Advice for Those with Kidney Disease: What is the Best Thing to Drink for the Kidneys?

June 20, 2018

Advice for Those with Kidney Disease: What is the Best Thing to Drink for the Kidneys?

Failure to pick kidney-friendly drinks when you suffer from kidney disease can cause fluid and waste to build up in the body. Over time, prolonged fluid and waste build up in the body can lead to the development of numerous health problems ranging from heart failure and problems with high and low blood pressure to arthritis and renal failure. Drinking drinks that are considered kidney-friendly will help you avoid these potential problems by keeping you hydrated. Staying will work to prevent waste or fluid from building up.

Next time you get thirsty, reach for the following kidney-friendly drinks. They will help you keep not only your kidneys healthy but your entire body.

Kidney-Friendly Drink #1: Water

Water is the best drink to consume for your kidneys. It helps keep your body hydrated, which helps your kidneys properly function. When your kidneys are functioning properly, your body is able to naturally flush out toxins, regulate your body temperature, and transport essential nutrients to organs.

If you don’t drink enough water on a daily basis, you could end up with a number of problems that include kidney stones, severe dehydration, and urinary tract infections. The recommended amount of water you should be consuming on a daily basis is approximately eight glasses of water.

Kidney-Friendly Drink #2: Juices that are Lemon and Lime Flavored

Kidney stones are a real concern for people who suffer from kidney disease. Recent research from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases suggests that drinking juices that are based in the flavors lemon, lime or other citrus fruits can help in the prevention of kidney stones.

When drinking these types of juices it is important to pay attention to sugar content. Drinking juices that are high in sugar can have the opposite effect and cause numerous health problems such as diabetes.

Kidney-Friendly Drink #3: Wine

Consuming wine in moderation on a regular basis could help to keep your kidneys healthy, a study released in 2014 by the National Kidney Foundation suggested. The study suggested that kidney disease was less likely to occur in people who drank small amounts of wine as opposed to people who drank no wine at all.

Work with a Kidney Specialist to Create a Kidney-Friendly Diet

Every person’s kidney-friendly diet will vary depending upon previous health history and what stage the kidney disease is in. Schedule an appointment with an individual, like Dr. Allan Lauer, who specializes in kidney disease to discuss what foods and drinks are best for you to consume. Dr. Lauer can also help to create a customized treatment plan for you that will help you avoid renal failure. Call Associates in Nephrology today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Allan Lauer.

What are the Signs that You Need Dialysis?

June 13, 2018

What are the Signs that You Need Dialysis?

Dialysis is a medical treatment that does the job of the kidneys, which is removing waste materials and excess fluids from the body. Dialysis is for people in kidney failure, a condition where the kidneys no longer work. Kidney failure does produce certain signs that you need dialysis.

The kidneys are two fist-sized, bean-shaped organs located on either side of your spine, just under your ribcage. They filter about 120 to 150 quarts to produce 1 – 2 quarts of urine each day. Your kidneys perform other tasks, such as playing a role in the production of the red blood cells that transport oxygen from your lungs to the rest of y our body.  Kidney failure is a condition where the kidneys stop cleaning toxins from the blood and fail to perform other important functions. Kidney failure causes the signs that you need dialysis.

There are two options to treat kidney failure: kidney transplant and dialysis. A kidney transplant is an ideal treatment, of course, but it requires a donor match. There is currently a very long list of people on the kidney transplant waiting list – more than 93,000 people are currently waiting for a kidney transplant, according to the Living Kidneys Donors Network. Everyone on the waiting list for a kidney transplant needs dialysis.

You need dialysis if you are on the kidney transplant waiting list. You may also need dialysis if you have signs of kidney failure.

Signs of Kidney Failure and Need for Dialysis

You need dialysis if you are suffering from kidney failure. You may not realize you have a kidney problem, though, as kidney failure may not always produce symptoms. When they do occur, the signs and symptoms of kidney failure may be subtle.

Changes in urination are important signs that you need dialysis. While a decrease in urine output is usually the main sign of kidney failure, producing too much urine may also be a sign of kidney failure. Changes in the color of your urine may indicate a kidney problem, as can foamy or bubbly urine, feeling pressure when urinating, or having to get up in the middle of the night to urinate.

If you need dialysis, you might notice swelling in your legs, ankles, and feet. This swelling is due to excess fluids in your system. Fluid can build up in your lungs to cause shortness of breath.

Fatigue or weakness may occur. These symptoms are the result of a buildup of waste in your bloodstream or the lack of red blood cells.

Back or flank pain may indicate a kidney problem.

You may need dialysis if you experience “ammonia breath,” or when you get an ammonia or metal taste in your mouth. You might experience an aversion to meat and other protein-rich foods. This is due to the waste products in your system.

Itching is a common sign. It is also the result of waste accumulation in your system. Loss of appetite and vomiting may occur.

Anyone who suffers signs of kidney failure should speak to a doctor about dialysis.

What Causes Chronic Renal Failure?

May 21, 2018

What Causes Chronic Renal Failure?

Chronic renal failure (CRF) is usually preceded by either chronic kidney disease or acute renal failure. However, CRF has many different causes, ranging from diseases to toxic exposure to infections. All of these cause damage to the kidneys themselves. Eventually, the kidneys can no longer do the work of clearing wastes from the blood and dialysis or a kidney transplant is necessary to stay alive. Here’s what you need to know about CRF, courtesy of Dr. Allan Lauer and Associates in Nephrology.

Chronic Kidney Disease

The National Kidney Foundation notes that approximately 30 million American adults have chronic kidney disease. Millions of others have an increased risk of developing this condition. The earlier the problem is detected, the sooner treatment can begin and the greater the likelihood that further damage can be prevented. Certain groups of people have a higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease, which can lead to CRF. These groups include seniors, African Americans, Pacific Islanders, American Indians, people with a family history of kidney failure and those with diabetes or high blood pressure (hypertension).

Causes of Chronic Renal Failure

The two main causes of chronic renal failure are diabetes and hypertension. People who have diabetes sustain damage to the kidneys – as well as many other organs – when their blood sugar is too high. The high levels of sugar interfere with the cells of the body because cellular metabolism depends on a blood sugar that stays within a narrow range. Hypertension damages the walls of the blood vessels because of the constant high pressure. It works the other way, too – chronic kidney disease can cause high blood pressure. However, low blood pressure increases the chance of complications once you develop CRF.

Although diabetes and hypertension top the list, CRF can also be the result of:

  • Infections such as glomerulonephritis – the third most common cause of kidney disease.
  • Genetic factors, such as kidney malformations and polycystic kidney disease.
  • An exposure to a toxic substance such as lead, cadmium or mercury.
  • Diseases like lupus or other immune disorders.
  • Mechanical obstruction to urinary flow caused by tumors, kidney stones or an enlarged prostate in men.

Symptoms of CRF

The symptoms of CRF are often subtle and do not appear until the disease is well advanced. Fatigue is common, as is an inability to concentrate. In most cases, the appetite is poor and you may have trouble sleeping. Swollen feet and ankles, puffiness around the eyes – especially in the morning – and muscle cramps at night are other typical symptoms. Needing to urinate more often, especially at night, is another common symptom of CRF. Dry itchy skin usually develops as the disease progresses. The disease is usually diagnosed by a test called the glomerular function rate.

If you have been diagnosed with kidney problems of any kind, your primary care provider might want you to see a specialist such as Dr. Lauer. Remember, early care is important to prevent complications. Please contact us for an appointment.

What Are Common Dialysis Side Effects?

May 11, 2018

What Are Common Dialysis Side Effects?

Dialysis is a literal life-saver for those with renal failure. Like almost all medical treatments, it can have side effects. Some of these are minor, while others can have serious effects and require additional treatment. Here’s what you need to know about the most common dialysis side effects, courtesy of Dr. Allan Lauer at Associates in Nephrology.
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What Dialysis Patients Cannot Eat

April 18, 2018

What Dialysis Patients Cannot Eat

Your body’s kidneys are designed to work 24/7 to filter toxins and wastes out of your blood. In people who have been diagnosed with renal failure, the kidneys are not healthy enough to filter the blood which is why dialysis is needed. Unfortunately, this treatment can’t do the full work that healthy kidneys do which is why it is important to watch what you eat when undergoing dialysis treatment.

Watching what you eat while undergoing treatment for kidney failure can help prevent you from becoming ill as a result of toxins and wastes building up in your bloodstream. Eating foods that don’t contain the harmful toxins and wastes keeps the blood healthy in between appointments for treatment.

What Ingredients You Should Avoid When on Dialysis

It isn’t so much what you eat, but what ingredients are in the foods or drinks you consume. When you are undergoing treatment, you will want to check the labels of all foods and drinks to make sure they don’t contain items that could make you sick.

The ingredients you will want to avoid during treatment are:

  • Phosphorus
  • Sodium
  • High amounts of liquid or fluids
  • Potassium

Potassium may or may not be on your list of things to avoid during treatment. It will all depend upon your personal potassium levels. Typically during treatment, you will undergo regular blood tests. Those blood tests will be able to tell you if need to completely avoid potassium, eat more potassium, or if you can have some in small amounts.

Examples of Foods You Should Avoid During Dialysis

Some examples of the foods you will want to avoid during treatment include:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Eggs
  • Dried beans
  • Milk
  • Chocolate
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Meats, seafood, and fish – allowed in very limited quantities
  • Bacon
  • Processed foods
  • Pickles

Some of the foods, such as milk and meats, can be consumed in limited quantities. Other foods, such as chocolate, nuts, and seeds, need to be completely avoided.

Your healthcare team will work with you before you start treatment to create a very detailed list of foods that you should avoid. They will also provide you with examples of foods and drinks that you can eat or drink during treatment.

Schedule an Appointment to Create a Customized Care Plan

Associates of Nephrology provide comprehensive, customized care for patients who are seeking treatment for renal failure. That customized care plan includes a detailed outline of what foods and drinks need to be avoided or limited. Call our office today to schedule an appointment with the compassionate and caring doctors at Associates of Nephrology.

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