By: Kayla Holmes
We know that addressing changes in your health can be a scary, difficult time. You may find yourself asking a million and one questions, leading to feeling overwhelmed and anxious. Our team at Jacksonville Nephrology is here to help. Find our most frequently asked questions and Dr. Munjal approved answers below!
What is Chronic Kidney Disease?
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is the gradual decline in kidney function over time. It is expected that everyone’s kidney function will naturally decline with age due to normal “wear and tear.” It is determining if it is a normal decline or excessive and determining the root cause.
I have protein in my urine. What does it mean? Are my kidneys failing?
Think of your kidneys as a coffee filter. It has two jobs: let the coffee through and keep the grounds in. Similarly, kidneys want to get rid of waste, but keep the good things in. We check protein levels in the urine. Protein particles are large and should not be getting through the filter. High protein levels in the urine are indicative of kidney damage.
I had a high blood pressure reading. Do I have hypertension now?
When we look at your blood pressure, we are looking for a trend over time. One reading may be an outlier or an anomaly. We want to see what your home readings look like on a daily basis, rather than just once in the doctor’s office. Many patients experience “White Coat Syndrome” or higher blood pressure and/or pulse due to being at the doctor’s office or in a medical setting. However, if this high reading is accompanied by symptoms like headache, irregular/fast heart rate, or nosebleeds, please seek medical attention.
My kidney function came back abnormal in my recent lab results. Do I need to go on dialysis now?
You most likely do not need to go on dialysis. It’s important to review just how abnormal a lab result is. People can live with a full life with decreased kidney function for years. For example, someone who gives a kidney will have 50% of the normal kidney function, but still be able to live a full, prosperous life. Dr. Munjal will look at your lab results and your medical history to work to determine the root cause of what caused the change in kidney function.
I only have high blood pressure. What do my kidneys have to do with that?
The kidneys play an integral role in the balance of sodium and fluids in the body. If the kidneys begin to not work properly and these levels become unbalanced, then we can see changes in the blood pressure. They also manage and balance the other electrolytes and some hormones that can contribute to blood pressure.
Everyone is unique and requires individual attention to details. Dr. Munjal works to look at the facts and treats the root cause. Every situation and treatment course is all dependent on the unique patient. If you have questions or concerns about your kidney function, please do not hesitate to contact us and set up an appointment!
About The Bean
The Bean is a blog on a mission to share valuable information in the world of Nephrology. We believe in empowering through education and The Bean is a great place to find resources and information on topics related to high blood pressure, kidney disease, dialysis, and topics that enhance the kidney minded lifestyle. Enjoy and be sure to subscribe!