Treatment for Chronic Kidney Disease

A patient that has signs and symptoms of kidney disease may have to have specific test and procedures run for confirmation of the diagnosis. These may include but not be limited to twenty-four-hour urine output, urinalysis, bun and creatine levels, kidney ultrasound, and kidney biopsies. All of these tests will give your primary care physician the data that will allow him to make an educated diagnosis. CKD is the abbreviation for chronic kidney disease.

CKD treatment initially requires a hospital stay. Mainly patients with acute kidney failure are usually already inpatients. The time spent in the hospital varies depending on the cause of chronic kidney disease and the effectiveness of the treatments being administered. Another factor is how quickly the kidneys recover. In select cases, some patients are able to make a complete recovery in their homes. The main factor in the successful treatment of chronic kidney failure is for the physician to determine the cause of what injured the damaged the kidneys. This can be from either a chronic illness or an injury. The treatment options are chosen after it is determined what has caused chronic kidney disease. Preventing complications while the kidneys are healing is very important also. The most common treatment is a change in lifestyle.

If the kidney disease is caused by a fluid deficiency in the blood the doctor may prescribe intravenous fluids. If CKD is from too much fluid in the blood causing edema in a patients extremities the doctor will prescribe medications like diuretics to make the body expel the excess fluid. Maintaining the proper balance of fluid in the bloodstream is key to healthy kidney function. If a patient’s kidneys are not filtering potassium from the blood, calcium, glucose or polystyrene may be required to assist with returning potassium to normal levels. Elevated potassium can affect the heart and muscles as well as the kidneys. Calcium levels must remain stable also while in kidney failure is a priority also. Some patients require an infusion of calcium while in kidney failure. Dialysis is used to filter toxins from the blood when the patient has chronic or end-stage kidney failure. Dialysis also assists in maintaining potassium and calcium levels in the blood. It also removes excess fluid from the bloodstream. Physicians usually try to exhaust all other treatment options before using dialysis. While in dialysis a machine pumps blood out of the body and filters it through an artificial kidney known as a dialyzer. The blood is then returned to the patients’ bloodstream after being filtered.

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If the patient suffers from CKD it is suggested that the patient follow a certain diet to allow the kidneys to heal and decrease the extra work they must perform. When patients suffer from chronic kidney disease they are followed by a dietician to help them make proper food choices for a renal diet. This renal diet is suggested by dieticians for all patients suffering from chronic kidney disease. Patients with chronic kidney disease should always consume foods low in potassium, avoid foods that have added salt, and limit phosphorus rich foods. Foods of convenience such as frozen dinners, canned meats, and processed foods are not recommended for chronic kidney failure patients.
It is important to contact your healthcare professional as soon as the individual develops signs or symptoms of chronic kidney disease. The earlier kidney disease is treated the better the chances are of kidney disease reversal. A nephrologist is usually chosen to care for patients who suffer from chronic kidney disease.