Top 10 Q & A

What is kidney disease?

Kidney disease is a chronic state of low kidney function usually because of another chronic condition, type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.

How would I know if I have kidney disease?

This is one of the most commonly asked questions. For the most part, kidney disease is asymptomatic unless very advanced. A simple lab test can detect kidney disease.

What are the common causes of kidney disease?

In this country, the most common cause of kidney disease is diabetes followed by high blood pressure and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use. In certain cases, kidney disease can be hereditary.

What are the symptoms of kidney disease?

Unfortunately, in the early stages there are no symptoms of kidney disease. During late or advanced stages, the symptoms could be: retention of water in the body or generalized swelling, difficulty breathing, puffiness around the face and eye and frothy urine.

What drugs are harmful to the kidneys?

The most common medications that are harmful to the kidneys are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories commonly known as NSAIDs

How can I protect my kidneys if I take medications to treat other health conditions?

It is always necessary to get your kidney function checked before your health care provider can advise you of the specific measures needed to protect the kidneys.

What foods should I avoid for my kidney health?

Generally, food high in sugar, high in salt and high in saturated fatty acids are harmful to the kidney.

How does my nephrologist know that I need to have dialysis or get a kidney transplant?

A simple blood test and urine test along with kidney imaging is helpful in making the determination.

Do I need to get labs drawn before each visit and why?

For the most part, kidney disease is asymptomatic, meaning it does not have any symptoms other than some abnormal labs. A lot of these conditions are fairly progressive, so it is important to have labs drawn before each visit to assess the latest situation

Why do I need to schedule a follow up visit after my initial consultation?

An initial visit reviews your prior history and the doctor may order tests to further diagnose the condition and manage it accordingly. A follow-up is a must to review the test results and discuss further treatment strategies with the nephrology team.