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How To Take Care Of Kidney Failure

Manage Diabetes High Blood Pressure And Heart Disease

How To Take Care Of Your Kidneys

If you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease, the best way to protect your kidneys from damage is to

Keep blood glucose numbers close to your goal. Checking your blood glucose, or blood sugar, level is an important way to manage your diabetes. Your health care team may want you to test your blood glucose one or more times a day.

Keep your blood pressure numbers close to your goal. The blood pressure goal for most people with diabetes is below 140/90 mm Hg. Read more about high blood pressure.

Take all your medicines as prescribed. Talk with your health care provider about certain blood pressure medicines, called ACE inhibitors and ARBs, which may protect your kidneys. The names of these medicines end in pril or sartan.

Be careful about the daily use of over-the-counter pain medications. Regular use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen and naproxen, can damage your kidneys. Learn more about over-the-counter medicines and your kidneys.

To help prevent heart attacks and stroke, keep your cholesterol levels in the target range. There are two kinds of cholesterol in your blood: LDL and HDL. LDL or bad cholesterol can build up and clog your blood vessels, which can cause a heart attack or stroke. HDL or good cholesterol helps remove the bad cholesterol from your blood vessels. A cholesterol test also may measure another type of blood fat called triglycerides.

What Is The Best Treatment For Me

You should consider many things when choosing a treatment for kidney failure, including your lifestyle, your age, any other health problems you may have, and whether you have a friend or relative to help you. Your decision should be based on more than your medical history and your doctor’s opinion. It should also be based on what you and your family wants. Learning about your treatment choices will help you decide which one is best for you.

Control Your Cholesterol Levels

According to a study published in Clinical Nephrology, a relationship has been found between high levels of LDL cholesterol the bad one and proteinuria, which is an excess of protein in the urine. This symptom is usually an indicator of chronic kidney disease.

People who have problems with high cholesterol are more likely to have kidney issues.;In view of this, its important not to overload the kidney with fatty foods.

Trans fats are abundant in foods such as junk food, candy, and other refined products. Its preferable to avoid them or at least reduce their consumption.

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What Happens If My Kidneys Fail

Without treatment, you couldn’t live if your kidneys weren’t filtering harmful waste and excess water from your body. So thank goodness for science!

More than 40,000 people in the UK live with kidney failure. Some have had a kidney transplant, but more than half have regular dialysis. There are two main kinds of dialysis – in the most common kind, haemodialysis, you spend about three four-hour sessions a week ‘hooked up’ to a machine that filters all the toxins from your body. Many people live for years on this regular treatment. Having a kidney replacement removes the need for dialysis but involves taking regular medicines to stop your body rejecting your kidney.

For Patients Speaking To Families

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Education is key. To begin the conversation about hospice with your family, we offer this helpful resource for you to download, read and share: “Considering Hospice: A Discussion Guide for Families” at

Determine what your loved ones know. Before bringing up hospice, make sure your loved ones have a clear understanding of your health status. People handle difficult information in different ways. If family members do not accept or understand your prognosis, you might want to have your physician, clergy or a trusted friend speak with them on your behalf.

Discuss your goals for the future, as well as theirs. As a patient, your greatest concern might be to live without pain, stay at home or not be a burden. Ask your loved ones what their concerns are when they consider the coming days, weeks and months. Explain that hospice is not giving up. It is an active choice to ensure that everyones needs are met.

Take initiative. Remember, its up to you to express your wishes. Sometimes, out of concern for your feelings, your family or loved ones might be reluctant to raise the issue of hospice care for you. Here’s why it’s so important to talk about end-of-life care.

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Take Fish Oil To Make Dialysis Work Better

A;study published in June 2013 in;Kidney International;reported that omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in fish oil, may protect dialysis patients from;sudden cardiac death. The researchers looked at blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids in 400 dialysis patients, 100 of whom died within their first year of treatment. The risk of sudden cardiac death is highest during the first year of dialysis.

The researchers observed in their paper that, during the first year of beginning;hemodialysis, those participants who had higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids which are found in fatty fish, like salmon and tuna, as well as flaxseed and walnuts had a lower risk of sudden cardiac death. The study may offer clues for new treatments against sudden cardiac death in people with kidney disease who are undergoing dialysis.

Being Kind To Your Kidneys

There are lots of ways you can look after your kidneys. Avoiding smoking, keeping your weight to healthy levels and exercising regularly will all protect them. So will reducing your intake of salt, including processed foods which are often high in hidden salt.

Some medicines can damage your kidneys. Others are filtered out of the body by your kidneys. This means if you have CKD, the levels might build up to dangerous levels. Your doctor will keep an eye on your tablets and may drop the dose or change some tablets if your kidney function drops. Most people don’t come to harm with anti-inflammatory drugs like naproxen and ibuprofen, but in some people they’re toxic to the kidneys. If you’ve been taking anti-inflammatory drugs for some time and your doctor suggests you should stop them, this may be why.

Keeping hydrated is also key. As a rule of thumb, healthy urine should be a pale straw colour. If it’s much darker, you may be dehydrated. Being thirsty and a dry mouth are early warning signs to drink more. You can also suffer headaches, tiredness, dizziness and difficulty in concentrating. Older people may not feel as thirsty if they’re dehydrated – so it’s extra important to look out for warning signs.

If the weather’s hot, or you’re exercising or feverish, you’ll need more. If you have a tummy bug, you also need to replace all the fluid you’re losing from diarrhoea and vomiting, on top of these six to eight glasses.

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What If I Was Born With Only One Working Kidney

In general, most people with a single, healthy kidney have few problems. However, some long term problems have been seen in some people.

In some people who were born with a single kidney, or had a kidney removed during childhood, there is a chance of some slight loss in kidney function later in life. This usually takes 25 years or more to happen. There may also be a chance of having high blood pressure later in life. However, the loss in kidney function is usually very mild, and life span is normal. Most people with one kidney live healthy, normal lives with few problems.

In other words, one healthy kidney can work as well as two.

Causes And Symptoms Of Chronic Kidney Failure

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Chronic kidney failure occurs when both kidneys stop working properly. According to the National Kidney Foundation, having kidney failure means the loss of 85 to 90 percent of your kidney function. The foundation also estimates that 1 in 3 Americans are at risk for chronic kidney failure, also called chronic kidney disease.

The kidneys, located on either side of the spine, filter wastes and excess fluids from the blood and excretes them into the urine. Besides filtering wastes, the kidneys also regulate blood pressure.

When the kidneys stop functioning properly, the fluids and wastes that build up in the body can place a person at risk for kidney failure.

The National Kidney Foundation reports that diabetes and high blood pressure are common causes of kidney failure. Both health conditions are treated with medications. And, when used regularly on a long-term basis, prescription medications, such as diuretics to treat high blood pressure, can damage kidney cells. Over-the-counter medications, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, can also cause kidneys to malfunction when taken routinely over time.

People suffering from kidney failure exhibit such signs or symptoms as:

  • Swollen ankles and feet due to fluid retention
  • Chest pain due to fluid build-up around the heart
  • Lack of energy and weakness
  • Weak immune system

There is no cure for chronic kidney failure. In some cases, people in the advanced stage of kidney failure turn to in-home caregivers for support.

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Questions To Ask Your Doctor Now

  • What causes stage 1 kidney disease? Conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes are the most common causes of CKD. Certain hereditary, health, and lifestyle factors can also increase your risk of kidney disease.
  • What is my GFR? Your estimated glomerular filtration rate is a measurement of how well your kidneys function to filter waste, toxins, and excess fluid from your body, and also determines your stage of kidney disease. Your doctor will calculate your eGFR using a creatinine blood test, your age, gender, muscle mass, and ethnicity.
  • What steps can I take to improve my overall health? Living a healthier lifestyle by quitting smoking, getting plenty of exercise, eating well, and maintaining a healthy weight can go a long way toward slowing the progression of CKD.

Do Not Smoke Or Drink Too Much Alcohol

Try to;stop smoking completely and limit the amount of alcohol you drink.

Both men and women are advised not to drink more than 14;units of alcohol a week on a regular basis.

Drinking too much alcohol;and smoking;both raise your blood pressure. High blood pressure is one of the most common causes of kidney disease.

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Ask Your Health Care Provider Questions

Ask your health care provider the following key questions about your kidney health during your next medical visit. The sooner you know you have kidney disease, the sooner you can get treatment to help protect your kidneys.

Key questions for your health care provider:

  • What is my glomerular filtration rate ?
  • What is my urine albumin result?
  • What is my blood pressure?
  • What is my blood glucose ?
  • How often should I get my kidneys checked?

Other important questions:

  • What should I do to keep my kidneys healthy?
  • Do I need to be taking different medicines?
  • Should I be more physically active?
  • What kind of physical activity can I do?
  • What can I eat?

Can A Person With One Kidney Participate In Sports

Improving Kidney Disease Care

Physical exercise is healthy and good for you. However, it’s important for someone with only one kidney to be careful and protect it from injury. This recommendation applies to anyone with a single kidney, including people who were born with one kidney and people with a kidney transplant. Some doctors think it is best to avoid contact sports like football, boxing, hockey, soccer, martial arts, or wrestling.

Wearing protective gear such as padded vests under clothing can help protect the kidney from injury during sports. This can help lessen the risk, but it won’t take away the risk. Talk to your healthcare provider if you want to join in contact sports. You should always think about the risks involved in any activity, and carefully consider whether the risks outweigh the benefits.

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S To Take At Stage 1 Kidney Disease

  • See your doctor regularlyget medical attention for any unusual or unexplained health symptoms.;
  • Know your GFRask your doctor for a blood test to calculate your estimated glomerular filtration rate , so you can monitor your kidney health.
  • Treat underlying health conditionstalk to your doctor about high blood pressure, diabetes, or other health conditions that can contribute to kidney disease.
  • Make healthy lifestyle choicesquit smoking, exercise regularly, eat well , reduce stress, and get enough sleep.
  • Take all medications as prescribedand talk to your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medications.

What Can I Do To Keep My Kidneys Healthy

You can protect your kidneys bypreventing or managing health conditions that cause kidney damage, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. The steps described below may help keep your whole body healthy, including your kidneys.

During your next medical visit, you may want to ask your health care provider about your kidney health. Early kidney disease may not have any symptoms, so getting tested may be the only way to know your kidneys are healthy. Your health care provider will help decide how often you should be tested.

See a provider right away if you develop a urinary tract infection , which can cause kidney damage if left untreated.

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What Is Glomerulonephritis

The glomerulus is the basic filtering unit of the kidney. The glomerulus contains several tiny filters known as glomeruli. Glomerulonephritis occurs when the glomeruli become scarred, damaged, and inflamed and can no longer filter your blood effectively.1; Glomerulonephritis may present itself suddenly or slowly over time.

  • Acute glomerulonephritis: happens suddenly, often after a skin or throat infection
  • Chronic glomerulonephritis: develops slowly over time, often without symptoms1

Symptoms Of Kidney Disease

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In the early stages of kidney disease, people can have no symptoms. In fact, some people have no symptoms until over 90 per cent of their kidney function has gone. This is unfortunate because early detection of kidney disease and treatment is the key to preventing kidney failure.;

Symptoms of kidney disease can include:

  • tiredness
  • bad breath an
  • a metallic taste in the mouth.

These symptoms can be caused by other conditions, but if you are in a high-risk group for kidney disease, speak with your doctor.

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What Can Hospice Do For The Family Of A Patient With Kidney Failure

Family members may have to make difficult healthcare and financial decisions, act as caregivers and provide emotional support to others. If the decision is made to stop medical support or dialysis, families experience strong emotions and feel overwhelmed.

Hospice helps families of patients with kidney failure by providing:

Reduce Your Salt Intake

Salt, especially refined salt, is one of your kidneys biggest enemies. The problem lies in consuming excess salt since it can cause hypertension, as detailed in an investigation published in Archivos de Cardiología de México.

Therefore, its recommended to eat with a little salt and avoid foods that contain it in large amounts, such as french fries and other similar snacks.

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What Are The Signs Of Ckd

In most cases CKD is a progressive disease. Initially, clinical signs are often very subtle and mild, but will gradually get worse over a long period of time. More rarely, signs may appear to develop quite suddenly .

Many of the signs are vague and non-specific some arise from the accumulation of toxins in the blood while others may arise as complications from the body trying to adapt to the disease. The most common signs are:

  • Weight loss

Eat Fruits And Vegetables For Healthy Kidneys

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In a study published in March 2013 in the;Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology,;researchers noted that including more fruits and vegetables in your diet can minimize your risk for kidney injury and metabolic acidosis, a condition in which the body produces too much acid, cant excrete enough acid, or cant balance acid. An overabundance of acid can cause potentially dangerous symptoms, like rapid breathing, fatigue, confusion, and in extreme cases even shock or death. Fruits and veggies help the kidneys remove excess acid from the body and excrete it in urine.

Adding more fruits and vegetables has specifically helped patients with;chronic kidney disease, who are most susceptible to metabolic acidosis. These patients are usually treated with bicarbonate and other alkali;supplements. But in this study, the doctors at Texas A&M University College of Medicine in Temple, Texas, wanted to see the effect of simply eating more fruits and vegetables both of which are good, natural sources of alkali.

The researchers randomly treated 71 stage 4 chronic kidney disease patients with either a diet including fruits and vegetables or an oral alkaline medicine. Both groups showed similar kidney function, decreased rates of metabolic acidosis, and lowered rates of kidney injury. The researchers argued in their paper that these interventions may help improve kidney health in people diagnosed with kidney disease.

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Can I Keep Working With Kidney Failure

Many people with kidney failure continue to work. KidneyWorks is a program to help people with kidney disease keep working. The program focuses on Americans with CKD whose kidneys have not yet failed or who are living with a transplant. If you are on dialysis, the information in the KidneyWorks paper may also provide tips to help you keep your job.

The Americans with Disabilities Act means that an employer cant legally fire you just because youre on dialysis or have had a kidney transplant. The law requires an employer to make reasonable changes to the workplace for a person with a disability. For example, your employer may give you lighter physical jobs or schedule your work hours around your dialysis sessions. If youre on peritoneal dialysis, youll need space and time to change the dialysis solution in the middle of the work day. Most employers can make these adjustments.

If your employer isnt willing to meet your needs, your dialysis clinics renal social worker may be able to help find a way to satisfy both you and your employer.


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