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Health Blog

Foods to Avoid or Limit if You're on Dialysis or Late Stage Kidney Disease

November 1, 2017
When you are on dialysis your diet is restricted, as certain foods have substances that your kidneys used to get rid of and now dialysis has to do that. Foods that you eat get metabolized in your body and waste products are generated that are removed from the body either through the GI tract or through the kidneys. When the kidneys fail, they cannot clean these wastes and they tend to build up in the body and make you ...

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Learn more about Potassium

September 29, 2017
Potassium is one of the minerals in the body. Most of the potassium is inside the body cells and a small but important percentage circulates in the blood. A potassium blood test can measure how much potassium is in the blood. Normal levels are between 3.5 to 5 meq/L. The body needs potassium to work normally. It keeps the heart beating and helps the nerves and muscles work. Potassium is found in most foods that you eat. ...

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What is involved in a Kidney Biopsy?

November 30, 2016
A kidney biopsy is done to remove a small piece of kidney tissue to examine under a microscope to find out what is causing the kidney disease and its severity so appropriate treatment plans are chosen by your kidney doctor.
 
Most often this is done under direct picturing and guidance of an ultrasound or CT scan by inserting a thin needle through the skin of the back to the kidney for obtaining a small sample tissue.
 
Why ...

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Vitamin D and Chronic Kidney Disease

August 24, 2016
Vitamin D is a common supplement and many people incorporate it in their medical regimen, either at the recommendation of their primary care physician or based on ads seen in the media.
 
Vitamin D comes as Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol); in the liver they become calcidiol (25-hydroxyvitamin D); the kidneys further transform  calcidiol into Calcitriol ...

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What is Home Hemodialysis?

July 15, 2016
If your kidneys have started to fail, your kidney doctor will present you with the options to replace the job of the kidneys. One of these options is dialysis that can be done at home or place of residence. Home hemodialysis can be done on a schedule convenient to you or your care partner.
 
There are three types of home hemodialysis: traditional, short daily and nocturnal. All of them require a hemodialysis machine ...

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What is Peritoneal Dialysis and How Does it Work?

April 15, 2016
To replace the kidney function of getting rid of waste products and excess fluids, there are two types of dialysis. One is Hemodialysis which involves blood and the other peritoneal dialysis (or PD) which does not involve any blood. When the kidneys fail, PD is a great option for dialysis. PD involves putting some dialysis fluid inside the belly. There is a natural membrane around the bowels and abdominal wall that does ...

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How do I get started with Advance Care Planning?

January 15, 2016
Planning for the future can be challenging, especially if it is about your healthcare.  You can start by thinking about what kind of treatments you would or would not want in a medical emergency. See discussions regarding “Planning for future care in advance” in our past blogs about this. It might help to talk with your doctor about how your present health conditions including kidney disease might influence ...

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Planning for your future care in advance

December 15, 2015
One thing is for sure, we are all aging. Even if you are not sick now, making healthcare plans for the future is an important step toward making sure you will be treated the way you would want, even when doctors are making recommendations for your care. At any age, a medical crisis could leave someone too ill to make his or her own healthcare decisions. More than one out of four older Americans face questions about medical ...

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What Can A Dialysis Patient Do To Reduce Chances Of Infections?

October 5, 2015
Infections are one of the leading causes of hospitalizations, dialysis access loss and death for dialysis patients, but fortunately they can be prevented, and when they happen and identified in time, treated with antibiotics.  The key to infection prevention is cleanliness.  Here are some of the things you can do as a patient to decrease the chance of infections.
 
Knowing when you have an infection is ...

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Taking Care of your Dialysis Access

August 15, 2015
To get hemodialysis we need a way to repeatedly reach your blood so it can go to the artificial kidney (dialyzer) to be cleaned.  For this one needs a dialysis vascular access. There are three kinds of access: fistulas, grafts and catheters.  A fistula is blood vessel that is formed by linking an artery and a vein under your skin in your arm (or leg). Arteries have fast blood flow. ...

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Dialysis Access Q&A

June 30, 2015

Why is a dialysis vascular access important to me?
Your access is your dialysis lifeline. You have only a few sites for dialysis access. It is important to care for your access so it will last as long as possible.
How can I keep my access working?
You can help keep your access working by avoiding infection, avoiding blockage, and injury to your access.
How can I prevent infection?
Keep ...

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How much protein should I eat?

May 14, 2015
The current recommendation for protein intake in healthy adults is around 0.8-1.0 gm per kg of body weight. That translates to about 55 gm of protein for males and 45 gm for women per day. The typical western diet supplies more than the recommended daily amount of protein.
For persons with chronic kidney disease, restricting protein can delay progression of the kidney disease and the need to start dialysis.
Protein passing ...

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How much water should I drink?

April 27, 2015
One of the most common questions I am asked, both by patients and friends is how much water they should drink. I always cringe, because the answer is not what people want to hear, and that is an absolute number – half a gallon, 32 oz, 8 cups, etc.
The kidney is extremely adept in regulating our body’s water content. The concept of ‘flushing the kidneys’, while sounds appealing, does not exist. ...

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Living with Kidney Disease: What are the Numbers and What You Can Do

March 18, 2015
 
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is on the rise and it has become a major public health problem. CKD is defined as damage or a decrease in kidney function that persists for longer than 3 months.
 
Although the exact numbers are hard to know, it is estimated there are 19 million people in this country living with kidney disease. CKD is divided in stages 1 through 5 depending on the severity of the dysfunction.
 
There ...

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When to Refer to Nephrology

February 15, 2015

To answer this better please refer to the list of items below:

All patients with calculated GFR < 60 and concomitant proteinuria, hematuria and/or pyuria or GFR declining.
All patients with GFR < 30.
A patient expected to need dialysis
Incidental diagnosis of polycystic kidney disease on CT, US or MRI
Unexplained proteinuria quantitated greater than 500 mg/day.
Nephrotic syndrome (Heavy proteinuria, edema, ...

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