Why Choose Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital for Kidney Failure Treatment?
Kidney failure can lead to serious consequences that affect your overall health. It is essential that your kidney disease is identified at an early stage so that your treatment can be carefully controlled and managed. The experienced specialists at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital offer modern, least invasive techniques including laparoscopic and advanced robotic surgery. The treatment approach that is safe and suitable to achieve the best possible outcome will be suggested.
Kidney failure is a condition in which your kidneys are damaged, and cannot perform their functions properly, which means less than 15% normal function. This causes accumulation of harmful wastes in your body. It can also lead to high blood pressure, fluid retention, and insufficient production of red blood cells that cause other health problems.
If the kidney damage continues, often because of high blood pressure or diabetes, its functions start diminishing progressively leading to chronic kidney disease. The final and most severe stage of chronic kidney disease is kidney failure, which is also called end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
When the kidney functions come to a halt suddenly as a result of an injury, illness or intake of certain medications, this type of damage is called acute kidney injury or acute kidney failure. With treatment, acute kidney failure can resolve and your kidneys may function normally if there are no coexisting serious health concerns.
Surgical Procedures Performed to Treat Kidney Failure at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital
Kidney transplantation: Some patients with kidney failure may be treated with a kidney transplant, which involves the procurement of a healthy kidney from a donor and the placement into the patient’s body through surgery. The donated kidney can replace the failed kidney and perform its functions. After you receive the transplant, you will be prescribed immunosuppressant medications to ensure that your immune system accepts the donated kidney.
Drugs and Other Treatment Needed for Kidney Failure
Kidney failure can be classified into five different types that are described below.
Acute prerenal kidney failure »
Acute Intrinsic Kidney Failure »
Chronic Prerenal Kidney Failure »
Chronic Intrinsic Kidney Failure »
Chronic Post-renal Kidney Failure »
Symptoms of Kidney Failure
Kidney failure symptoms do not appear until the late stages of chronic kidney disease. You may have several symptoms as a result of severely damaged kidneys causing retention of waste and excess fluid in your body. The initial symptoms of kidney failure include:
- Too much or too less urine output
- Swollen ankles, legs, and feet because of fluid retention
- Feeling short of breath
- Discomfort in the chest felt as pain or pressure
- Muscle cramps
- Excessive tiredness and drowsiness
- Long-standing nausea and vomiting
- Sleep disturbances
In conditions where your kidneys stop functioning suddenly or acute kidney failure, one or more of the following symptoms may appear:
If you notice any of the above symptoms, consult your physician immediately as they can indicate a serious kidney disorder.
Diagnosis of Kidney Failure
Your doctor may order several tests to diagnose kidney failure such as:
- Urinalysis: A sample of your urine is tested for the presence of abnormal amounts of sugar or protein. A urinary sediment examination is done to measure the red and white blood cell count as well as detect bacteria.
- Measurement of Urine Volume: This is a simple test to diagnose kidney failure. A decreased urinary output suggests kidney disorder.
- Blood tests: Your blood sample will be tested to measure the level of creatinine and blood urea nitrogen (BUN). A sudden rise in the levels of these substances indicates acute kidney failure.
- Imaging tests: Ultrasound examination, magnetic resonance imaging, and computed tomography scans may be done to detect any abnormalities or blockage in your kidneys and along the urinary tract.
- Biopsy: A sample of your kidney tissue is collected using a biopsy needle, which is inserted into your kidney under the guidance of an X-ray or ultrasound. This procedure is done under local anesthesia. The sample tissue is then examined for scarring, infectious organisms or abnormal deposits.
Risk Factors for Kidney Failure
The common risk factors for kidney failure include:
- Diabetes: Almost 44% of patients on dialysis are diabetic, and both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are leading causes of kidney failure.
- High blood pressure: There is an increased risk of developing kidney failure if you have uncontrollable high blood pressure of more than 140/90 mmHg for a long period.
- Heart diseases: Individuals with heart disorders are at a greater risk of kidney failure as cardiovascular disease and kidney disease are interlinked.
- Family history: Kidney diseases tend to run in families. If your first-degree relatives (parents and siblings) have had kidney failure, you will be at a higher risk of developing kidney failure.
- Racial background: American Indians, African Americans, and Hispanics are at a higher risk of developing kidney failure, probably due to the increased rate of diabetes and high blood pressure among these races.
It is important to undergo tests to detect kidney disease if you have any of the above risk factors, as early kidney disease does not have any other signs and symptoms.
Causes of Kidney Failure
Often, kidney failure occurs as a result of other conditions that cause progressive, irreversible damage to your kidneys over a period of time. The most common cause of kidney failure is diabetes, and the second most common cause is uncontrolled high blood pressure. Other causative factors are diseases such as:
- Genetic diseases or diseases that are present since birth: Polycystic kidney disease
- Nephrotic syndrome
- Urinary tract disorders
- Autoimmune disorders: Lupus, IgA nephropathy
The causes of acute kidney failure include the following:
Your doctor may advise certain alternative therapies along with conventional medical treatments. The goal of alternative medicine is to improve your symptoms and to enhance the vitality of the urogenital system. The most commonly used alternative treatment modalities are biological products such as herbal and dietary supplements and mind-body practices such as Yoga, Tai Chi, meditation and deep breathing techniques. Herbs and homeopathic medicines provide relief from acute pain and tone the urinary tract if used for a long-term under the supervision of a natural health care provider. Some herbal remedies that help flush out toxins from your blood are:
- Dandelion: The root of this herb is used as a diuretic.
- Burdock root: This herb is a diuretic, and increases urine production.
Further research is needed to establish the effectiveness of alternative therapies in patients with the end-stage renal disease or kidney failure.
Here are some important measures that can be taken to maintain kidney health, if you are at an increased risk of developing kidney failure.
- Have your blood and urine tested for kidney disease as a routine
- While taking over-the-counter medicines, follow the directions for use exactly as mentioned. An overdose of medications can lead to high levels of toxins in a short period that can cause kidney damage.
- Avoid getting exposed to harmful chemicals such as pesticides, household cleaning solutions, tobacco, and other toxic substances.
The majority of kidney and urinary tract disorders may result in kidney failure if left untreated. Safeguard your kidney health by maintaining blood pressure and blood sugar levels under control. To do this, you need to strictly follow your doctor’s advice, take your prescribed medicine the way you have been directed, and maintain a healthy lifestyle by:
- Adopting a healthy diet that includes fresh fruits, vegetables, cereals, and low-fat dairy products
- Reducing the intake of salt
- Limiting the consumption of alcohol
- Being physically active
- Losing excess body weight
- Quitting the habit of smoking
These steps allow you to control your risk factors, blood pressure in particular so that you can either delay or prevent the onset of kidney failure. Your nephrologist will be able to guide you through the treatment plan and advise the preventive tips that suit your condition.
For further questions, information or guidance on kidney failure, consult our specialty-trained doctors at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital.