Kidney disease and kidney failure treatment

Kidney disease and kidney failure treatment

The kidney disease/failure treatment depends on the cause, and severity (if it is acute or chronic.) There are some types of acute kidney failure that can be treated, but usually, chronic kidney disease has no cure, and you can only treat its signs and symptoms, prevent the potential complications and slow down the disease progression as much as possible.

Treating the Cause

Treating the cause of your acute kidney disease/failure can help you restore your kidneys’ functioning and avoid permanent tissue damage. For example, if the kidney disease is due to dehydration when the patient is rehydrated, the kidneys will begin to receive an appropriate amount of blood again, and they will be able to filter it and eliminate the waste products.

On the other hand, treating the cause of chronic kidney disease/failure only helps to control or slow down the kidney damage progression. For example, treating hypertension and Diabetes Mellitus helps slow down kidney damage, but tissues that have already been damaged do not recover their function, and as a result, the kidneys will work less and less.

Kidney Failure Treatment for Advanced Stages

Dialysis

One of the most common treatments for the advanced stages of kidney failure is dialysis. It consists of a technique that artificially removes waste substances and products from your blood. It can also remove the extra fluids when your kidneys are not able to do it.

There are 2 types of dialysis, including hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Hemodialysis also called “hemo”, consists of using a machine to directly draw your blood and clean it from waste products. Once clean, the blood returns to your body.

On the other hand, peritoneal dialysis consists of inserting a thin tube or catheter into the peritoneum (the lining of your abdominal cavity) to administer a cleaning solution called dialysate. It absorbs excess fluids and cleans your blood from waste. However, waste is removed from your body after a period of time when the dialysis solution drains.

It is important to say that dialysis can’t satisfy all the body’s requirements as your kidneys do. So, even when receiving dialysis treatment, you can suffer some complications of kidney failure.

Kidney Transplant

The kidney transplant consists in undergoing surgery to remove your nonfunctional kidney and transplanting a healthy kidney. You can receive a transplanted kidney from both deceased and living donors.

You must know that after a kidney transplant, you must take medication to suppress your immunity system for the rest of your life in order to avoid the rejection of the new kidney. Likewise, it is not necessary to be on dialysis treatment to receive a kidney transplant.

At this point, it is very important to say that many people live long lives even under dialysis treatment or after having a kidney transplant.

Medical Kidney Failure Treatment

In some cases, you may decide not to start dialysis or get a kidney transplant. So, you will receive medical treatment. This type of therapy can help you to live as comfortably as possible when your kidneys can’t properly function, but can’t supply your body’s needs.

In other words, this treatment only brings you some comfort, but it will not keep you alive if other additional measures are not applied. In fact, if you choose the medical treatment, your life expectancy surely will be a few months.

Medical treatment is also known as complications treatment and the following measures are included:

– Blood pressure control

You might need to take medication to reduce your blood pressure levels, such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers. They can also help to slow the kidneys’ tissues damage. A water pill (a diuretic) and a low-salt diet are also recommended.

Among the secondary effects of ACE inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers, a change in your electrolyte levels can be included so you might need to undergo frequent blood tests to avoid further complications.

– Cholesterol levels control

The doctor will also recommend you to take statins, a kind of medication able to lower your cholesterol levels and help reduce the risk of heart disease.

– Anemia control: In the most advanced stages of kidney failure, you might need to take supplements of the hormone erythropoietin and iron, which are able to produce more red blood cells and reduce the anemia and their associated symptoms like fatigue and weakness.

– Swelling control

Diuretics used to control your blood tension can also reduce abnormal fluids retention.

– Bones protection

You might have to take calcium and vitamin D supplements to protect your bones and lower the risk of developing a fracture. In severe cases, the doctor can prescribe you a phosphate binder to reduce the amount of phosphate in your blood and prevent the calcification of your blood vessels.

Remember that only a qualified nephrologist can determine the best treatment for you based on your needs and desires. Likewise, experts are developing certain treatments that might help people with chronic kidney failure in the future. For example, regenerative medicine might completely heal damaged kidney tissues. However, it is only “a hope” because this option is still under study.

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Mansi Gupta

Author: Mansi Gupta

Apart from being a graduate in English Literature, Mansi is a knowledge freak who loves to wade through the pages of almost all types of books. Watching outside the windowpane and brewing stories are some of the hobbies that make her an extremely introverted personality. Writing isn't just a passion for her but a survival force that keeps her dragging through the absurdity and existentialism of life. She started writing in her school days. She writes articles concerning health, lifestyle, fashion, sexual awareness, and feminism. Currently, when physical and mental health deteriorates incessantly, she wishes to create awareness through her articles about its indispensability.