A kidney problem can quickly lead to other health problems if left untreated. Reports say kidney disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Therefore, if you have a history of kidney disease or have symptoms, don’t hesitate to reach out to a kidney doctor.
Depending on the intensity of the damage, there are also different treatment options to consider. Thekidney doctors provide patients with quality medical care to restore them to optimum health.
Let’s learn about kidney disease, its treatments, and where you can go in Attleboro, Massachusetts, to find the best kidney doctor.
Different Ways to Diagnose a Kidney Disease
Blood and Urine Tests
The main function of kidneys is to rid the blood of toxins and transform those into urine. Blood tests check the presence of waste products, such as creatinine and urea in the blood. Urinalysis detects kidney function abnormalities by checking the composition of the urine sample.
Kidney Scan or Imaging Test
A kidney scan can confirm the type of damage if you’re showing signs of abnormal kidney function. This allows a clearer view of your kidney’s size and structure. It can help detect kidney stones’ presence, size, and location.
On certain occasions, a nephrologist may suggest a kidney biopsy. This procedure requires the removal of small kidney tissue for microscopic observation. It gives more information about your kidney problem to arrive at an appropriate treatment plan.
Common Kidney Treatments
Your diet is likely one of the leading factors affecting your kidney condition. Your kidney doctor will probably tell you to increase your water intake. You should intake about two and a half liters of liquid daily. On the other hand, you need to reduce your sodium intake to a maximum of 2,000 milligrams a day.
Some other food that you need to reduce consumption of include:
- Sugary foods
- Oxalate-rich foods like spinach and peanuts
- Vitamin C and calcium supplements
- Processed foods
On the other hand, you may be advised to increase your consumption of:
- Calcium-rich foods (e.g., dairy)
- Potassium-rich vegetables like broccoli and beets
- Whole-grain foods
- The citric acid present in lemons and limes
Unfortunately, there is no cure for chronic kidney disease at present. There are medicinal treatments for associated health problems and delayed kidney function loss. Some of these medications are:
- ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors. Blood pressure medicines can slow down kidney damage. Examples include benazepril and captopril.
- ARBs (angiotensin receptor blockers). Oral medicines lower blood pressure and delay kidney damage. An example would be losartan.
- Farxiga. An oral tablet for type 2 diabetes was recently approved by the FDA. It’s used for people with chronic kidney disease.
Once your kidney fails, your kidney doctor will advise you to undergo dialysis. This purifies your blood of excess toxins since your kidney can no longer afford to do so.
There are two types of kidney dialysis. The first one is peritoneal dialysis. It filters the blood by using the abdomen’s peritoneum to dispose of excess toxic waste in your body. This treatment will require you to have a catheter implanted in your abdomen. Cleansing fluid will be imbued through it.
The second type of kidney dialysis is hemodialysis. Instead of planting a catheter in your body, an external dialysis machine is used to clean your blood from toxins. Compared to peritoneal dialysis, this is more costly.
A kidney transplant involves transferring a kidney from either a living or a deceased donor to yourself. This option offers fewer restrictions on diet and overall lifestyle for most patients with end-stage kidney disease.
However, kidney transplants also have risks. If you get surgery at a young age, your body may require more than one kidney transplant in your lifetime. A kidney transplant from a deceased donor can usually last for 8 to 12 years. On the other hand, a kidney from a living donor typically lasts 12 to 20 years.
Eligibility for a transplant depends on donor availability and your overall health. Your kidney doctor will typically run over some tests before queueing you for surgery.
Nephrologists in Attleboro, Massachusetts
Chronic kidney disease dramatically affects the quality of our lives. Thus, we can’t turn a blind eye to even the least possibility of a kidney problem. Be informed, and know your own body.
If you’re looking for kidney treatment, our kidney doctors in Rhode Island strive to give the best treatment options to their patients. Contact us at (617) 739-2100 or book an appointment online with our nephrologists at Commonwealth Nephrology Associates. We look forward to helping you live the best quality of life with healthy, functioning kidneys!