To manage kidney disease, it is important to determine the underlying cause. Once the underlying cause has been established, a treatment plan can be developed. Some causes are reversible. An example is when medication, blockage in the urinary track or decreased blood flow caused the damage to the kidneys.
TREATMENT OF REVERSIBLE CAUSES MAY PREVENT FURTHER PROGRESSION OF THE DISEASE.
Maintaining a normal blood pressure is one of the most important goals when managing kidney failure. Taking medication called angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) reduces blood pressure and decreases the levels of protein in the urine. This can slow down the progression of kidney disease to a greater degree than some of the other types of medication used for high blood pressure.
At times, a diuretic also known as a “water pill”, can be added in addition to other medication. Your doctor might ask you to monitor your blood pressure at home to ensure that your blood pressure is well-controlled.
Often, people with chronic kidney disease have anaemia (low levels of red blood cells or haemoglobin). This happens because there is a decrease in the production of a substance called erythropoietin that is made by the kidney. Erythropoietin helps make red blood cells. Untreated anaemia can lead to fatigue, low mood and other complications. Some patients can be treated with a synthetic form of erythropoietin which stimulates production of red blood cells. You may be able to inject these drugs at home. Iron supplements may also be prescribed.
Changes in your diet may be recommended to help control, or in some cases prevent, some of the complications in chronic kidney disease. One of the most important dietary principles is restricting salt to help control your blood pressure. Restricting protein in your diet is also known to be part of the treatment of kidney disease. A reduced-protein diet can delay dialysis for several years. High cholesterol is common in people with kidney failure. Treatments to reduce blood cholesterol levels can decrease the risk of heart disease. It is always recommended to include dietary changes, physical activity as well as medication to treat any underlying condition.
Some people with chronic kidney disease progressively worsen over time and will eventually need to consider starting dialysis or getting a kidney transplant. Kidney transplantation can be an option for some people with kidney disease even before considering dialysis. Talk to your doctor for more details about which option you are eligible for.
Written by Dr Ruusa Shivute | Health Window
Reference: Connolly JO, Woolfson RG. A critique of clinical guidelines for detection of individuals with chronic kidney disease. Nephron Clin Pract. 2009;111(1):c69-73.