Protecting Against Chronic Kidney Disease

Kidney function is critical to our overall health. When our kidneys aren’t functioning properly, it impacts our body’s ability to clean and filter out extra water from our blood as well as helping to control our blood pressure.

Damaged kidneys allow waste products and fluid to build up in our bodies causing ankle swelling, weakness, poor sleep, vomiting and shortness of breath. Without treatment, the damage worsens and eventually, the kidneys stop working.

Healthy kidneys keep our blood balanced by maintaining appropriate levels of sodium, potassium, phosphorus, water and other minerals. They also remove waste from our blood after digestion, physical activity, chemical exposure or medications. Our kidneys produce renin, which is what our body uses to manage blood pressure and erythropoietin, which prompts our body to make red blood cells.  For state of the art treatment options, visit the premier kidney specialist in Los AngelesDr. Victor Gura, M.D.

Kidney damage happens when there is not enough blood flow to the kidneys, there is direct damage done to the kidneys or there is a backup of urine.

Examples of the causes of kidney damage include:

  • Traumatic injury with significant blood loss (from a car accident, for example);
  • Dehydration, causing the muscle tissue to break down and send too much protein into the bloodstream;
  • The body going into shock due to sepsis, a severe infection;
  • An enlarged prostate, causing a block in the flow of urine;
  • Certain drugs and toxins;
  • Complications during pregnancy, such as eclampsia and pre-eclampsia; and
  • Autoimmune diseases.

Doctors will diagnose what is called chronic kidney disease if your kidneys are not working for longer than three months. The most common causes of kidney disease are type 1 and 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

Keeping Your Kidneys Healthy

Managing your health and avoiding the previously mentioned causes of kidney disease can go a long way in preventing further damage. But there are a few other lifestyle changes you can make to minimize the risk of kidney disease and keep your kidneys healthy.

  • Eat Healthy: Make good choices like fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat or fat-free dairy products. Cust back on salt and added sugars. Consume less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium each day.
  • Get Physical: Make sure you are active for at least 30 minutes or more for a majority of the week. Ask your doctor for a physical activity plan to get you moving.
  • Maintain a Healthy Weight: If you struggle with your weight, talk to your doctor and create a realistic weight loss plan.
  • Sleep: You should be trying for 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Getting enough sleep will help you maintain your activity levels and help with your weight loss.
  • Don’t Smoke: If you smoke or use other tobacco products, talk to your doctor about ways to stop this habit.
  • Limit Alcohol: Drinking too much can increase your blood pressure which impacts your kidneys.
  • Reduce Stress: Learn how to manage and reduce your stress levels. Physical activity, meditation, and yoga can all help reduce stress.
  • Manage Your Health: Talk to you doctor about developing a realistic plan to keep your diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease under control as each of these conditions can have an impact on your kidney health.

Kidney Specialist in Los Angeles

Chronic kidney disease can often be difficult to detect in the early stages because it causes few symptoms. Having routine screenings is important for maintaining optimal health. As a leading kidney specialist in Los Angeles, Dr. Victor Gura is skilled in diagnosing and managing patients with chronic kidney disease, helping them to stay as healthy as possible and reducing their risk of complications.

Dr. Gura is a world-renowned and board-certified internist and nephrologist. He specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of kidney diseases and dialysis technology. Dr. Gura offers treatment options for diabetes, high blood pressure, acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease, end-stage renal disease and proteinuria. Book your consultation with Dr. Gura today.