Chronic Kidney Disease

Why Is the Dialysis Diet Important For End-Stage Kidney Disease?

When living with chronic kidney disease, there are many lifestyle changes that can be made to help support your kidneys and prevent the disease from progressing to later stages. A kidney-friendly diet is one of the most important precautions you can follow. For those already in end-stage kidney disease, you may find yourself wondering if it’s worth following a kidney diet. The answer is yes, especially if you are starting dialysis.  For you to feel your best and improve dialysis success, a carefully planned diet will play a major role in your treatment. While some of the basic guidelines from a kidney-friendly diet will still be important to adhere to, there are even more dietary precautions to take when starting dialysis. What is a Kidney-Friendly Diet? A kidney-friendly diet is a specific eating plan that helps protect your kidneys from more damage. Foods found on a kidney diet are easy on your kidneys, liver, and digestive system to limit the amount of work each organ system needs to perform to break down and process food.  The kidneys are small, bean shape organs located just below the rib cage with one kidney on each side of the spine. These small, but powerful organs …

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What You Need to Know About the Three Different Types of Dialysis

When you’ve been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD), you and your health care provider will discuss treatment options to help manage your condition and prevent it from progressing to kidney failure. Treatment will depend on what stage of the disease and if there are any underlying causes, like diabetes or high blood pressure. In the earlier stages of CKD, treatment options may include a modified diet, antihypertensive medications, and vitamins and supplements. As the disease progresses to end-stage renal disease or end-stage renal failure, the kidneys are no longer functioning and will require a more extreme treatment protocol. End-stage renal disease requires either dialysis or a kidney transplant.  What is Chronic Kidney Disease? Chronic kidney disease is a gradual loss of kidney function over time. The kidneys are an important organ in the body that is responsible for filtering waste and excess fluids from the blood, maintaining overall fluid balance, and regulating the amount of salt and minerals in the body. Waste, excess fluid, and minerals are excreted through the urine to prevent buildup. But when kidneys become damaged, they aren’t able to filter blood as well as they should. This means that excess fluid, waste, and minerals can’t be …

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10 Early Warning Signs of Chronic Kidney Disease

How often do you think about your kidneys? Probably not very often. When your kidneys are functioning properly, it’s easy to forget what a key role they play in your health. But when your kidneys aren’t working as well as they should, your body will send you warning signals to let you know something is wrong. These warnings can be early indicators of chronic kidney disease.   What is chronic kidney disease?  Chronic kidney disease is the gradual loss of kidney function over time. The kidneys’ main job is to filter waste and extra water out of the blood to make urine. When the kidneys are functioning properly, they help maintain a balance of salt and minerals in the blood. They also release a hormone that helps regulate blood pressure.  More than 37 million Americans have chronic kidney disease. However, many people with CKD aren’t aware they have it. That’s because the symptoms can often be attributed to other conditions. Sometimes, people may not experience any symptoms at all until later stages. Because symptoms usually go undetected, chronic kidney disease is often known as a silent disease.  Since there is currently no cure for chronic kidney disease, it’s important to recognize and act upon any warning signs as soon as possible. Here are some early warning signs of chronic kidney disease to look out for.  Changes in urination Although urine …

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What You Need to Know About Creatinine Levels for Kidney Disease

The main function of the kidneys is to remove waste products from the body. One way to measure kidney function is by testing creatinine levels. High or low levels of creatinine aren’t necessarily harmful on their own but can be an indicator of serious health conditions like chronic kidney disease. What is creatinine? Creatinine is a waste product of creatine, a compound that provides energy to the muscles and helps improve performance. Creatine is one of the most researched compounds that’s often taken in supplement form by athletes, or people with neuromuscular and heart conditions. However, most creatine comes from the diet through seafood and red meat. The liver and kidneys can also produce up to 1 gram of creatine, about half of the recommended daily amount for healthy individuals. Creatine is transported through the blood to be used by parts of the body that require a lot of energy, such as muscles and the brain. As your muscles use energy, the tissue that produces energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) starts to break down. The breakdown of muscle tissue causes creatinine to be released into the bloodstream. The kidneys filter creatinine and other waste products out of …

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6 Best Foods for Chronic Kidney Disease

When you were first diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD), you may have been told you need to modify your diet. While it’s true that nutrition significantly impacts chronic illness, and eating foods that are high in nutrients and minimally processed, combined with some exercise, can help prevent and minimize symptoms of kidney disease, you aren’t limited to eating white rice for the rest of your life. What are the kidneys? The kidneys are a small bean-shaped organ that plays a primary role in the body. It’s responsible for eliminating waste and toxins, releasing hormones that regulate blood pressure, balancing fluids, and returning essential nutrients like vitamins, amino acids, and glucose back into the bloodstream. Why are there so many myths around kidney diets? CKD is a condition where damage to the kidneys results in a gradual loss of function over time. When kidneys aren’t able to do their jobs, waste and toxins build-up, blood pressure increases, and bones weaken, making you feel sick. Untreated kidney disease can lead to other chronic conditions like diabetes, hypotension, and heart disease. Damage to the kidneys is permanent. If caught in the early stages, you may be able to prevent or delay kidney …

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Chronic Kidney Disease Woman and Cat

Lessons Learned on a Seventeen Year Journey to Diagnosis

Meet Trisha (@DXMS06) Before Trisha Bordelon, a 69-year-old PatientsLikeMe (PLM) user from Springfield, Missouri, officially received any diagnosis, she was guilty of what many of us in her shoes would do – spend hours going down a rabbit hole of internet searches to try and figure out what was going on with her health. She had it in the back of her mind that her symptoms were aligning with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). However, even after seeing multiple doctors, her diagnosis was still unclear, and Trisha became more and more frustrated. One of the first symptoms she remembers was constantly losing her balance and bumping into the walls in her home. While her doctor was blaming this on the steroids she was taking, the symptoms continued even once she stopped taking the medication. It really never occurred to Trisha that something was really wrong with her until she experienced optic neuritis – twice. She was finally referred to a neurologist for scans. Still, she was frustrated she had no answers and was trying to figure out what was going on with her body. From what started with her first symptom in 1989, she experienced a double vision attack when driving to …

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Hollywood star

44 Celebrities With Kidney Disease

Roughly 37 million US adults have chronic kidney disease (CKD).  Kidney disease is a silent killer, ranking as the number one leading cause of death.  Your kidneys are about the size of a computer mouse and filters all the blood in your body. Their primary role is to remove waste, toxins, and excess fluid. They also aid in regulating blood pressure and stimulating red blood cell production. CKD is defined as having a kidney abnormality that inhibits kidney function. While there are many causes of kidney disease, often times it is affected by other chronic disease like diabetes, is hereditary, or congenital. To bring awareness to this “silent disease” in honor of National Kidney Month, so we explored some well-known people who’ve been affected by kidney disease. All Walks of Life As the University Kidney Research Organization notes in their list of famous people who have battled kidney disease, it affects people of all ages, races and walks of life – even cowboys (Buffalo Bill) and royals (Prince Rainier III of Monaco). Here’s a sampling of stars on the list: The Hollywood crowd – Directors Stephen Spielberg, Howard Hughes and Alfred Hitchcock; actresses Sarah Hyland (Modern Family), Sandra Dee, Marlene Dietrich …

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