The key to reversing kidney damage is early detection. If it is caught early enough, the underlying issue can be treated and your kidneys can begin to heal themselves. Treatment for kidney damage will likely involve changes to your lifestyle and possibly medical procedures.
What are the Symptoms of Kidney Failure?
When your kidneys begin to fail, there are often little to no outward symptoms. Often, your doctor will find that you have early stages of kidney failure during laboratory tests or examinations for some other health condition.
If you do experience symptoms, however, they may include:
- Less urine than normal
- Water weight accumulation causing your legs, feet, and ankles to swell
- Joint pain
- Feeling like you’re going to vomit
- Twitching muscles
- Pain in the stomach or back
What Causes Kidney Failure?
The three main causes of kidney failure include:
- Direct damage that has occurred to your kidneys such as blood clots, certain medications, or an infection.
- Blood flow to the kidneys has stopped or reduced.
- Urine is blocked from leaving your kidneys due to a condition.
How is Kidney Failure Diagnosed?
Confirming kidney failure usually involves both blood and urine tests. Blood tests will measure for creatinine and urea nitrogen, which are waste products in your blood that will show how your kidneys are performing. Urine tests will check for blood, protein, and certain electrolytes that may indicate why your kidneys are failing.
How is Kidney Failure and Kidney Damage Treated?
If the initial problem that caused kidney failure is resolved and your kidneys are not severely damaged, they may begin to heal themselves. Otherwise, kidney failure is usually treated with changes to your diet, medications, and possibly dialysis or kidney transplants depending on the stage of kidney disease and rate of progression.
Your doctor will develop a diet plan for you that you should adhere to as much as possible. This diet plan will likely involve limiting salt and potassium as those put stress on your kidneys.
Usually, doctors will prescribe medication that helps to regulate the amount of potassium and phosphorus in your blood. These medications are not intended to help heal your kidneys. Instead, they help your body deal with the potassium and phosphorus that your kidneys have been failing to remove from your blood.
Contact Durham Nephrology
If you have further questions about how to keep your kidneys healthy, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today. The care team at Durham Nephrology has been caring for patients with kidney diseases and high blood pressure for more than 30 years. We have two convenient locations in Durham and Oxford, North Carolina. To schedule an appointment, call (919) 477-3005. We look forward to hearing from you!