If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD) or end stage renal disease (ESRD), I want you to know that you are not alone and that you can still live well with kidney disease. It is estimated that 1 in 3 American adults is at risk for developing kidney disease, with diabetes, high blood pressure and a family history of kidney failure being the most common risk factors. A diagnosis of kidney disease occurs when the kidneys are damaged and are no longer able to filter blood properly, resulting in a buildup of waste and toxins in the body.
Kidney disease often has no symptoms and can go undetected until very advanced stages. Kidney disease is diagnosed through laboratory testing that evaluates both blood and urine. A patient that has a drop in GFR (Glomerular Filtration Rate) below 60 ml/min with the concomitant appearance of protein (>30 mg/g) or red blood cells in the urine should be referred to a Nephrologist. A Nephrologist can identify the cause of kidney impairment, treat the disease and adjust the medical management to slow the progression kidney disease.
Did you know that proper management of kidney disease can often slow the decline of kidney function and delay or even eliminate the need for dialysis or kidney transplantation? In some cases, regression can be achieved as well. Early intervention can be life changing, so please don’t delay in seeing a Nephrologist.
Written by Oscar Adler, MD, PHD