The kidneys are two bean shaped organs that are part of the renal system. The kidney's primary role is the removal of waste through urination. The kidneys also regulate and balance the body’s fluids/blood pressure. They play a role in the creation of red blood cells, bone creation, energy utilization, and hormone function.
There are two types of kidney disease- acute and chronic. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is damage that has been done towards the kidney over time where acute kidney injury (AKI) is damage done to the kidney at one point in time. CKD is having abnormal lab values or protein in the urine for three months or longer. The most common causes of CKD are diabetes & hypertension. However some causes of CKD are due to drugs/toxins, conditions you are born with, or inflammation due to your immune system. AKI & CKD affects both kidneys and most people won’t feel the effects of their kidneys’ not working until the disease is in the late stage.
Early detection and prevention of CKD is incredibly important to decrease the progression of disease. The most common causes of CKD is hypertension and Diabetes. Most of the time, patients suffering from kidney disease will be referred to a nephrologist. This is a doctor who specializes in managing kidney disease. Kidney disease can be treated successfully if offending factors are controlled. Kidney failure occurs when the kidneys no longer function, this is life threatening. Management of kidney failure is renal replacement therapy (dialysis), kidney transplant, or hospice.
The types of dialysis are peritoneal dialysis (PD) and hemodialysis (HD). Lancaster county is fortunate to have HD & PD both in center and at home both day and night. Kidney transplants are an option for some and have high success rates. The transplanted kidney can come from someone deceased, a loved one or a complete stranger. Kidney donation is the gift of life.
People who suffer from kidney failure suffer more than the loss of health. Management of these conditions can socially and financially draining. People require support from friend members, friend, the medical community and groups such as Lancaster Area Kidney Association.
What is Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) means your kidneys are damaged and can’t filter blood the way they should.
Peritoneal dialysis is a treatment for kidney failure that uses the lining of your abdomen, or belly, to filter your blood inside your body. Health care providers call this lining the peritoneum.
Hemodialysis is a treatment to filter wastes and water from your blood, as your kidneys did when they were healthy. Hemodialysis helps control blood pressure and balance important minerals, such as potassium, sodium, and calcium, in your blood.
Conservative management for kidney failure means that your health care team continues your care without dialysis or a kidney transplant. The focus of care is on your quality of life and symptom control.
National Kidney Foundation
The National Kidney Foundation is the leading organization in the U.S. dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease for hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals, millions of patients and their families, and tens of millions of Americans at risk.