Some kidney problems, like an infection or kidney stones, are straightforward to treat. Infections need antibiotics, and kidney stones either pass on their own or, if they are too large to travel out the ureter, a doctor can use a laser to break them into smaller pieces so your body can eliminate them.
However, if your kidneys begin to fail, this is a serious condition, and you need to get medical treatment right away. Kidney disease is a killer if it isn’t treated, and as with so many things, the sooner you receive treatment, the better your outcome. Your kidneys are vitally important to your health as they remove toxins from your body, regulate blood pressure, stimulate the production of red blood cells in your bone marrow and keep potassium and sodium in your body regulated. If the kidneys stop functioning, you can’t survive. We can live with only one kidney, but if both kidneys are destroyed, you need dialysis or a transplant to live.
What Are the Risk Factors for Kidney Problems?
There are some risk factors for kidney disease, and expert advice is if you have two or more of these, you should have bloodwork done to determine if your kidneys are functioning properly. These risk factors include:
- High blood pressure
- African American descent
- Heart disease
- Family history of kidney disease
The two leading causes of serious kidney problems are diabetes and high blood pressure. Kidney disease can lead to severe damage and even death. Kidney damage can also be caused by an accident, autoimmune kidney disease, pregnancy complications, drug use, such as heroin or cocaine, blood clotting disorders, complications in pregnancy and blockage in the urinary tract.
Can You Prevent Kidney Problems?
The best thing you can do at home to help prevent kidney problems is to keep your blood pressure under control, keep your blood sugar under control if you have diabetes and don’t smoke. In addition, it’s important to have regular checkups with a primary care physician.
Can Kidney Disease be Treated?
Kidney disease is progressive, and the sooner you receive treatment, the longer it can be managed. While dialysis and transplant are both effective treatments, a skilled professional treating kidney disease has other less dramatic options to treat it before it reaches that stage.
Dr. Alan Benvenisty is a board-certified vascular surgeon recognized and distinguished for his outstanding skills and training. If you or a loved one is diagnosed with kidney disease and are in New York, contact Dr. Benvenisty for excellent care.
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440 West 114th St, Second Floor
New York, NY 10025
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