Kidney disease is considered to be a chronic condition by the CDC, meaning that in many cases patients may live with it for years and years — possibly even the rest of their lives. However, there’s good news for kidney disease sufferers: there are many things you can do to stay healthy and manage your symptoms.
Dr. Amit Reenu Paliwal provides comprehensive chronic care management at Indus Healthcare. He has three offices, in Pomona, West Covina, and Montclair, California, and he can guide you as you strive to combat the effects of kidney disease on your health and your life.
Causes of kidney disease
Chronic kidney disease is caused by any disease or condition that impairs kidney function and causes damage to the kidneys over a period of months or years. Common underlying conditions contributing to the cause of kidney disease include:
- Nephritis (chronic inflammation and/or infections of the kidneys and surrounding tissues)
- Inherited conditions such as polycystic kidney disease
- Urinary tract obstruction for a prolonged period of time (from repeated UTIs, kidney stones, enlarged prostate, or cancer)
If you smoke, are overweight, or have heart disease, you’re also at more risk for kidney disease.
Symptoms of kidney disease
Symptoms of decreased kidney function include:
- Urination more or less than usual
- Fatigue and/or insomnia
- Nausea, vomiting, and/or loss of appetite
- Swelling of the feet and ankles
- Dry, itchy skin
- Mental fog
- Uncontrollable high blood pressure
- Shortness of breath or chest pain caused by fluid build-up
5 encouraging facts about kidney disease
Fortunately, kidney patients have lots of options when it comes to disease management
1. You can manage your health to slow disease progression
Eating a balanced diet, getting moderate exercise, and reducing your body mass index (BMI) can be helpful in reducing your risk of death from chronic kidney disease.
2. It can be the impetus to stop smoking for good
Stopping smoking is one of the biggest positive changes you can make for kidney health. If you smoke, now is the time to stop, to help prolong your life and prevent kidney disease from spiraling out of control.
3. You can directly address your symptoms
Many symptoms, such as high blood pressure or chronic pain, can be addressed with medication. So can underlying conditions that are driving kidney disease, such as diabetes or poor heart health. Treating these conditions can help keep your kidney disease from getting worse.
4. Dialysis can improve the quality of your life
If your kidneys have such decreased function that they aren’t adequately filtering your blood, you can get dialysis. This can either be a visit three times a week to a center where your blood is run out of your body, into an artificial kidney known as a dialysis machine, and back into your body (hemodialysis); or an at-home continual procedure using a catheter to clean your blood through tiny blood vessels in your abdominal lining (peritoneal dialysis).
5. You may be a good candidate for a kidney transplant
If you have kidney failure, you may be placed on a list for a kidney transplant. The good thing about kidney transplants is that you only need one kidney. This means that every deceased kidney donor can save two people, and even live persons can agree to donate a kidney to you, making it one of the most prolific areas of organ transplant medicine.
If you’d like to talk to Dr. Paliwal about managing kidney disease, call the location closest to you, or schedule an appointment online today.