The kidneys play an essential role in filtering waste and excess fluid from the blood, and kidney diseases can lead to a buildup of toxins in the body that can cause damage to the kidneys and other organs. Recent data from the United States Renal Data System reveals that more than 37 million adults in the country have chronic kidney disease (CKD). This shows that kidney disease affects millions of people in the United States, making it a significant public health concern.
Unfortunately, many people do not realize they have kidney disease until the symptoms become severe and the damage is already done. Thankfully, you can get earlier detection and start your kidney disease treatment plan early.
Let’s talk about the importance of early detection and treatment of kidney disease, signs, and symptoms to look out for, and available treatment options.
Early detection and treatment of kidney disease are crucial to prevent further damage to the kidneys and other organs. Some populations are even at an increased risk of developing kidney disease, such as people with diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Various tests are used to evaluate kidney function and may reveal signs of kidney damage. The two main tests used to detect kidney disease are a urine test and a blood test:
- Urine Test: A urine analysis checks the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and for the presence of blood, pus, or protein in the urine, which can be a sign of kidney damage. Measuring these parameters in the urine help doctors determine the severity of the kidney damage.
- Blood Test: A blood test checks for the level of creatinine, urea, and nitrogen, waste products that the kidneys should filter out of the blood. If the levels of these markers are high or out of proportion, it can be a sign that the kidneys are not functioning properly.
Other tests, such as an ultrasound or a kidney biopsy, may also be used to diagnose kidney disease or determine the extent of kidney damage.
Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Disease
Some signs and symptoms to look out for include:
- Changes in urinary function
- Swelling in the legs or ankles
- Loss of appetite
- Unintentional weight loss
Another common symptom of kidney function is persistently high blood pressure which does not get better with medication. While these symptoms can indicate other health problems, they can also indicate kidney disease. Therefore, you must inform your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.
Treatment Options for Kidney Disease
Treatment options for kidney disease depend on the stage and cause of the disease. The goal of treatment is to slow or stop the progression of the disease and prevent complications. This may involve medications to regulate blood pressure or blood sugar levels, diet modifications, and supplements to maintain proper electrolyte balance. In advanced cases of CKD, dialysis or kidney transplantation may be necessary. However, with early detection and treatment, the progression of the disease can be slowed considerably, allowing patients to live a normal life for many years.
Comprehensive Kidney Disease Management in Massachusetts
At Commonwealth Nephrology Associates, we offer advanced detection and treatment options for kidney disease. Using state-of-the-art technology and techniques, we can accurately diagnose kidney disease at its earliest stages. Our skilled team of physicians works closely with patients to develop a customized treatment plan that addresses their individual needs.
Whether it be medication, lifestyle changes, or dialysis, we use evidence-based approaches to ensure the best possible outcomes for our patients. To know more or schedule a consultation, call us today at (617) 739-2100 or fill out our online appointment request form.