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Chronic Kidney Disease

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Treatment Overview

The goal of treatment for chronic kidney disease is to prevent or slow further damage to your kidneys. Another condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure usually causes kidney disease, so it is important to identify and manage the condition that is causing your kidney disease. It is also important to prevent diseases and avoid situations that can cause kidney damage or make it worse.

Treatment to control kidney disease

Control the disease that's causing the kidney damage

One of the most important parts of treatment is to control the disease that is causing kidney damage. You and your doctor will create a plan to aggressively treat and manage your condition to help slow any more damage to your kidneys.

If you have diabetes, it is important to control your blood sugar levels with diet, exercise, and medicines. A persistently high blood sugar level can damage the blood vessels in the kidneys. For more information about kidney disease caused by diabetes, see the topic Diabetic Nephropathy.

If you have high blood pressure, it is also important to control your blood pressure with diet, exercise, and any medicines your doctor prescribes. The goal is to keep your blood pressure less than 130/80.1 To learn ways to help control your blood pressure, see the topic High Blood Pressure.

If other conditions or diseases are causing kidney damage, such as a blockage (obstruction) in the urinary tract or long-term use of medicines that can damage the kidneys, you and your doctor will work out a treatment plan.

Take medicines if prescribed

You may be prescribed a blood pressure medicine, such as an ACE inhibitor or an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB). These medicines are used to reduce protein in the urine and help manage high blood pressure.

Have a healthy lifestyle

You can take steps at home to help control your kidney disease. For example:

  • Follow a diet that is healthy for your kidneys. A dietitian can help you make an eating plan with the right amounts of salt (sodium), fluids, and protein.
    actionset.gif Kidney Disease: Changing Your Diet
  • Make exercise a routine part of your life. Work with your doctor to make an exercise program that's right for you.
  • Don't use substances that can harm your kidneys, such as alcohol, any kind of tobacco, or illegal drugs. Also, be sure that your doctor knows about all prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, and herbs that you are taking.

Go to all follow-up visits

Your doctor will use blood and urine tests to regularly check how well your kidneys are functioning and whether changes to your treatment plan are needed. These tests are critical to help monitor your disease. The tests include:

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 15, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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