Kidney Disease

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Appropriate treatment will vary, depending on the cause of the kidney disorder. In general, the earlier kidney disease is recognised, the more likely it is to be treatable, and sometimes – as may occur with acute kidney disease – the damage may be reversible. Goals of treatment are to treat underlying conditions, minimise kidney dysfunction, control symptoms, and prevent the progression of kidney disease to the extent possible.

In the case of diabetes, monitoring and controlling blood glucose levels is paramount. For people with hypertension, lowering blood pressure, sometimes through the use of medications, can help protect the kidneys from damage.

Other medications may be used to relieve some of the symptoms of kidney disease, such as anaemia and oedema, or to lower cholesterol in order to reduce the risk of heart disease. Dietary changes may also be recommended.

Some kidney conditions, such as infections and some acute kidney injuries, can be resolved without causing permanent kidney damage. In many cases, however, the damage cannot be reversed. If the damage is severe and kidney failure has been reached, treatment involves dialysis – either using a machine several times a week to take over kidney filtration or by using peritoneal dialysis – or kidney transplantation.

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