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At Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital, our experienced nephrologists offer a wide range of diagnostic methods and treatment options for patients suffering from kidney disease. Our specialists work with patients to choose a personalized treatment plan that best suits their condition.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) or chronic kidney failure consists of a progressive degradation of the kidney's functions. This condition currently affects more than 25 million Americans.
The kidneys are two symmetrical organs, found on each side of the body. Their main function is the filtration of the blood in order to eliminate waste and excess water. When kidney failure reaches a more advanced stage, harmful substances that were supposed to be eliminated by the kidneys remain in the blood and reach toxic levels.
The first stages of chronic kidney disease can easily go unnoticed, as the first signs and symptoms are not usually very obvious or severe. As a result, in many cases, people find out they are suffering from kidney disease only when they reach the later stages of development of the disease and their kidney functions are already severely affected.
When suffering from CKD, one can develop a wide range of complications, such as hypertension, bone weakness, nerve damage, or anemia. If detected in its early stages, this disease can be treated quite effectively, but if it is diagnosed later on, it can result in kidney failure. Moreover, if kidney disease is diagnosed too late, it may evolve into full-blown kidney failure, which can only be treated with dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Besides kidney transplants, dialysis and medications are the only treatments available for kidney disease.
There are two main types of kidney disease:
As kidney disease develops, so do its signs and symptoms, which become more and more severe over time. Because the kidneys are very adaptable organs and can still function even after the onset of kidney disease, it is common for the first symptoms to be rather discreet and mild, which results in a delayed diagnosis of the disease. Unfortunately, when this condition is diagnosed in its later stages, the kidneys have already suffered irreversible damage.
Some of the signs and symptoms associated with kidney disease can be nonspecific, which means that they can be caused by different conditions. It is important to do regular kidney function tests when you suffer from other medical conditions, especially if they increase the risk of kidney disease.
Some of the most common symptoms of kidney disease are:
There are approaches that can be taken when trying to diagnose kidney disease:
There are certain factors that have been known to increase the risk of kidney disease, such as:
The most common causes for kidney disease are other conditions which can damage the kidneys and impair their functions. Some of these conditions are:
People have found a wide range of alternative techniques to treat all sorts of conditions including kidney disease. However, these techniques have not been scientifically confirmed and it is strongly recommended to ask for your doctor’s advice before trying them.
Kidney disease is a condition that is not easily predicted or prevented. However, you can reduce the risk for developing this condition by doing the following things:
Do you suspect you might have kidney disease? You can always learn more about kidney problems and how to treat them by getting in touch with our highly-skilled specialists at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital.
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Richard Sires, M.D.See Profile »