About Kidney Disease
What is Kidney Disease?
Nephrology is the branch of medicine that deals with kidney (renal) disease. Kidney disease, also called chronic kidney disease (CKD), is a serious condition that affects millions of people in the United States–-many of whom are unaware of it. If you suffer from CKD, it means that your normal kidney function is damaged. While its symptoms may not be obvious in the early stages, kidney disease progresses over time and may cause other health issues, such as heart disease.
Acute kidney disease is the sudden loss of kidney function that occurs when high levels of waste products accumulate in the blood. This occurs when the kidneys cannot eliminate daily toxins in the urine, an issue that can cause serious complications. In many cases, the causes of acute kidney disease can be treated within a few days or weeks, and kidney function can be restored. Your doctor may recommend follow-up visits, monitoring, and other measures to help prevent the disease from coming back.
Risk Factors for Kidney Disease
Certain factors can increase your risk of developing kidney disease, including:
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Vascular disease (problems with the blood vessels feeding the kidneys)
- Birth defects of the kidneys (such as polycystic kidney disease)
- Glomerular diseases (diseases that affect the glomeruli, the filtering units of the kidney)
- Autoimmune disorders (such as lupus and scleroderma)
- Genetic conditions
- Family history of chronic kidney disease
- Certain toxic chemicals
- Injury to the kidney
- Kidney stones and infection
- Reflux nephropathy (backward flow of urine into the kidneys)
- Some medicines, such as pain and cancer medicines
- Being over the age of 60
How Kidney Disease is Diagnosed
Your physician may recommend one of the following tests to diagnose kidney disease:
- Urine testing/urinalysis/urine output testing
- Blood testing
- Ultrasound image testing/CT scanning
- Kidney biopsy
- Genetic testing
How We Treat Kidney Disease
Lifestyle and dietary changes
In many cases, kidney disease can be slowed down or stopped completely with lifestyle and dietary changes:
- Drinking plenty of water throughout the day
- Avoid or limit the use of certain pain medications, called NSAIDs (Advil, Aleve, Ibuprofen, Motrin, Naproxen, etc.)
- Controlling blood sugar levels (diabetes)
- Maintaining a healthy blood pressure (hypertension)
- Maintaining cholesterol levels
- Eating well and exercising to maintain a healthy weight
- Quitting smoking
Patients with chronic kidney disease or end-stage renal disease (ESRD) may need dialysis, a procedure that mimics the kidney’s normal function. At NewYork-Presbyterian, our goal is to educate patients with advanced kidney disease on all dialysis options. We offer a wide range of dialysis options to fit your lifestyle and needs:
- In-center hemodialysis, which requires you to receive treatments at a specific dialysis center at a designated time for hemodialysis treatments usually 3-4 times weekly
- Home hemodialysis, in which patients perform their own dialysis from the comfort of home or while traveling, fitting it into their schedules whenever it works best for them
- Peritoneal dialysis, which is a form of home dialysis performed through the abdomen that allows for more control over your dialysis schedule
The Rogosin Institute
The Rogosin Institute has long been recognized as one of the premier centers for the diagnosis and management of kidney disease in the country. Rogosin provides dialysis treatments at ten dialysis centers throughout the New York metropolitan area and cares for patients with chronic kidney disease at three kidney clinic locations throughout the city.
The Rogosin Wellness Institute provides patients with information on lifestyle changes to empower their kidney health journey.
For patients with chronic kidney disease who are approaching end-stage renal disease (ESRD), kidney transplant is as an alternative to dialysis. At NewYork-Presbyterian, we offer kidney transplant services at both NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
The benefits of kidney transplant include:
- Better quality of life
- Patients live longer compared to patients receiving dialysis
- Shorten or avoid your time on dialysis