Kidney Disease FAQ

You or someone you care for has been diagnosed with kidney disease. You have a 1000 and 1 questions. We’ve got you started here but we are always available to talk through your questions and concerns. Call us today and set-up a consultation.

What is chronic kidney disease?

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is the term doctors use in describing reduced kidney function or a damaged kidney when symptoms occur for more than three months. If your kidneys fail, dialysis or a kidney transplant will be necessary to keep you alive.

How do kidney doctors detect CKD?

CKD can initially be detected through blood or urine tests. Your doctor may require additional testing to screen for kidney disease in three ways: determination of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) based on a serum creatinine measurement, blood pressure measurement, and urine screening for protein or albumin.

What causes kidney disease or kidney failure?

While many health conditions can lead to kidney disease, the two most common causes are diabetes and high blood pressure.

Who is most at risk for CKD?

Diabetes and high blood pressure can lead to chronic kidney disease, but those aren’t the only health factors that can lead to CKD. Those diagnosed with heart disease, a family member who suffers from kidney disease, those of African American, Asian, Native American or Hispanic descent, and those over the age of 60.

What is dialysis?

Dialysis is a procedure that replaces the work that would be done within your body by healthy kidneys. Think of dialysis as a fluid mixture of water and chemicals that pulls all the waste, excess water and salt from your body while leaving all of the healthy chemicals your body needs to function properly.

When is dialysis required?

Patients typically need dialysis treatment when their kidneys no longer function as normal and their body begins to hold waste products, which can cause sickness. If your kidney function weakens to 15% or less, or you begin to experience shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle cramps, nausea or vomiting, your kidney doctor may recommend dialysis treatment.

Will dialysis cure my kidney disease or kidney failure?

Dialysis is designed to clear the toxins from your body and help you live more comfortably, but nothing can perfectly replace your body’s own abilities. In chronic kidney failure, the kidneys do not normally heal and may require a long-term dialysis treatment plan.

Can I stop dialysis treatment?

Once you begin dialysis, you should always speak with your kidney doctors before making any decision that involves changing or stopping treatment. If dialysis treatment is stopped, your body will begin to store the toxins and wastes that are removed through the process. The lifespan of someone who stops dialysis will depend on their specific condition and amount of kidney function left.

Other than dialysis, how can I better my kidney health?

A healthy diet is so important to strong kidneys. Kidney doctors recommend keeping the right level of potassium in your body and mixing in a variety of vitamin C, A, and Omega-3s. Red bell peppers, cabbage, apples and egg whites are some of the most beneficial foods, while soda, processed meats, mayonnaise and foods high in sodium should be avoided.

Speak with your doctor, but an active lifestyle is generally ok for those diagnosed with kidney disease. Walking is highly suggested because it can help control cardiovascular conditions, a major health risk for people with chronic kidney disease and those on dialysis.