Kidney disease affects many of our patients here at Seaside Medical Practice. For the most part, chronic kidney disease does not cause any symptoms. Early in its course, the only way to detect it is by blood and urine tests. Once detected, you and your healthcare team will need to take important steps to control the progression.
One of the most effective ways to improve kidney function and delay the progression of CKD is to control blood pressure. A blood pressure of less than 120/80 is optimal for most individuals. You can improve your blood pressure by maintaining a low salt diet, consuming more servings of fruits and vegetables, limiting alcohol intake, and exercising on a regular basis. Stress reduction techniques are always helpful as well.
For diabetics, tight sugar control, and the maintenance of normal sugars, is a must when preventing worsening kidney function. Those with diabetes produce an abnormally high amount of pro-inflammatory cells called advanced glycation end-products. These occur in even in those without diabetes, during the regular break down of sugar in the body. Diseased kidneys in diabetics cannot efficiently remove these products and they therefore progressively accumulate. A high amount of these advanced gylcation end-products in the blood play a large role in inflammatory processes of diabetics such as vascular disease, atherosclerosis, heart attack, nephropathy, and retinopathy.
Patients with CKD should also watch their intake of protein per day. Some studies suggest that a rich protein diet burdens already diseased kidneys. Limiting the grams of protein one consumes can improve kidney function over time.
One of the most significant causes of CKD is chronic use of NSAIDs, such as Motrin, ibuprofen or Aleve. Avoid excessive and chronic use of these medications in order to maintain healthy kidney function.
Numerous studies have shown that regular monitoring by a nephrologist reduces the rates of morbidity and mortality of persons with CKD, and leads to appropriate timing of kidney replacement modalities and transplantation. The role of a nephrologist in the care of patients with CKD is paramount.
If you or a family member have been diagnosed with CKD, or have any concerns about kidney disease, please do not hesitate to call us and set up an appointment for consultation with a nephrologist. We are here to help and educate you as best we can!