What do these results mean for my kidney health?
Your kidneys may not be filtering very much, if any, extra fluid or waste out of your body. The waste that stays in your body can make you very sick and cause other health problems, such as high blood pressure, bone disease and heart disease.
You may have symptoms of kidney disease, such as:
Feeling weak and tired
Swelling in your arms, hands, legs or feet
Making little or no urine (pee)
Headaches or pain in your lower back
Feeling sick to your stomach
Feeling less hungry than normal
Changes in your skin color
What can I do if my kidneys have failed or are close to failing?
You will need to see a nephrologist (kidney doctor). The damage to your kidneys cannot be reversed (healed), but there are treatment options that can help you live. Your nephrologist will discuss your treatment options, which include medicines to help with your symptoms and other health problems kidney disease can cause. These medicines include:
Blood pressure medicines that help slow the damage to your kidneys
Diabetes medicines to keep your blood sugar at a healthy level (even if you do not have diabetes)
Medicines to help with swelling (diuretics)
Treatments for kidney failure
If your kidneys have failed, you will need treatment that takes the place of your kidneys to survive. These are:
Dialysis, which is a treatment to clean your blood when your kidneys are not able to
A kidney transplant, which is surgery to give you a kidney from someone else’s body
Even if your kidneys are still working, ask your nephrologist to help you learn about your dialysis options. If your kidneys fail, you will want to be ready to get dialysis when you need it.
Follow your treatment plan
You should see your nephrologist about every three months for lab tests and to talk about how you are feeling, such as if you are having trouble following your treatment plan. You should also:
Meet with a dietitian to help you create and follow a kidney-friendly eating plan. Your eating plan may involve limiting certain things to prevent them from building up in your body, such as fluids, potassium, salt (sodium) or phosphorus.
Follow your diabetes treatment plan to keep your blood sugar within your target range, if you have diabetes.
Be active for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. This can be anything from walking or riding a bike to swimming or dancing.
Keep a healthy weight. Talk with your doctor about a healthy weight for you.
Quit smoking or using tobacco.
Download Your Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Toolkit to learn more.
Thanks for taking the time to learn more about your kidney health.