doctor will do blood and urine tests to help find out how well your kidneys are
working. These tests can show signs of kidney disease and
anemia. (You can get anemia from having damaged
kidneys.) You may have other tests to help rule out other problems that could
cause your symptoms.
Your doctor will do tests that measure the amount of urea (BUN) and creatinine in your blood. These tests can help measure how well your kidneys are filtering your blood. As your kidney function gets worse, the amount of nitrogen (shown by the BUN test) and creatinine in your blood increases. The level of creatinine in your blood is used to find out the glomerular filtration rate (GFR). The GFR is used to show how much kidney function you still have. The GFR is also used to find out the stage of your kidney disease and to guide decisions about treatment.
Your doctor will ask questions about any
past kidney problems. He or she will also ask whether you have a family history of kidney disease and
what medicines you take, both prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
You may have a test that lets your doctor look at a picture of your
kidneys, such as an
CT scan. These tests can help your doctor measure the
size of your kidneys, estimate blood flow to the kidneys, and see if urine flow
is blocked. In some cases, your doctor may take a tiny sample of kidney tissue
(biopsy) to help find out what caused your kidney
Chronic kidney disease is
usually caused by another condition. So the first step is to treat the disease
that is causing kidney damage.
Diabetes and high blood pressure
cause most cases of chronic kidney disease. If you keep your blood pressure and
blood sugar in a target range, you may be able to slow or stop the damage to your
kidneys. Losing weight and getting more exercise can help. You may also need to
Kidney disease is a complex problem. You will
probably need to take a number of medicines and have many tests. To stay as
healthy as possible, work closely with your doctor. Go to all your
appointments. And take your medicines just the way your doctor says to.
Lifestyle changes are an important part of your treatment. Taking these
steps can help slow down kidney disease and reduce your symptoms. These steps may also
help with high blood pressure, diabetes, and other problems that make kidney
- Follow a diet that is easy on your kidneys.
A dietitian can help you make an eating plan with the right amounts of salt
(sodium) and protein. You may also need to watch how much fluid you drink each
- Make exercise a routine part of your life. Work with your
doctor to design an exercise program that is right for you.
not smoke or use tobacco.
- Do not drink alcohol.
Always talk to your doctor before you take
any new medicine, including over-the-counter remedies,
prescription drugs, vitamins, or herbs. Some of these can hurt your kidneys.