Some kidney problems can often be found with blood and urine tests, a sonogram (an image made by ultrasound) or other special x-rays, and a physical exam rather than a biopsy. But in some patients with certain types of kidney disease, and those with a kidney transplant that is not working well, a correct diagnosis can only be made with a kidney biopsy.
Some people decide that they do not want to have dialysis or a kidney transplant. If you do not want to receive treatment for your kidney failure, you might consider medical management. Medical management is a way to treat the symptoms of kidney failure to help you live comfortable until your body can no longer function. It is important to understand that medical management is not a treatment for kidney failure and it will not keep you alive.
When you have kidney disease, your kidneys do not make enough of a hormone called erythropoietin (EPO). This can cause a problem called anemia, in which you don't have enough red blood cells. A medicine called an erythropoiesis-stimulating agent (ESA) can help prevent and treat anemia.
When your kidneys are not working well, your blood pressure can get too high. This can cause more damage to your kidneys. Your doctor may tell you to take a blood pressure medicine to help you keep a healthy blood pressure.
Your kidneys help your body keep the right amounts of vitamins and minerals in your blood. When your kidneys aren't working well, you can have too much or too little calcium and vitamin D in your body. If you have too little, your doctor may tell you to take calcium or vitamin D supplements.
Another cause of anemia (not having enough red blood cells) is not having enough iron in your blood. If your doctor thinks you have anemia that is caused by not having enough iron, you may need to take an iron supplement. You can take iron pills or have iron put into your blood stream using a shot or during your dialysis treatment.
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