast dye to take X-rays of your bladder when its full and while youre peeing, per the Mayo Clinic.
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Diabetes And Kidney Failure
Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure. Uncontrolled high blood sugar can damage kidneys. The damage can become worse over time.
Diabetic nephropathy, or kidney damage caused by type 1 or type 2 diabetes, cant be reversed. Managing blood sugar and blood pressure can help reduce damage. Taking medicines prescribed by your doctor is important, too.
If you have diabetes, your doctor will likely perform regular screenings to monitor for kidney failure.
How To Prevent A Kidney Infection
Preventing a kidney infection is really all about preventing urinary tract infections and getting prompt treatment if you ever get one. Sorry, but dont rely on cranberry juice or supplements for thisthe science is far too mixed to consider either of these a definitive UTI-prevention method. Instead, whenever you feel a bladder infection coming on, make it a habit to drink enough water every day to stay hydrated. That will ensure youre peeing often enough to help flush out bacteria that could lead to an infection. The NIDDK recommends peeing as often as you get the urge, but definitely at least every three to four hours, since urine hanging out in your bladder for too long may help bacteria to grow, the organization says.
Kaufman also stresses the importance of urinating like a fire hose after sex. It might even be helpful to skip peeing before sex as long as that doesnt make you uncomfortable, he says. This allows you to build up a forceful stream that may better help remove any bacteria that might have been pushed up there during sex.
Also, we referenced this above, but its important to reiterate: After you pee , you should be sure to wipe from front to back, as wiping back to front can spread harmful bacteria from your rectum to your urethra, where it can cause an infection.
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What Is Chronic Kidney Disease
In this section:
Chronic kidney disease means your kidneys are damaged and cant filter blood the way they should. The disease is called chronic because the damage to your kidneys happens slowly over a long period of time. This damage can cause wastes to build up in your body. CKD can also cause other health problems.
The kidneys main job is to filter extra water and wastes out of your blood to make urine. To keep your body working properly, the kidneys balance the salts and mineralssuch as calcium, phosphorus, sodium, and potassiumthat circulate in the blood. Your kidneys also make hormones that help control blood pressure, make red blood cells, and keep your bones strong.
Kidney disease often can get worse over time and may lead to kidney failure. If your kidneys fail, you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant to maintain your health.
The sooner you know you have kidney disease, the sooner you can make changes to protect your kidneys.
Urine Tests For Kidney Disease
Damaged or inflamed kidneys leak substances such as blood or protein into the urine. The preferred test for detecting protein in the urine is a urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio test, which shows the amount of albumin in the urine.;
A urine ACR test should be done at least once a year if the person has diabetes or high blood pressure, and every two years if the person has any of the other identified risk factors for developing chronic kidney disease.
A urine ACR test is performed by sending a sample of your urine to a laboratory for analysis.;
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Get To Know The Signs Of Kidney Failure
Sohow do you turn up the volume on this silent killer? Dr. Calle says to payattention to these five signs of kidney failure:
But heres the problem : These symptoms seem to appear with no rhyme or reason. You could have all the symptoms at the same time or intermittently, or you may have one but not the others, Dr. Calle explains. It can feel like playing symptom Russian roulette.
Toplay it safe, see your doctor even if just one of these symptoms makes anappearance.
What You Should Know About Chronic Kidney Disease
Work with your health care team on a treatment plan thats right for you.
Kidneys that function properly are important for maintaining good health. More than 1 in 7 American adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease , which affects how well kidneys function. Find out what you should know if you are diagnosed with CKD.
Your kidneys work hard. Every 30 minutes, they filter all your blood to remove wastes, poisons, and excess fluid from your body. Kidneys also help control blood pressure and produce several vital hormones. Kidneys that function properly are important for maintaining good health.
CKD refers to the loss of kidney function over time. This means that the kidneys are not able to filter fluids as well as they should. The excess fluid and waste that arent filtered remain in the body. This may cause other health problems, including heart disease and stroke.
The two main causes of CKD are diabetes and high blood pressure. About 1 in 3 adults with diabetes and 1 in 5 adults with high blood pressure have CKD.
People may not feel sick or notice any symptoms until CKD is advanced. The only way people find out if they have CKD is through simple blood and urine tests. The blood test checks for creatinine in the blood to see how well the kidneys work. The urine test checks for protein in the urine .
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Inability To Eat Meat And Dairy
Interestingly enough, advanced kidney disease can make protein-rich foods like meat and dairy taste absolutely terrible. According to the Kidney & Urology Foundation of America, that’s because these foods break down into nitrogen and creatinine, waste products that unhealthy kidneys are unable to filter out of the bloodstream.
Treatment For Kidney Failure Transplant Or Dialysis
Many people with kidney failure can continue with treatment using medicines and will have good-functioning kidneys for the rest of their lives.
In a few people, kidney disease will progress to the stage where the kidneys;stop working and it becomes life threatening. This is called kidney failure or established renal failure .
This rarely;happens suddenly, and there will be time to plan the next stage of your condition. The decision whether to have dialysis, a kidney transplant or supportive treatment should be discussed with your healthcare team.
Read more about dialysis;and;kidney transplants.
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Symptoms Of Kidney Disease
Kidney disease is called a silent disease as there are often few or no symptoms. In fact, you can lose up to 90 per cent of your kidneys functionality before experiencing any symptoms. Some signs and symptoms include:
- a change in the frequency and quantity of urine you pass, especially at night
- blood in your urine
- changes in the appearance of your urine
- puffiness around your legs and ankles
- pain in your back
- pain or burning when you pass urine
- high blood pressure.
If your kidneys begin to fail, waste products and extra fluid build up in your blood. This, and other problems, gradually leads to:
- tiredness and inability to concentrate;
- generally feeling unwell
- bad breath and a metallic taste in the mouth.