Chronic Kidney Disease Specialist

Southland Renal Medical Group -  - Nephrologist

Southland Renal Medical Group

Nephrologists located in the Greater Long Beach and Orange County, CA Area

About 15% of all adults in the United States have chronic kidney disease (CKD), a progressive condition that can be managed but not cured. The best way to maintain your ongoing health when you have CKD is by working together with the exceptional team at Southland Renal Medical Group, with kidney treatment centers in Long Beach, Downey, Fountain Valley, and Los Alamitos, California. They provide comprehensive care for CKD, from dietary recommendations and medications, through dialysis and kidney transplantation. Call Southland Renal Medical Group or use the online booking feature to schedule an appointment today.

Chronic Kidney Disease Q & A

What is chronic kidney disease?

CKD occurs when your kidneys are damaged and can’t continue to perform their critical job of filtering wastes and fluids out of your blood. The damage develops over time, turning into a progressive disease that can’t be cured.

Your two kidneys each contain up to a million functioning units called nephrons. Nephrons contain a filter, the glomerulus, that takes in blood, removes wastes and excess water and minerals like salt, calcium, and potassium, then sends the filtered blood back into circulation.

As your kidneys progressively fail, the ever-increasing amount of wastes and water that stays in your bloodstream leads to serious problems like heart disease, osteoporosis, and nerve damage.

 

What causes chronic kidney disease?

The top two causes of CKD are diabetes and high blood pressure (hypertension), while the third most common cause is a condition called glomerulonephritis.

Diabetes

Roughly 25% of adults with diabetes have CKD. When diabetes isn’t well managed, high blood sugar gradually damages the small blood vessels in the filtering units of your kidneys.

Hypertension

High blood pressure also damages your blood vessels. When your kidneys can’t eliminate excess water, your blood pressure increases, creating an ongoing and dangerous cycle.

Glomerulonephritis

Glomerulonephritis develops when the filters in your kidneys become inflamed, ultimately causing scarring that stops them from working. This condition usually develops slowly over several years.

CKD is less often caused by a variety of conditions including toxic drugs, heavy metal poisoning, autoimmune disorders like lupus, polycystic kidney disease (PKD), and inherited disorders.

 

What symptoms develop due to chronic kidney disease?

CKD progresses so slowly that you can have it for years without developing symptoms. As kidney damage worsens, you’ll experience:

  • Fatigue
  • Poor appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Muscle cramps at night
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Swollen feet and ankles
  • Puffiness around your eyes
  • Frequent urination, especially at night

These generic symptoms can be caused by any number of illnesses, which is why it’s so important to schedule an exam at Southland Renal Medical Group.

 

How is chronic kidney disease managed?

Your treatment for CKD focuses on slowing or stopping progressive kidney damage. Some of the most important components include:

  • Controlling high blood pressure
  • Managing blood sugar levels
  • Following your recommended meal plan
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Stopping smoking

Your doctor at Southland Renal Medical Group works with you to develop a healthy diet that minimizes wastes in your blood. You may also receive prescription medications to treat symptoms or to help lower cholesterol or blood pressure.

 

What happens if my chronic kidney disease causes kidney failure?

CKD progresses through stages that are determined by a measure of kidney function called the glomerular filtration rate (GRF). When your kidneys become so damaged that they can’t filter enough wastes, you enter end-stage renal disease or kidney failure. At this stage, you must use dialysis to take the place of your kidneys and filter your blood.

In addition to dialysis, getting a kidney transplant is an option for qualified patients. The team at Southland Renal Medical Group offer comprehensive treatment for all stages of CKD, including providing dialysis at home and in the clinic, and ensure you have all the information and support you need to manage kidney failure.

If you have questions about your symptoms or the ongoing management of CKD, call Southland Renal Medical Group or schedule an appointment online today.