Kidney Disease Center

Kidney Failure Treatment

Kidney failure treatment
One of the major goals of treating renal problems is to identify and treat the illness or injury that originally damaged their kidneys (such as bone disease and anemia ). Once the original condition is under control, doctors aim to prevent the accumulation of excess fluids and wastes in the blood while the kidneys are healing. It is recommended that this may best be accomplished by limiting fluid intake as well as following a high-carbohydrate, low-protein, low-potassium diet.

Renal or kidney failure treatment will vary depending on the type of kidney or urinary disease present. The earlier kidney or urinary disease is diagnosed, the more likely it is to be treatable. Dietary restrictions, drug therapy, and surgical procedures or in combination with one another may be implemented. If the kidneys can no longer effectively remove waste and water from the body, a dialysis machine that is used several times a week can take over kidney filtration. Kidney transplant surgery is another option that can be considered when kidneys fail.


For many people, dialysis not only extends life but also improves the quality of life. Others who are diagnosed with serious ailments in addition to kidney failure, usually feels that dialysis is a burden that only prolongs suffering. The decision is best made when the doctor and the individual agree with dialysis as appropriate treatment avenue.

Hemodialysis - Hemodialysis cleans and filters blood using a machine to temporarily rid the body of harmful wastes, additional salt and water. Hemodialysis helps control blood pressure. It also helps the body keep the proper balance of important chemicals such as potassium, sodium, calcium, and bicarbonate.

Peritoneal dialysis - Peritoneal dialysis is another procedure that removes wastes, chemicals, and extra water from the body. This type of dialysis uses the lining of your abdomen to filter blood. This lining is called the peritoneal membrane and essentially performs as a substitute kidney. The process of draining and refilling this substitute kidney is called an exchange.

Kidney transplant
Kidney transplants is the surgical placement of a healthy kidney from another person into the diseased person's body. The donated healthy kidney does enough of the work that two failed kidneys used to do. A surgeon places the new kidney inside the lower abdomen and connects the artery and vein of the new kidney to the recipient's artery and vein. Blood then begin flows through the donated kidney, which makes urine. The new kidney may start working right away or may take up to a few weeks to make urine. The surgery takes 3 to 4 hours. The usual hospital stay is about a week.

Lifestyle changes almost always assist in making a person healthier as well as assisting in managing a disease condition better. Exercise and eating healthy can also help lower blood pressure, which is very important for kidney health. Doctors also recommend that people with kidney problems limit protein intake. Excessive protein can cause kidneys to work too hard. Smoking causes further damage to your kidneys. It is advisable for a host of reasons for the individual who smokes to stop smoking. If you have been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, you may consider actively doing the following:

  • avoid the use of tobacco products
  • consume water instead of soda as much as possible
  • limit protein intake
  • decrease cholesterol levels to normal levels
  • get regular exercise
  • minimize salt intake
  • stop smoking

If tests show kidney disease is present, blood pressure medicines may be prescribed to help protect the kidneys.  Your doctor may prescribe ACE inhibitors and angiotensin-II receptor blockers to help lower blood pressure. The individual's blood pressure should be 130/80 mm Hg or lower.

NOTE: If you are in the stages of early chronic kidney failure and do not receive dialysis, make sure that when you take medication for conditions other than hypertension, your doctor adjusts the dose of the medication to prevent damage to the liver. For this reason, it is important to follow your doctor's advice and only take prescribed and recommended doses of medicines.

Getting regular check-ups with a doctor is strongly recommended for people diagnosed with acute or chronic kidney problems. If you are at risk for kidney disease, some of the most important steps you can take to keep kidneys healthy are:

  • follow the doctor's instructions
  • get blood and urine checked for kidney disease
  • inform the doctor about any reactions or allergies to medicines
  • limit the amount of over-the-counter pain relief medications you take
  • manage diabetes
  • manage heart disease
  • manage high blood pressure
  • properly treat urinary tract infections immediately
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