Kidney disease, also referred to as kidney failure, causes your kidneys to gradually lose their function. Your kidneys are two fist-sized organs located against your lower back muscles that perform the vital function of filtering waste material and fluid from your blood. The filtered material then exits your body in your urine. Advanced stages of kidney disease cause a dangerous buildup of fluid, electrolytes, and other wastes in your body.
The first step in treating kidney disease is preventing it from happening in the first place. To reduce your risk of kidney disease developing, follow these tips:
- Follow your doctor’s instructions regarding treatment for any other existing conditions. Your doctor should know the best treatment methods for other conditions or diseases without jeopardizing your kidneys unnecessarily.
- Don’t smoke or use tobacco products. Cigarettes and other tobacco products can cause your kidneys to deteriorate or make kidney disease worse.
- Maintain a healthy body weight by engaging in regular exercise and following a healthy diet.
- Do not overuse medications such as pain relievers or other drugs. Pain relievers or other medication can cause damage to your kidneys if overused.
Treatment of Underlying Causes of Kidney Damage
When kidney disease is diagnosed, treatment often involves first addressing the underlying cause. Common underlying causes for kidney damage include:
- Inflammation of the kidney’s glomeruli (filtering unit of the kidney) or kidney’s structure
- Blockage of the urinary tract, caused by prostate issues, some cancers, or kidney stones
- High blood pressure
- Kidney Infection
Treatment options for these causes will vary and you should follow your doctor’s recommendations.
Treating Kidney Disease Complications
If you are suffering from complications as a result of your kidney disease, treatment will also include addressing these complications. These complications and treatment can include:
- Medication to address or relieve high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and excessive swelling.
- Diet alterations, such as a low protein diet, to reduce the stress on your kidneys.
Treatment for Kidney Disease
Treatment for kidney disease generally falls into one of three categories, including:
- Medication: Medication is an effective treatment for kidney disease when kidney damage is not so severe that you need dialysis or a transplant. The medication prescribed aims to regulate the amount of phosphorus and potassium in your blood as those cause added stress on your kidneys. The reduced stress on your kidneys will promote healing.
- Dialysis: Dialysis is a procedure that involves a machine that performs the function of your kidneys. The machine artificially removes the excess waste, salt, and fluids that have been building up in your body. Dialysis can be performed at a hospital or with an at-home dialysis machine.
- Kidney Transplant: A kidney transplant is the last resort treatment option for kidney failures. As people have two kidneys, a matching live donor can provide one working kidney or a matching deceased donor can provide two kidneys. When you have a kidney transplant, you will be required to take medication for the remainder of your life to stop your body from rejecting the transplanted kidney.
Contact Durham Nephrology
If you have been diagnosed with kidney disease, call (919) 477–3005 to schedule an appointment with Durham Nephrology to discuss your treatment options.
Patients can be cared for at both our Durham and Oxford offices and we also staff a Kidney Clinic at Lincoln Community Health Center. We treat people with a variety of dialysis needs at six dialysis centers located throughout Durham and Granville counties where we provide medical direction. Our group also cares for hospitalized patients at both Durham Regional Hospital and Granville Medical Center.