Kidneys Don’t Complain

According to the National Kidney Foundation, 1 in 3 Americans are at risk for CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease).  Unfortunately, some patients don’t even realize they’re having kidney problems; this is because, typically, kidneys don’t complain.  With Chronic Kidney Disease, most people don’t even feel the first symptoms.  It’s important to find a nephrologist (kidney doctor) if you have a family history of kidney problems, are experiencing high blood pressure, weakening bones, anemia, or are concerned about your kidneys’ health. Early detection of CKD plays a key role in the success of patients who have kidney problems.

By partnering closely with your doctor, and your primary care provider, early kidney care is more beneficial than most people realize. While kidneys are complex, people should not be afraid to see a nephrologist.  There’s a negative connotation about kidneys; although dialysis and kidney replacement are realities for some patients, the vast majority of kidney problems can be addressed without using advanced technology.

If you’re worried about possible kidney problems, understanding more about your symptoms and kidneys is the first step to taking control of your future health.  A nephrologist can explain how kidneys remove waste and effectively balance fluids in your body, but they can also inform patients of their exact situation—and the best plan for keeping patients (and their kidneys) healthy.

If a patient is suffering from Chronic Kidney Disease, this will be diagnosed in accordance with what stage is presenting. Although less common, even if this is the case, understanding the stage of CKD lets the doctor know how to effectively assist the patient in having kidneys that function better and longer.

Ways you can take control of your kidneys’ health:

  • Find a nephrologist you trust.
  • Exercise.
  • Limit foods that are high in protein, saturated fats, potassium, and sodium (all of these can stress your kidneys).
  • Appropriately take the medications prescribed by your doctor.

Although kidneys don’t complain, they are vital to the way our bodies function and key to maintaining good health.  If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms or if you have a family history of kidney disease, please contact my office, Portneuf Medical Group at 208-239-3899.

Dr. Richard Cline is board certified in both Nephrology and Internal Medicine.  He has focused much of his practice on providing care and medical management for patients with some of the most complex of medical needs including: kidney failure, chronic kidney disease and end-stage kidney disease, difficult to manage high blood pressure, pre- and post-transplant and cardiorenal syndrome.