Treatment for Kidney Disease
Modern medicine can compensate for the effects of kidney failure, allowing people to live an active life, despite the fact that a vital organ no longer performs its functions. However, there is still no way to cure renal failure. Become an active and well-informed patient, study all treatment options. Think about your habits and lifestyle when choosing the best treatment option. Consult your doctor or nurse for advice.
If you need dialysis – hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis – your doctor will prescribe you individually selected medications. You should always know all the medicines you are taking. This means that you must know their names, why they are prescribed and how to take them. Whenever you have problems with medicines or any questions, do not hesitate to contact your doctor or nurse. Impaired renal function and hemodialysis can significantly affect the effect of drugs. Consult with your doctor before making changes to taking medications.
The following drugs are prescribed most often.
Most patients suffer from high blood pressure (hypertension). Blood pressure must be controlled by limiting salt and fluid intake. If hypertension persists, the patient is prescribed antihypertensive therapy. However, one must remember that no drugs can affect the excess intake of sodium (salt) and fluid in the body, which means they do not remove the cause of the increase in blood pressure.
Vitamin D enters the body with food and sunlight and must go through the stages of activation in the liver and kidneys. Vitamin D facilitates the body’s absorption of calcium from food. Calcium is needed to maintain healthy bones and transmit nerve impulses. People with kidney disease take vitamin D in a pre-activated form so that it can be used by the body.
Iron is a vital structural component of hemoglobin, a key component found in normal red blood cells. It carries oxygen. Without iron, it is difficult for the body to create a sufficient number of full red blood cells. Management tactics for patients with iron deficiency include recommendations for taking special medications, however, most often, iron supplements are administered intravenously directly during or after the dialysis procedure.
Erythropoietin, often referred to as EPO, is a hormone produced in the bulk by the kidneys. EPO stimulates the red bone marrow to produce red blood cells. Since the synthesis of erythropoietin in patients with chronic kidney disease is reduced, the level of red blood cells decreases, which leads to anemia. Synthetic erythropoietin can be administered intravenously or under the skin as a substitute for erythropoietin produced by the body in order to maintain the level of red blood cells necessary for normal functioning and well-being.
Phosphate binding agents (phosphate binders)
Healthy kidneys secrete phosphates from food. In chronic renal failure, this process is disrupted. Therefore, the level of phosphate in the blood and in the cells increases, which leads to extra-bone calcification of soft tissues, for example, the skin or blood vessels of the eyes, this can lead to irritation of the skin and eyes. Other possible negative effects are vascular calcification, which leads to diseases of the cardiovascular system. Dialysis can only help reduce the excess phosphate but does not affect its intake. Thus, it is required to regulate its level in the body through a low-phosphate diet and correctly selected phosphate-binding drugs. Such drugs “bind” phosphate and reduce its absorption into the blood from the intestines.
Stem cell treatment
Safe treatment of chronic renal failure with stem cells is a chance to avoid hemodialysis, surgery and organ transplants. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, and the patient will need only three visits to the clinic. Stem cells restore the structure of kidney tissue, replacing pathologically altered cells with healthy ones. All metabolic processes are being established, the water balance is improving, the kidneys are working again at full strength. As a result of the treatment, patients forget about their disease.
During the treatment of kidney failure, patients must follow a diet that excludes:
- saturated meat, fish broths;
- foods rich in oxalic and puric acid (sorrel, spinach, legumes, cauliflower).
The diet should include vegetables, fruits, protein-free, salt-free bread.
What can I do?
The following preventative measures will help protect your kidneys and maintain their function:
- Learn as much as possible about your disease and how to slow its progression;
- Visit your doctor regularly;
- Follow the prescribed treatment. This is very important to maintain your physical condition, especially in the case of diabetes and/or high blood pressure;
- Renal failure can be caused by a hereditary predisposition, which must be reported to the doctor;
- If you notice any changes in the nature of urination (for example, a change in the consistency of urine, difficulty urinating), be sure to inform your doctor about it;
- Carefully monitor the drugs prescribed – their load on the kidneys should be minimal;
- Follow a diet (see the paragraph above);
- Stop smoking;
- Reduce your alcohol intake;
- Lose weight;
- Keep fit with regular exercise.
Successful treatment of patients with acute renal failure due to various reasons is possible only with the close cooperation of urologists and nephrologists.