Chronic kidney disease is a medical condition which involves a gradual but permanent loss of kidney function. While there can be a variety of causes for this condition, chronic kidney disease treatment options are largely the same, especially considering the fact that the lost kidney function can not be regained. The most common types of chronic kidney disease treatment include dietary changes, lifestyle modification, and medical intervention aimed at controlling underlying medical conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure. In many cases, chronic kidney disease treatment will eventually include dialysis or kidney transplant.
Dietary changes are an important part of chronic kidney disease treatment. Protein and sodium restrictions are common at any stage of the disease. Periodic blood testing is typically ordered by the treating physician to monitor the progression of the disease and to help determine any additional dietary restrictions which may become necessary. In the later stages of the disease, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorous may need to be restricted in addition to the sodium and protein restrictions. Fluid restrictions are also common, particularly as the disease progresses.
Chronic kidney disease treatment may involve varying degrees of lifestyle modification. Patients who are overweight are encouraged to lose weight in order to reduce the workload of the diseased kidneys. Those who smoke are typically advised to quit. Medication changes are often necessary, depending upon the ingredients. All prescribed medications should be taken exactly as directed by a doctor, as it is important to keep all underlying medical conditions under control.
This type of kidney disease is progressive, so it is likely that the kidneys will eventually stop working well enough to preserve the life of the patient. When kidney function declines to this point, dialysis is often the next step in chronic kidney disease treatment. Dialysis is a medical procedure which involves connecting the patient to a machine which removes blood from the body, filters and cleans the blood, and then returns to blood to the body.
Ideally, dialysis is a temporary chronic kidney disease treatment option. In most cases, the patient will be placed on a waiting list for a donor kidney before beginning dialysis treatment. During the kidney transplant, a healthy kidney from an organ donor or a living donor is surgically implanted. One or both of the diseased kidneys may or may not be removed. After a transplant, special medications will have to be taken for the remainder of the patient's life in an effort to prevent the body from rejecting the transplanted kidney.