kidney disease florence south carolina

Understanding Kidney Disease

Understanding Kidney Disease

Life factors can contribute to your likelihood of being diagnosed with kidney disease. Family history, race, and age can all play a part, and are unfortunately out of your control. The good news is there are plenty of choices that are within your control that can help you prevent kidney disease. So much of our health can play into other areas of our body. Take for example diabetes. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease and roughly 33% of those diagnosed with the condition also suffer from chronic kidney disease. It’s important to understand how your health is connected and what causes your body to change.

What causes kidney disease?

While there are many health conditions that can cause chronic kidney disease, the two main factors are high blood pressure and diabetes. Florence nephrologists will explain that these two health challenges are also known to speed up the progression of chronic kidney disease in someone who already has it.

Being aware of your body can help you notice possible symptoms of kidney disease. Certain symptoms of chronic kidney disease are also indications of other illnesses, so be sure to have a conversation with your Florence nephrologist if any of the following symptoms seem unordinary or long-lasting:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Sleep problems
  • Changes in urine output
  • Decreased mental sharpness
  • Muscle twitches and cramps
  • Swelling of feet and ankles
  • Persistent itching
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • High blood pressure that’s hard to control

How is diabetes connected to kidney disease?

If you are diagnosed with diabetes, your body either doesn’t make insulin or doesn’t use insulin the way it’s designed to do. Diabetics can suffer from soaring blood sugar levels, which can damage the body’s small blood vessels. The kidneys are filled with many of these small blood vessels, and once they are damaged the kidneys cannot adequately clean the blood. The body’s waste, which would normally be cleared by the kidneys, now remains in the blood. When waste is trapped within the blood for an extended amount of time, you can begin to suffer from weak bones, high blood pressure, or anemia, low red blood cell count.

Can I prevent kidney disease?

It’s very important to first become educated on how kidney disease develops, especially if you have been diagnosed with diabetes. Schedule regular appointments with your Florence nephrologists to be proactive in maintaining your kidney health. Other ways to prevent kidney disease:

  • Stop smoking
  • Be active
  • Limit alcohol
  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • Lose weight if necessary
  • Reduce salt intake

Do I need dialysis?

Your Florence nephrologists will be very clear when it comes to dialysis treatment, as this is a necessary treatment for patients in end state kidney failure. As you approach 85% kidney failure, dialysis treatment is recommended.

Dialysis is the manual process that cleans your blood, similarly to what healthy kidneys do. The procedure usually takes a few hours, and filters out the body’s wastes, salt, and excess fluid from your blood. While dialysis will not cure kidney disease, it allows you to live a normal life despite having kidney disease.

Pee Dee Nephrology

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with kidney disease, give our caring and experienced staff a call to set up a consultation.