Tag Archives: kidney

Chronic Kidney Disease

What is chronic kidney disease? 

— Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is when the kidneys stop working as well as they should. When they are working normally, the kidneys filter the blood and remove waste and excess salt and water (figure 1).

In people with CKD, the kidneys slowly lose the ability to filter the blood. In time, the kidneys can stop working completely. That is why it is so important to keep CKD from getting worse.

What are the symptoms of CKD? 

— At first, CKD causes no symptoms. As the disease gets worse, it can:

●Make your feet, ankles, or legs swell (doctors call this “edema”)

●Give you high blood pressure

●Make you very tired

●Damage your bones

Is there anything I can do to keep my kidneys from getting worse if I have CKD? — Yes, you can protect your kidneys by:

●Taking blood pressure and other medicines every day, if your doctor or nurse prescribes them to you

●Keeping your blood sugar in a healthy range, if you have diabetes

●Changing your diet, if your doctor or nurse says you should

●Quitting smoking, if you smoke

●Losing weight, if you are overweight

●Avoiding medicines known as “nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs,” or NSAIDs. These medicines include ibuprofen (sample brand names: Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (sample brand name: Aleve). Check with your doctor, nurse, or kidney specialist before starting any new medicines – even over-the-counter ones.

What are the treatments for CKD?

 — People in the early stages of CKD can take medicines to keep the disease from getting worse. For example, many people with CKD should take medicines known as “ACE inhibitors” or “angiotensin receptor blockers.” If your doctor or nurse prescribes these medicines, it is very important that you take them every day as directed. If they cause side effects or cost too much, speak to your doctor or nurse about it. He or she might have solutions to offer.

What happens if my kidneys stop working completely? 

— If your kidneys stop working completely, you can choose between 3 different treatments to take over the job of your kidneys. Your choices are described below.

●You can have kidney transplant surgery. That way, the new kidney can do the job of your own kidneys. If you have a kidney transplant, you will need to take medicines for the rest of your life to keep your body from reacting badly to the new kidney. (You only need one kidney to live.)

●You can have your blood filtered by a machine. This treatment is called “hemodialysis,” but many people call it just “dialysis.” If you choose this approach, you will need to be hooked up to the machine at least 3 times a week for a few hours for the rest of your life. Before you start, you will also need to have surgery to prepare a blood vessel for attachment to the machine.

●You can learn to use a special fluid that has to be piped in and out of your belly every day. This treatment is called “peritoneal dialysis.” If you choose this type of dialysis, you will need surgery to have a tube implanted in your belly. Then you will have to learn how to pipe the fluid in and out through that tube.

How do I choose between the different treatment options? 

— You and your doctor will need to work together to find a treatment that’s right for you. Kidney transplant surgery is usually the best option for most people. But often there are no kidneys available for transplant.

Ask your doctor to explain all of your options and how they might work for you. Then talk openly with him or her about how you feel about all of the options. You might even decide that you do not want any treatment. That is your choice.

This educational content was put together by Dr. Carlo Oller (Emergency Physician) as part of a project to accumulate quality patient education about different conditions under one website for free. You can find this, and many other educational content at www.patienteducation.video

Bladder Stones

Bladder stones are small masses of minerals that precipitate in your bladder. These develop with urine in your bladder becomes very concentrated causing minerals in the fluid to crystalize. Concentrated stagnant urine is usually the result of not being able to completely empty your bladder. Dr. Carlo Oller, emergency physician, talks about bladder stones. Dr. Carlo Oller Board Certified Emergency Physician Please visit my website, www.DrER.tv make sure you subscribe, comment, and share! That is the best way to show your support.

Kidney Stones

Dr. Carlo Oller educates about kidney stones in this more detailed explanation of the disease.

What are kidney stones?

— Kidney stones are just what they sound like: small stones that form inside the kidneys. They form when salts and minerals that are normally in the urine build up and harden.

Kidney stones usually get carried out of the body when you urinate. But sometimes they can get stuck on the way out. If that happens, the stones can cause:

Pain in your side or in the lower part of your belly

Blood in the urine (which can make urine pink or red)

Nausea or vomiting

Pain when you urinate

The need to urinate in a hurry

How do I know if I have kidney stones?

— If your doctor or nurse thinks you have kidney stones, he or she can order an imaging test that can show the stones.

How are kidney stones treated?

— Each person’s treatment is a little different. The right treatment for you will depend on:

The size, type, and location of your stone

How much pain you have

How much you are vomiting

If your stone is big or causes severe symptoms, you might need to stay in the hospital. If your stone is small and causes only mild symptoms, you might be able to stay home and wait for it to pass in the urine. If you stay home, you will probably need to drink a lot of fluids. Plus, you might need to take pain medicines or medicines that make it easier to pass the stone. Stones that do not pass on their own can be treated with:

A machine that uses sound waves to break up stones into smaller pieces. This is called “shock wave lithotripsy.” This procedure does not involve surgery, but it can be painful.

A special kind of surgery that makes very small holes in your skin. During this surgery, the doctor passes tiny tools through the holes and into the kidney. Then he or she removes the stone. This is called “percutaneous nephrolithotomy.”

A thin tube that goes into your body the same way urine comes out. Doctors use tools at the end of the tube to break up or remove stones. This is called “ureteroscopy.”

What can I do to keep from getting kidney stones again?

— One simple thing you can do is to drink plenty of water. You might also need to change what you eat, depending on what your kidney stones were made of. If so, your doctor or nurse can tell you which foods to avoid. Your doctor or nurse might also prescribe you new medicines to keep you from having another kidney stone.

How to prevent kidney stones?

  • Carlo Oller (emergency physician with www.DrER.tv) has put together more than 1800 FREE patient education videos which can be found at www.patienteducation.video
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