5 Treatment Options For Kidney Disease
By filtering waste from your blood, kidneys keep you healthy and fit—playing an essential role in your body. Kidney damage, for various reasons, affects your entire body and, eventually, your quality of life (QoL). That doesn’t mean there’s no solution to resolve these issues.
By choosing the right treatment plan for your kidney disease, you can preserve kidney function and improve your quality of life. In this article, we’ll discuss various kidney disease treatment options to manage your condition.
5 treatment options for kidney disease
While we can cure certain kidney diseases like kidney stones, there's no definitive cure when you have severe kidney damage, as most signs and symptoms only appear when it has progressed too much. However, following an appropriate treatment plan can prevent further deterioration of kidney function.
Here are common treatment options your nephrologist will suggest to alleviate your issues:
Diet and lifestyle changes
Any damage to your kidneys reduces their ability to filter blood. Therefore, eating healthy and making necessary lifestyle changes are vital to protect remaining kidney function. Your nephrologist will recommend a kidney-friendly diet low in sodium, protein, and fluids as it reduces high blood pressure, relieving additional stress on your kidneys. They might also recommend lifestyle changes like regular exercise, avoiding alcohol consumption, quitting smoking, etc., to prevent further deterioration.
Even though diseases that cause kidney damage don't have a definitive cure, recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a drug for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)—the most common kidney disease. While nephrologists may or may not offer it in your treatment plan, they might provide other medications. All other medicines in the market are remedial measures that treat your symptoms instead of the diseased kidneys.
CKD is caused by high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, anemia, bone health issues, etc., and can even worsen these issues. Your nephrologist will evaluate the root cause of your kidney disease—only then will they prescribe medications that control it and avoid any other problems that could lead to additional comorbidities.
When you reach end-stage kidney disease, your kidneys are on the verge of failure. In such cases, your nephrologist might suggest dialysis. You can choose from two types of dialysis—hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.
In hemodialysis, your blood is passed through an external dialysis machine that filters it and pumps it back to your body. You can opt for in-home or in-center dialysis. In peritoneal dialysis, a catheter is surgically placed in your belly to filter blood inside the body. You'll be provided with a dialysis solution to pour through the bag and after you’re done, you can empty from the catheter and the bag after it remove toxins from the blood.
When your kidneys have completely failed, you might require a kidney transplant where a healthy kidney from another person is placed in your body. It might take three to five years to receive a kidney donor, and you'll be put on a waiting list during that time. You can refer to our guide on different ways to get a kidney donor to know more.
If you don’t want to proceed with dialysis or kidney transplant, or they’re not suitable for you, you’ll be offered conservative or palliative care. In conservative management, you'll be given medicines to control the symptoms of kidney failure, along with physical, psychological, and spiritual guidance. It won't cure your kidney disease but will help you live a quality life for as long as possible.
While some kidney diseases have a definitive cure, permanent damage is irreversible.
While some kidney diseases have a definitive cure, permanent damage is irreversible. However, personalized treatment can prevent its progression and manage your symptoms. If you have kidney disease and are looking for personalized treatment plans, contact our expert nephrologists today.