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Other Kidney Disorders

Our kidneys have a very extensive list of jobs in our body to keep us healthy: 

  • They act as a filter and purifier, removing waste and extra fluid from your body in the form of urine. 
  • They regulate blood pressure and balance electrolytes and fluid in the body and blood system. 
  • They make erythropoietin, a hormone that stimulates the bones to make red blood cells. 
  • They also make an active form of vitamin D to help keep your bones healthy.

It is vital that the kidneys function properly in concert with the rest of the organ systems.

Florida Kidney Physicians treats a broad spectrum of kidney disorders at our Tampa Bay-area offices. To make an appointment with one of our board-certified nephrologists, call (813) 910-0030 or you can request one online.

Kidney Disease & Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)

Kidney disease is associated with congestive heart failure (poor pumping of the heart). Due to the poor pumping activity of the heart, the kidneys do not get proper blood flow and begin to lose function.

Poor kidney function can lead to fluid accumulation in the lungs and legs, which further weakens the heart. Treatment includes strict fluid and sodium restriction along with proper use of diuretics as directed by your doctor.

Polycystic Kidney Disease

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is the most common genetic cause of kidney disease. This condition causes numerous fluid-filled cysts to grow in the kidneys, which can reduce kidney function and lead to kidney failure. We treat patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD).

Some people with PKD have few or no symptoms. For others, symptoms may include high blood pressure, blood in the urine, back pain or abdominal pain, urinary tract infection, or kidney stones.

Approximately 50% of patients reach end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) by age 50. There is no cure for ADPKD, but treatment may reduce symptoms and the chance of kidneys progressing to ESKD.

Treatment for hypertension (high blood pressure) is critical. Treatment also includes careful monitoring of the size of cysts that may convert into tumors. There is a 50% chance that the disease will be passed on to a patient’s children, and the children should be monitored for the disease once they reach age 30. PKD patients generally are very good candidates for a kidney transplant. For information about PKD clinical trials in the US, visit the PKD Cure site.

Kidney Stone Evaluation

There are five different chemical types of kidney stones. We can prescribe a 24-hour urinalysis to determine the chemical composition.

  • Calcium oxalate (low oxalate diet)
  • Calcium phosphate
  • Uric acid stones (reduce meat in diet, may benefit from allopurinol and urine alkalinization)
  • Struvite (associated with infections)
  • Cystine stones (very rare; this is a genetic pattern)

After your first attack of kidney stones, there is an 80-90% chance of recurrence within the next 10 years. Knowing which kind of stone you are prone to can aid in recommending a diet that reduces or prevents recurrences.

For all stone types, the best lifestyle change to reduce recurrences is to restrict sodium and drink 3 liters or more of fluids per day. 

Hematuria (Blood in the Urine)

Blood in the urine may be visible by sight or only visible under a microscope. Hematuria may be caused by a urinary tract infection, kidney infection, bladder or kidney stone, kidney injury, enlarged prostate, medications, or even strenuous exercise. It can also be a symptom of a more serious condition, such as kidney disease or cancer, so it’s important to see your doctor for testing and diagnosis.

Electrolyte Disorders

Normal kidney function keeps electrolytes (sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and chloride) at their normal healthy range. This allows our electrical impulses to the brain, muscles, and heart to work properly without short-circuiting. Electrolyte imbalances may be caused by an underlying systemic disease.

Certain kidney problems result in an imbalance of electrolytes that pose danger to the function of your body. An electrolyte imbalance can be treated by taking supplements or following a special diet to correct it. Fluid restriction is most important to avoid further problems.

Hypo/Hyperkalemia

Hypokalemia results from low levels of potassium in your blood. This may be caused by certain diuretics, kidney disease, very poor diet, diarrhea, vomiting, or an adrenal gland condition called hyperaldosteronism, to name a few. Treatment is directed at the underlying cause but may also include the use of potassium supplements.

Hyperkalemia results from high levels of potassium in the blood. When the kidneys are functioning normally, they remove excess potassium from the blood. Excess potassium may be due to certain medications, diabetes, or kidney failure. Treatment may include medication, long-term use of diuretics, or, in the event of life-threatening levels of potassium, dialysis.

Renovascular Disease

Renovascular disease is a condition in which the arteries to the kidneys become narrow or blocked, preventing proper function and causing hypertension (high blood pressure). Most cases involve hardening of the arteries.

Incidence increases with age, in smokers, and among patients with hypertension, diabetes, or coronary artery disease.

Treatment is directed at controlling hypertension. A nephrologist can advise you if your particular case would benefit from intervention with a catheter and stent.

Acute Kidney Injury

Acute kidney injury is a rapid loss of kidney function formerly called acute renal failure. There are several possible causes including low blood flow to the kidney, exposure to harmful substances, or urinary tract obstruction. Treatment may include administering IV medications, diuretics, or dialysis.

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