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Monday, October 16, 2017
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A Renal Physician or Nephrologist is a doctor who specializes in kidneys. A renal physician will diagnose and care for patients with kidney diseases.
Kidneys filter waste products and regulate fluid and electrolytes in the body. Kidneys are also responsible for producing hormones to regulate blood pressure, produce blood cells, and bone health.
The GFR or Glomerular Filtration Rate is a way of measuring kidney function through a calculation of serum creatinine, age and gender. This is measured during a 24 hour urine collection. More information can be found about the GFR through the National Institutes of Health.

CKD is an acronym for Chronic Kidney Disease. CKD is a condition in which kidney damage is above a certain threshold within a 3 month period or kidney function is below a certain threshold within a 3 month period. The leading cause of kidney disease are diabetes or high blood pressure. Unfortunately there is no cure for kidney disease There is only stopping or slowing down the speed of damage. In some cases, kidneys can be repaired through proper care. CKDs are defined by your GFR Results:

Stage 1 CKD - GFR > 90 – Normal Kidney function. This stage may or may not mean you have CKD. CKD at this stage can be defined through other means, normally by diagnoses of diabetes or high blood pressure.

Stage 2 CKD - GFR > 60-89 – Signs of abnormal kidney function. The patient should consider changing diets and lifestyle and may need medication to prevent further damage.

Stage 3 CKD - GFR > 30-59 – Signs of CKD. The patient will require a special diet designed to preserve kidney function. Medication is also prescribed and working with a registered renal dietitian will be necessary.

Stage 4 CKD - GFR > 15-29 – Severe CKD. The patient will be needing to prepare for dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Stage 5 CKD - GFR < 15 – Kidney Failure and considered at the end stage renal disease (ESRD). At this stage, the patient requires immediate medical attention and will need dialysis or kidney transplant to live.

The lab work to test CKD includes blood pressure analysis, serum creatinine levels, and urine albumin. Your nephrologist may order a more detailed test based on your condition.
Patients with CKD should avoid NSAIDS (Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs), IV dyes, certain enemas, laxatives, and herbal products. Patients should consult their renal physicians before starting any new over the counter medicines.
The damage in the kidneys are unrepairable. Kidney failure will lead to a condition called uremia, which is where the body fills with extra water and waste products. The body begins to swell, and you will feel fatigue and feeble. If left untreated, the patient will lead to seizures or coma, and eventually death. The patient will require dialysis or a kidney transplant in order to remain alive. Patients will have the right to refuse or withdraw from treatment.
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