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How to Treat Chronic Kidney Failure

Chronic kidney failure is a condition when kidney function decreases gradually due to damage to kidney tissue. Chronic renal failure is medically defined as a decrease in the rate of renal filtration that persists for 3 months or more. Before it's too late, know what causes chronic kidney failure and steps you can take to prevent it. However, if you already suffer from chronic kidney failure, how to treat chronic kidney failure must be done immediately.

How to Treat Chronic Kidney Failure

The main function of the kidneys is to filter the body's metabolic wastes and excess fluid from the blood to be excreted through urine. Both kidneys filter about 120 to 150 liters of blood each day and produce about 1 to 2 liters of urine.

Chronic kidney failure causes fluids, electrolytes, and waste to accumulate in the body so that it can cause many disorders. Symptoms can be more pronounced when kidney function has decreased. In advanced stages, chronic kidney failure can be dangerous if left untreated.

Symptoms of Chronic Kidney Failure

In the early stages of chronic kidney disease, there are usually no symptoms. This is because chronic kidney failure occurs slowly. Symptoms of chronic kidney failure are caused by decreased kidney function. Decreased kidney function in the early stages can also be tolerated by the body.

Usually the symptoms of chronic kidney failure will be more obvious if the decline in kidney function has entered an advanced stage. The symptoms that can appear when kidney function has dropped significantly are as follows:

  • Hypertension that is difficult to control
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Often feel tired
  • Sleep disturbances or insomnia
  • Urinating more often, especially at night
  • There is foam or blood in the urine
  • Urinating less and less if you have entered the final stage of kidney failure
  • Frequent muscle cramps
  • Prolonged dry and itchy skin (pruritus)
  • Swelling in the feet or ankles that can get worse, even in the hands, face, or whole body (anasarca edema)
  • Shortness of breath, if there is a buildup of fluid in the lungs
  • Chest pain, especially if there is a buildup of fluid in the heart tissue
  • Weight gain due to fluid buildup

Causes of Chronic Kidney Failure

Generally, chronic kidney failure occurs due to a disease that causes damage to the kidneys. Usually, this damage will continue to deteriorate at a different rate for each person. If the disease that causes chronic kidney failure is not treated properly, kidney damage will worsen more quickly.

Some of the diseases that can cause chronic kidney failure are as follows:

  • Hypertension or high blood pressure, over time this condition will increase the pressure on the small blood vessels in the kidneys and will prevent the kidneys from working normally
  • Diabetes, because the level of sugar in the blood is too high so that it can damage the filters in the kidneys
  • Recurrent kidney infections that eventually damage kidney tissue
  • Interstitial nephritis, which is inflammation of the renal tubules and surrounding tissues
  • Glomerulonephritis or inflammation of the kidney glomerulus
  • Polycystic kidney disease, which is the growth of cysts on the kidneys in large numbers
  • Acute kidney failure that does not heal
  • Renal vascular disease, such as blood clots in the renal veins (renal vein thrombosis) and narrowing of the renal arteries (renal artery stenosis)
  • Lupus nephritis
  • Prolonged urinary tract disorders, for example due to an enlarged prostate, kidney stones, cervical cancer, or abnormalities of the urinary tract from birth
  • Taking medicines that have the potential to damage the kidneys in the long term, such as lithium and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Uric acid

How to Prevent Chronic Kidney Failure

The main way that can be done to prevent this disease is to treat diseases that can increase the risk of developing chronic kidney failure, such as hypertension, diabetes and some of the diseases mentioned above.

In patients with chronic kidney failure, prevention efforts so that the condition does not get worse are as follows:

  • Maintain ideal body weight
  • Follow the doctor's instructions in regulating diet and taking medication
  • Stop smoking, because smoking can worsen kidney conditions
  • Avoid taking medicines for pain relievers of the NSAID class that can worsen kidney conditions

How to Treat Chronic Kidney Failure

Treatment for chronic kidney failure is done to relieve symptoms and prevent this disease from getting worse due to waste that cannot be removed from the body. Therefore, early detection and treatment as soon as possible is very necessary.

Actually, this chronic kidney failure disease cannot be cured and the condition of the damaged kidney cannot return to its original state. The treatment for chronic kidney failure carried out by doctors aims to:

  • Inhibits the progression of chronic kidney failure to become more severe
  • Controlling diseases that cause chronic kidney failure
  • Repairing disorders that occur due to kidney damage, such as mineral and electrolyte imbalances, anemia, and hypertension
  • Maintain the best possible renal filtration rate

There are several methods of treatment that can be done by doctors include:

1. The doctor will give medicine

Patients are given medication to control the disease that causes chronic kidney failure and disorders that arise due to kidney damage. The types of medicines that can be given include the following:

Hypertension medicine

High blood pressure can reduce kidney function more severely and change the composition of electrolytes in the body. To prevent this, doctors will usually prescribe angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers (arb).

Diuretic medicine

Diuretics are medicines that can reduce the buildup of fluid in the body. An example of this diuretic is furosemide.

Corticosteroid medicine

Corticosteroid medicines are given to patients with chronic kidney failure due to glomerulonephritis or other diseases that cause inflammation of the kidneys.

Supplements for anemia

To treat anemia in patients with chronic kidney failure, doctors can give injections of the hormone erythropoietin and sometimes iron supplements.

Calcium and vitamin D supplements

To overcome the lack of calcium and vitamin D due to kidney damage, doctors will give these two supplements. One of the benefits is to prevent bone loss (osteoporosis) which can increase the risk of fractures.

2. Lifestyle Change

In addition to medication, patients with chronic kidney failure will also be advised by doctors to make lifestyle changes, including adjusting their diet. The following are some lifestyle changes that patients with chronic kidney failure must make:

  • Undergo a special diet to ease the work of the kidneys, namely by reducing salt consumption, and limiting potassium and protein intake from food
  • Exercise regularly, at least 150 minutes a week
  • Lose weight if suffering from obesity
  • Stop smoking habit
  • Limiting consumption of alcoholic beverages
  • Do not take NSAIDs because they can cause kidney problems
  • Consult and check with the doctor regularly, for example checking blood pressure regularly
  • Receiving vaccinations, such as flu and pneumonia vaccinations, because chronic kidney failure makes the body susceptible to infection

3. Renal Replacement Therapy

Treatment that can be done for patients with end-stage chronic kidney failure is to replace the task of the kidneys with kidney replacement therapy. This therapy consists of:


Dialysis is the process of filtering waste and fluids in the body. There are two types of dialysis, namely:

  • CAPD (continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis) is a dialysis procedure performed by inserting dialysis fluid into the abdomen through an artificial opening.
  • Hemodialysis is a dialysis procedure that uses a machine.

Kidney transplant

Kidney transplantation is a procedure to replace a patient's kidney with a healthy kidney from a donor. After a kidney transplant, patients no longer need to undergo dialysis for life. However, patients only need to take immunosuppressive drugs in the long term to avoid the risk of rejection of the transplanted organ.

During treatment, the patient must undergo regular check-ups so that his condition is constantly monitored.

That's an explanation of the symptoms, causes, prevention, and also how to treat chronic kidney failure. Hopefully the explanation above can be useful.

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