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Patient Receiving Kidney Dyalisis

What to Expect with the Kidney Dialysis Process

 

What to Expect with the Kidney Dialysis Process

Undergoing dialysis can seem daunting, but understanding the process can help ease any anxieties and prepare you for what lies ahead. Dialysis is a life-saving treatment for those with kidney failure. It filters waste and excess fluids from the blood when the kidneys can no longer perform this function efficiently on their own. Here’s a step-by-step overview of what you can expect during the dialysis process.

Patient Receiving Kidney Dyalisis

Step-by-Step Overview of the Dialysis Process

  • Preparation: Before starting dialysis, a vascular access point will be created. This access point, which is usually in your arm, allows the blood to easily enter and exit your body during the treatment. It can be an arteriovenous (AV) fistula, AV graft, or central venous catheter.
  • Arrival and Setup: On the day of your treatment, you will check into the dialysis center and be guided to your treatment area. Here, you will be seated in a comfortable chair, and the dialysis machine will be prepared by a healthcare professional.
  • Connection: The healthcare professional will connect you to the dialysis machine via the vascular access point. Blood is drawn out of your body, filtered through the machine to remove waste and excess fluids, and then returned to your body.
  • Dialysis Session: During your session, you can read, watch TV, or even take a nap. The process is always supervised by trained medical staff to ensure everything runs smoothly.
  • Disconnection and Post-Treatment: After the session is complete, you will be disconnected from the dialysis machine. Your access site will be cleaned and bandaged. You may feel a bit tired after treatment, but many people can go about their normal activities.

Duration and Experience of Dialysis

The typical dialysis session lasts about four hours, and most patients undergo this treatment three times a week. While dialysis itself is not painful, the needle insertion can cause some discomfort, but this usually diminishes over time as you get accustomed to the dialysis process. Some patients may feel fatigued or have muscle cramps after a session, but these effects often improve with regular treatment and proper management.

How You May Feel After Dialysis

Post-dialysis symptoms can vary. Some patients feel a sense of relief and normalcy, while others might experience fatigue or slight dizziness. Staying hydrated and maintaining a balanced diet can mitigate these side effects. It’s essential to communicate with your healthcare team about any discomfort or concerns you may have to adjust your treatment plan accordingly.

Conclusion

Dialysis is a critical process for those experiencing kidney failure. It helps you to maintain a healthy balance of fluids and waste in the body. While the process might seem intimidating initially, understanding the steps involved and knowing what to expect can make it more manageable. The dedicated team at Midwest Nephrology Associates is here to support you every step of the way. Whether you have questions about the dialysis process or need to schedule a consultation, we are here to help. Visit one of our locations in the greater Milwaukee area or contact us to schedule an appointment and take the next step towards better kidney health.

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Nurse discussing kidney health

Living a Full Life with One Kidney: Debunking Myths and Embracing Health

 

Living a Full Life with One Kidney: Debunking Myths and Embracing Health

Living with one kidney is a reality for many individuals, whether due to donation, surgery, or congenital conditions. The good news is that most people can lead healthy, normal lives with just one kidney. The experts at Midwest Nephrology Associates are here to help you understand how you can maintain optimal health and debunk some common myths associated with living with one kidney.

Nurse discussing kidney health

A Healthy Life is Possible

Studies have shown that the morbidity and mortality rates for those living with one kidney are extremely low. In fact, one study indicated a mortality rate of just 0.03%. This means that, in most cases, having one kidney does not significantly impact your life expectancy, provided the remaining kidney stays healthy.

Protecting Your Kidney

Maintaining kidney health is crucial, especially when you have only one. Here are some specific steps you can take to protect your kidney:

  • Healthy Diet: Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables while avoiding excess salt can greatly benefit your kidney health. For more detailed dietary tips, check out our guide on foods that help boost kidney function.
  • Avoid Harmful Substances: It is essential to avoid substances harmful to the kidneys, such as alcohol and tobacco.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water helps keep your kidney functioning well.
  • Regular Checkups: Attending regular medical checkups to monitor kidney function and prevent complications is important.

Debunking Common Myths

There are several myths about living with one kidney that can cause unnecessary worry.
Let's set the record straight:

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  • Similar to the above, with the ability to get more information without ever leaving the Search Engine Results page, you may see a decrease in traffic, but you should also experience higher conversion rates.
  • New features will continue to roll out like uploading photos to get recommendations.
  • Myth: People with one kidney must follow a restricted diet
  • Reality: Most individuals with one kidney do not need a special diet, although it’s wise to avoid excessive salt and sodium.
  • Myth: Physical activity is off-limits for those with one kidney.
  • Reality: Physical exercise is healthy and encouraged. However, some doctors may advise against contact sports that could potentially harm the remaining kidney.
  • Similar to the above, with the ability to get more information without ever leaving the Search Engine Results page, you may see a decrease in traffic, but you should also experience higher conversion rates.
  • New features will continue to roll out like uploading photos to get recommendations.
  • Myth: Having one kidney means you can't have children.
  • Reality: People with one kidney can get pregnant and have children safely, though they may require closer monitoring during pregnancy.

The Resilience of the Kidneys

The kidneys are incredibly resilient organs. The body can adapt remarkably well when one kidney is removed, whether for donation or medical reasons. Most people with only one kidney live perfectly healthy lives and do not need to make significant lifestyle adjustments.

About Midwest Nephrology

Midwest Nephrology Associates is dedicated to providing top-tier care and guidance for all aspects of kidney health. Whether you need information on maintaining kidney function or managing life with one kidney, our team of experienced nephrologists is here to help. Learn more about our services and locations and schedule a consultation with us today.

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Human kidney Stones Medical Concept

Proper Diet and Hydration to Avoid Kidney Stones

 

Proper Diet and Hydration to Avoid Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are more than just painful inconveniences. They can significantly impact your overall well-being. The experts at Midwest Nephrology Associates are here to help you understand the causes of kidney stones and how your diet can help prevent them.

GHuman kidney Stones Medical Concept

Hydrate and Celebrate

One of the easiest ways to prevent kidney stones is to hydrate! A helpful guideline is to drink 2-3 quarts of liquids daily.

This includes water or coffee, both of which have proven benefits. For an additional stone-stopping boost, squeeze a lemon into your water or enjoy some homemade lemonade. The citric acid in lemon prevents the formation of stones and can dissolve existing ones.

Avoid grapefruit juice and soft drinks, as they have been linked to a higher likelihood of developing stones.

Be Conscious of Calcium

It’s a common misconception that calcium causes stones. However, eating calcium in moderation can actually prevent stones from forming.

We recommend incorporating three servings of dairy into your daily diet to lower the risk of calcium stone formation. So go ahead, sprinkle some grated parmesan on your whole grain pasta or indulge in a creamy yogurt parfait.

Now, you may be thinking: What about supplements?

Please be cautious with supplements. Excessive intake of minerals like Vitamin C and Calcium can lead to increased oxalate production in the body, potentially resulting in stones.

It's best to prioritize a balanced, whole-food diet over additional supplements. When considering supplements, including Vitamin C and Calcium, it's important to seek personalized guidance from your physician and a registered kidney dietitian.

Sensible Sugar Intake

Consuming too much sugar can also lead to an increased risk of stones. With moderation and creativity, however, you can have your cake and eat it, too.

Rather than sugary drinks and desserts, indulge in fruits to satisfy your sweet tooth. Fruits like bananas, melons, and peaches not only taste great but are rich in nutrients like potassium that optimize kidney health.

A Little Give and Take

There are a few food groups you will want to limit, including high-oxalate foods, which increase the chances of developing stones. For optimal kidney health, reduce the consumption of foods like:

  • Almonds, cashews, soybeans/milk
  • Beets
  • Black Tea
  • Chocolate
  • Fast foods or processed meats
  • Rhubarb and most berries
  • Spinach
  • Wheat bran

However, you don't have to completely avoid high-oxalate foods. You can enjoy them in moderation, especially when combined with high-calcium foods. So add some almonds to your kale salad or indulge in a rhubarb crisp, just make sure to counter it with a glass of milk or some yogurt.

Maintaining a low-salt diet is also crucial for stone prevention and combating high blood pressure. Choose fresh, whole foods and flavor your dishes with herbs and spices instead of salt.

Whole grains and potassium-rich, cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and kale are fair game. They reduce calcium loss, prevent stone formation, and offer antioxidant benefits that can prevent bladder, prostate, and kidney cancers.

Prudent Protein

A juicy steak might sound irresistible, but eating too much red meat can increase the uric acid that causes stones.

Instead, choose leaner proteins like chicken, fish, tofu, or beans. Tweaks like this can maintain your kidney health while keeping you satiated and aiding in muscle growth.

Midwest Nephrology Associates Can Help

Whether you need guidance on hydration, calcium intake, or balanced nutrition, your nephrologist is your best resource for tailored advice to keep your kidneys healthy.

If you would like to schedule a consultation, contact the team of Midwest Nephrologists. We can help diagnose and provide you with the kidney stone treatment you need.

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Graphic showing a woman taking notes and a doctor with a magnifying glass looking at a focused version of the kidney

Common Kidney Health Myths

 

Common Kidney Health Myths

The kidneys are vital organs that play a crucial role in maintaining overall health and well-being. However, several misconceptions surrounding kidney health need to be addressed. In this blog post, we'll debunk common kidney health myths and provide accurate information to help you better understand your kidney health.

At Midwest Nephrology, our team of experienced nephrologists is committed to providing comprehensive care and education to support your kidney health journey. Whether you have questions about kidney health myths or need guidance on managing kidney disease, we're here to help.

Graphic showing a woman taking notes and a doctor with a magnifying glass looking at a focused version of the kidney

Myth 1: Kidney Disease Always Comes with Back or Side Pain

Reality: While kidney infections, stones, or cysts can cause severe discomfort, kidney disease often progresses silently, with no noticeable symptoms in the early stages. Regular check-ups and kidney function tests are crucial for early detection.

Myth 2: Alcohol Causes Kidney Disease

Reality: While heavy drinking can harm the kidneys over time, kidney disease is typically caused by factors like diabetes, high blood pressure, and genetic predisposition. Moderate alcohol consumption, in the absence of these risk factors, is unlikely to lead to kidney disease.

Myth 3: You Need to Drink 8 Full Glasses of Water to Flush Your Kidneys Daily

Reality: While staying hydrated is essential, your water needs vary depending on age, activity level, and climate. Listen to your body and drink when thirsty, avoiding overhydration, which can strain the kidneys.

Myth 4: Frequent Urination Is a Sign of Healthy Kidneys

Reality: Frequent urination can indicate various health issues, including diabetes and urinary tract infections. Diseased kidneys may produce large amounts of urine while not removing waste products, leading to frequent urination and increased thirst.

Myth 5: Chronic Kidney Disease Is Uncommon

Reality: Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is prevalent, affecting millions worldwide. Regular health check-ups can help identify CKD in its early stages when interventions are most effective, especially for those with risk factors like diabetes or high blood pressure.

Myth 6: You Will Know If You Have Kidney Disease

Reality: Kidney disease often progresses silently, with no symptoms until advanced stages. Regular kidney function tests are essential for early detection and treatment, especially for those with risk factors or a family history of kidney disease.

Myth 7: Dialysis Is the Only Treatment for Kidney Disease

Reality: While dialysis is vital for severe kidney failure, kidney disease can often be managed through medication, dietary changes, and lifestyle adjustments in its earlier stages. Kidney transplantation is another option for those with end-stage kidney disease.

Myth 8: Chronic Kidney Disease Is Genetic and Cannot Be Prevented

Reality: While genetics can affect kidney disease risk, lifestyle factors significantly impact kidney health. Taking proactive steps like maintaining a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of developing CKD or slow its progression.

Myth 9: People With One Kidney Cannot Participate In Physical Activity

Reality: Physical exercise is encouraged for individuals with one kidney as it promotes overall health. However, some contact sports that may pose a risk of injury to the remaining kidney should be avoided.

Myth 10: People With One Kidney Can't Have Children

Reality: Despite requiring closer monitoring, individuals with one kidney can safely conceive and have children. It's crucial to consult with a healthcare provider for personalized guidance.

Contact Midwest Nephrology Today

The nephrologists at Midwest Nephrology specialize in diagnosing and treating various kidney conditions, ensuring you receive personalized care tailored to your unique needs. We believe in empowering our patients with knowledge and resources to make informed decisions about their health.

If you're looking for reliable information about kidney health or seeking expert guidance from nephrology specialists, Midwest Nephrology is your trusted partner. Schedule a consultation with us today to learn more about how we can support you on your kidney health journey. Remember, when it comes to kidney health, always trust your nephrologist for accurate information and guidance.

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Yoga class, downward facing dog with the help of a chair done by

Staying Fit with Kidney Disease

 

Staying Fit with Kidney Disease

Living with kidney disease doesn't mean giving up on staying active and fit. Regular exercise can significantly improve your well-being and energy levels, even with kidney disease. However, it's essential to approach exercise cautiously and seek guidance from your nephrologist before starting any fitness regimen. Your nephrologist can provide personalized recommendations based on your health status and help you create a safe and effective exercise plan tailored to your needs. Regular monitoring by a nephrologist is crucial for individuals with kidney disease to ensure optimal health outcomes and prevent any potential complications. Below, we'll discuss some fitness tips and calming yoga poses to support your overall health and well-being while living with kidney disease.

Yoga class, downward facing dog with the help of a chair done by

Benefits of Exercise for Kidney Disease

Engaging in regular physical activity offers a multitude of benefits for individuals with kidney disease. Exercise helps improve muscle strength, energy levels, and overall physical functioning. It can also aid in better blood pressure control, reduce the risk of diabetes, and promote better sleep. Additionally, exercise has been shown to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression, contributing to improved mental health. Incorporating regular exercise into your routine can enhance your quality of life and better manage your kidney disease.

Fitness Routines for Kidney Disease

When choosing the right exercise routine for kidney disease, focusing on gentle activities that still provide effective results is essential. Opt for low-impact exercises such as walking, swimming, cycling, or yoga, as these activities help improve cardiovascular health without putting undue stress on the joints. Incorporating stretching and flexibility exercises can also help improve mobility and reduce stiffness in muscles and joints. Strength training exercises using light weights or resistance bands can help build muscle mass and improve overall strength.

Incorporating calming yoga poses into your routine can help reduce stress, improve circulation, and support kidney health. Remember to listen to your body and practice mindfulness during your yoga practice. Calming yoga poses to incorporate into your fitness routine for kidney disease include:

  • Child's Pose (Balasana): This gentle yoga pose stretches the back, hips, and thighs while promoting relaxation. To perform the Child's Pose, kneel on the floor, sit back on your heels, and fold your torso forward, resting your forehead on the ground. Extend your arms forward or rest them by your sides.
  • Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana): The Seated Forward
    Bend is a soothing pose that stretches the spine, hamstrings, and lower back.
    Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you and your toes flexed.
    Inhale to lengthen your spine, then exhale to hinge forward from the hips,
    reaching for your feet or shins.
  • Corpse Pose (Savasana): Savasana is a deeply relaxing pose that allows your body to rest and rejuvenate. Lie on your back with your arms by your sides, palms facing up, and legs extended. Close your eyes, relax your muscles, and focus on your breath as you release tension and stress.

Schedule an Appointment with a Nephrologist in the Milwaukee, WI Area

At Midwest Nephrology, we are committed to providing individualized care and guidance to our patients, providing the best possible care for each kidney condition. Being one of Wisconsin’s longest-operating and largest nephrology groups, you can easily find a Midwest Nephrology location with a team of providers ready to assist you in diagnosing and treating your kidney concerns. Contact Midwest Nephrology Associates for more information or to schedule a consultation.

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Doctor holding kidney model on desk

The Differences Between a Urologist and Nephrologist

 

The Differences Between a Urologist and Nephrologist

Choosing between a nephrologist and a urologist can sometimes be confusing, given the interconnected nature of kidney, bladder, and urinary tract health. However, understanding their respective specialties can help you make an informed decision about which medical professional is right for you. While there is some overlap between nephrology and urology, particularly regarding kidney-related conditions, there are distinct differences in their areas of expertise. Some medical practices may have nephrologists and urologists working together to provide comprehensive care for patients with complex kidney and urinary tract issues. Ultimately, the primary difference lies in the focus of each specialty: nephrologists concentrate on kidney-related conditions. At the same time, urologists address a broader range of urinary tract and male reproductive system disorders. Depending on your specific health concerns, consulting with the appropriate specialist ensures you receive the most effective and tailored treatment.

Doctor holding kidney model on desk

How to Know Which is Right for You: Nephrologist or Urologist

If you have any issues related to your kidneys or kidney function, a nephrologist is the specialist you need. They are trained to diagnose, treat, and prevent various kidney conditions, including chronic kidney disease, hypertension, diabetes-related kidney issues, and inflammation.

If you're dealing with conditions affecting the urinary tract beyond the kidneys, such as bladder problems, urinary incontinence, or male reproductive system issues like erectile dysfunction or male infertility, a urologist is the appropriate specialist to consult. Additional differences between nephrology and urology are:

Nephrology

  • Nephrologists specialize in diagnosing and treating diseases related explicitly to the kidneys and urinary system.
  • Nephrologists manage conditions such as chronic kidney disease, kidney stones, and kidney failure, along with addressing complications from other diseases affecting kidney function.
  • Services provided include kidney transplants and various dialysis treatments.

Urology

  • Urologists focus on diagnosing, treating, and managing diseases and disorders of the entire urinary tract, including the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra, as well as male reproductive organs.
  • They handle conditions like urinary tract infections, urinary incontinence, and male reproductive health issues such as erectile dysfunction and male infertility.
  • Urologists often specialize in surgical procedures related to the urinary tract and male reproductive system.

Schedule an Appointment with a Nephrologist in the Milwaukee, WI Area

At Midwest Nephrology, we are committed to providing individualized care and guidance to our patients, providing the best possible care for each kidney condition. Being one of Wisconsin’s longest-operating and largest nephrology groups, you can easily find a Midwest Nephrology location at with a team of providers ready to assist you in diagnosing and treating your kidney concerns. Contact Midwest Nephrology Associates for more information or to schedule a consultation.

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Holding human kidneys model with variety of healthy fresh food on the table. Concept of balanced nutrition for kidneys health

Foods to Avoid with Kidney Disease

 

Foods to Avoid with Kidney Disease

Your diet is crucial in supporting kidney health, and being mindful of certain foods can make a significant difference in managing your condition. Certain foods can strain your kidneys and cause further damage to your health. Regular monitoring by a nephrologist is essential in managing kidney disease. They can help you determine which diet is best for you, develop a personalized treatment plan, and track your progress to ensure you're taking the right steps to support your kidney health. Continue reading to learn more about which foods to avoid with kidney disease.

Holding human kidneys model with variety of healthy fresh food on the table. Concept of balanced nutrition for kidneys health

Understanding Your Kidneys' Vital Functions:

Before understanding dietary recommendations for kidney disease, it's essential to understand the vital functions your kidneys perform:

  • Filtering Your Blood: Your kidneys act as natural filters, removing waste and excess fluids from your bloodstream and preventing a buildup of toxins.
  • Removing Waste: The waste collected during filtration is excreted through urine, a crucial process for maintaining a healthy internal environment.
  • Producing Hormones: Kidneys produce hormones that regulate blood pressure, red blood cell production, and calcium metabolism.
  • Balancing Minerals: Kidneys play a pivotal role in maintaining the balance of essential minerals like sodium, potassium, and phosphorus.
  • Maintaining Fluid Balance: Kidneys help regulate fluid levels, preventing dehydration or excessive fluid retention.

Foods To Avoid

Foods that are high in sodium, potassium, and phosphorus should be avoided. These foods can increase the workload on your kidneys and worsen your condition. It is essential to be monitored by a nephrologist who can help you understand your dietary restrictions based on your stage of kidney disease. People with early stages of kidney disease will have different dietary restrictions than those with end-stage renal disease or kidney failure.

  • Dark-Colored Soda: High amounts of phosphorus.
  • Avocados: High in potassium.
  • Canned Foods: High in sodium.
  • Whole Wheat Bread: High in phosphorus and potassium.
  • Brown Rice: High in phosphorus.
  • Bananas: High in potassium.
  • Dairy: Products like milk, cheese, and yogurt are high in phosphorus and calcium.
  • Oranges and Orange Juice: High in potassium.
  • Processed Meats: Products like bacon, sausage, and deli meats are high in sodium.
  • Pickles, Olives, and Relish: High in sodium.
  • Apricots: High in potassium.
  • Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes: High in potassium and phosphorus.
  • Tomatoes: High in potassium.
  • Tomatoes: High in potassium.
    Packaged, Instant, and Pre-Made Meals
    :High in sodium.
  • Swiss Chard, Spinach, and Beet Greens: High in potassium.
  • Dates, Raisins, and Prunes: High in potassium.
  • Dates, Raisins, and Prunes: High in potassium.
    Pretzels, Chips, and Crackers
    : High in sodium.

It's crucial to note that the specific dietary restrictions may vary depending on the stage of kidney disease. Individuals with early stages of chronic kidney disease will have different dietary guidelines than those with end-stage renal disease or kidney failure. Always consult your nephrologist to determine which diet is recommended for your needs.

Health & Wellness Tips for Kidney Health:

  1. Hydration is Key: Stay hydrated to support kidney function. Water is the best choice; limit sugary drinks and sodas.
  2. Mindful Protein Intake: Opt for high-quality protein sources like lean meats, fish, and eggs while monitoring your protein intake.
  3. Control Portion Sizes: Manage portion sizes to avoid overloading your kidneys with excessive nutrients.
  4. Limit Salt Intake: Reduce sodium intake to maintain a healthy blood pressure and fluid balance.
  5. Regular Monitoring by a Nephrologist: Consult with a nephrologist regularly to track your kidney health, ensuring timely adjustments to your dietary plan.

Living with kidney disease requires a holistic approach, and your diet plays a pivotal role. By being mindful of the foods you consume and following a kidney-friendly routine, you can contribute to the overall well-being of your kidneys. Remember, regular consultations with a nephrologist are essential for personalized guidance and monitoring throughout your journey with kidney disease.

Schedule an Appointment with a Nephrologist in the Milwaukee, WI Area

At Midwest Nephrology, we are committed to providing individualized care and guidance to our patients, providing the best possible care for each kidney condition. Being one of Wisconsin’s longest-operating and largest nephrology groups, you can easily find a Midwest Nephrology location with a team of providers ready to assist you in diagnosing and treating your kidney concerns. Contact Midwest Nephrology Associates for more information or to schedule a consultation.

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Old Woman Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal dialysis at home.

How Home Dialysis Works

 

How Home Dialysis Works

As the demands of modern life continue to grow, finding time for in-center dialysis appointments can be a significant challenge for many individuals with kidney issues. Home hemodialysis offers a compelling alternative, allowing patients the flexibility to integrate their treatment seamlessly into their daily routines. At Midwest Nephrology, we aim to guide you through the process of at-home dialysis, emphasizing the crucial role of collaboration with your healthcare professional. Achieving successful home dialysis requires careful planning tailored to your unique condition, ensuring a personalized and effective treatment regimen. Keep reading to learn more about the different types of home hemodialysis.

Old Woman Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal dialysis at home.

Different Types of Home Hemodialysis

Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD)

Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD) is a form of at-home hemodialysis that revolutionizes the way individuals manage kidney failure. Unlike traditional hemodialysis, which relies on machines, CAPD is performed continuously without the need for complicated equipment. Patients can administer treatments themselves, typically engaging in the process three to five times each day. This flexibility allows for integration into everyday life, and CAPD can be performed in any clean and safe environment, offering patients the freedom to choose the setting that suits their preferences and lifestyle.

Automated peritoneal dialysis (APD)

Automated Peritoneal Dialysis (APD) represents a sophisticated advancement in at-home hemodialysis, streamlining the process with the assistance of a specialized machine called a "cycler." Unlike Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD), APD is an automated procedure that allows individuals to administer their dialysis exchanges without constant manual intervention. Also referred to as Continuous Cycling Peritoneal Dialysis (CCPD), APD provides patients with a range of scheduling options. Whether opting for a long single session during sleep, multiple shorter sessions throughout the day, or even a combination of both, individuals can tailor their treatment to better align with their daily routines.

Schedule an Appointment with a Nephrologist in the Milwaukee, WI area

At Midwest Nephrology, we are committed to providing individualized care and guidance to our patients, providing the best possible care for each kidney condition. Being one of Wisconsin’s longest-operating and largest nephrology groups, you can easily find a Midwest Nephrology location with a team of providers ready to assist you in diagnosing and treating your kidney concerns. Contact Midwest Nephrology Associates for more information or to schedule a consultation.

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pink pills in the shame of kidneys on a blue background

What Medicine Improves Kidney Filtration?

 

What Medicine Improves Kidney Filtration?

Understanding the factors that contribute to improved kidney filtration is crucial for overall renal health. To comprehend how medicines can positively impact kidney filtration, it is crucial to first grasp the functions of the kidneys. Kidneys are the body's natural filtration system, which removes waste and excess fluid from the blood, regulates electrolyte balance, and maintains overall homeostasis. Below, we delve into the intersection of medicine and diagnostic tests, how they both play a pivotal role in improving kidney function and in which circumstances your provider may prescribe each treatment.

It's essential to recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for kidney health. By undergoing diagnostic tests, your nephrologist can better understand your renal function. With the results of diagnostic tests, healthcare providers at Midwest Nephrology will craft a personalized treatment plan, incorporating medications that align with specific needs to enhance kidney filtration.

pink pills in the shame of kidneys on a blue background

Medications That Improve Kidney Filtration

Following diagnostic tests, your nephrologist may suggest medications that have shown promise in enhancing kidney filtration. Always trust your physician's recommendations as they consider your specific circumstances. Medications such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) may be prescribed to manage hypertension and optimize kidney function. Similarly, diuretics, or "water pills," can be recommended for fluid level imbalances. Your physician ensures that your medication and treatment plan align with your unique needs to enhance kidney filtration effectively.

Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors

Your physician may recommend ACE inhibitors, recognizing their dual benefits in addressing hypertension and improving kidney function. These medications work by inhibiting the production of angiotensin II, a hormone that constricts blood vessels. ACE inhibitors contribute to the dilation of blood vessels, alleviating pressure on the kidneys and ultimately enhancing kidney health. Trust your physician's judgment, especially if hypertension is a concern, for a comprehensive approach to managing blood pressure and renal well-being.

Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs)

When kidney strain is a concern, your physician may recommend ARBs as part of your treatment plan. Similar to ACE inhibitors, ARBs focus on the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. ARBs effectively block the action of angiotensin II, reducing pressure on the kidneys and managing blood pressure. Trust your physician's expertise, as ARBs are crucial in preserving optimal kidney function as part of your personalized treatment strategy.

Diuretics

Your nephrologist may suggest diuretics or "water pills" based on your unique situation. Diuretics boost urine production to regulate fluid levels, alleviating the workload on your kidneys. Your physician tailors your treatment plan to your specific challenges, ensuring a targeted approach for more efficient filtration and enhanced kidney function.

The Importance of Diagnostic Tests

While medications are vital in improving kidney filtration, diagnostic tests are the foundation of personalized care. Always follow your physician's guidance, as mandatory tests like glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and creatinine clearance provide essential insights into your renal health. These diagnostics serve as a compass, guiding healthcare professionals to craft the most effective medication regimen tailored to your individual needs. Trust your physician's expertise in utilizing diagnostic tests to enhance your kidney health.

Schedule an Appointment with a Nephrologist in the Milwaukee, WI Area

At Midwest Nephrology, we are committed to providing individualized care and guidance to our patients, providing the best possible care for each kidney condition. Being one of Wisconsin’s longest-operating and largest nephrology groups, you can easily find a Midwest Nephrology location with a team of providers ready to assist you in diagnosing and treating your kidney concerns. Contact Midwest Nephrology Associates for more information or to schedule a consultation.

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Doctor showing a model of kidneys by their chest

What is the First Stage of Kidney Disease?

What is the First Stage of Kidney Disease?

Kidneys diligently filter out waste and excess fluids from our blood, maintaining a delicate balance of electrolytes. But what happens when these essential organs start to fail? Let's delve into the first stages of kidney failure and understand how this condition unfolds.

During the first stages of kidney failure, the kidneys cannot filter waste products from the blood as efficiently as they should. This can lead to a buildup of toxins in the body, which can cause various health problems. Multiple factors, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and certain medications, can cause kidney disease.

Kidney disease is a severe condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is a progressive disease that can lead to kidney failure if left untreated. The 1st stage of kidney disease is when the kidneys start to lose their ability to function correctly. This stage is also known as chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage 1. In this stage, the kidneys still function normally, but there are some signs of damage.

Doctor showing a model of kidneys by their chest

 

First Stage Kidney Disease Symptoms

Kidney failure first-stage symptoms can be subtle and may not be noticed until the disease has progressed. So, how do you know if you're in the first stage of kidney disease? It's crucial to be aware of the subtle hints your body might be giving you. While the symptoms may not be obvious, there are symptoms you can look out for. Here are some first-stage kidney failure symptoms to watch out for:

  • Fatigue: You may begin to feel unusually tired, even after a full night's sleep.
  • Changes in Urination: Pay attention to any changes in the frequency or color of your urine. You may notice that you're urinating more frequently, or it may appear foamy or darker than usual.
  • Swelling: Kidney dysfunction can lead to fluid retention, causing swelling in your ankles, feet, or face.
  • Difficulty Concentrating: As waste products build up in your bloodstream, you might experience difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly.
  • Increased Thirst: You might find yourself drinking more water than usual due to excessive thirst.

Common Kidney Disease Tests

If you suspect that you have kidney disease, several tests can be completed to diagnose it. Kidney disease diagnosis is vital for early intervention and management. These tests include:

  • Blood Pressure Measurement: Hypertension is a common cause of kidney disease. Monitoring your blood pressure can reveal potential issues.
  • Urinalysis: A simple urine test can detect protein or blood in your urine, which can be signs of kidney problems.
  • Blood Tests: A simple urine test can detect protein or blood in your urine, which can be signs of kidney problems.
  • Imaging: Imaging tests like ultrasounds or CT scans can identify structural abnormalities in the kidneys.
  • Kidney Biopsy: In some cases, a kidney biopsy may be necessary to determine the extent of kidney damage.

Schedule an Appointment with a Nephrologist in the Milwaukee, WI Area

At Midwest Nephrology, we are committed to providing individualized care and guidance to our patients, providing the best possible care for each kidney condition. Being one of Wisconsin’s longest-operating and largest nephrology groups, you can easily find a Midwest Nephrology location with a team of providers ready to assist you in diagnosing and treating your kidney concerns. Contact Midwest Nephrology Associates for more information or to schedule a consultation.

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