by Joseph D. Tabora, M.D.
This article starts below.
Dialysis is needed when the kidney becomes damaged and can no longer filter certain elements in the blood. To avoid dialysis in the future, you should correct these conditions that damage the kidney over the long term: hypertension, diabetes, streptococcal throat infection and kidney stones.
When left untreated for several years, hypertension damages the arteries throughout the body, including those of the kidneys. Unfortunately, the damaged kidney cells cannot regenerate to recover its function. The only options when end-stage kidney failure ensues are dialysis and kidney transplant. It is simpler and easier to control hypertension today with pills than to experience dialysis or transplant in the future.
Elevated blood sugar that is uncontrolled for several years also damages the arteries throughout the body. Like hypertension, it is simpler to control blood sugar today than to undergo the rigors of dialysis or transplant in the future. An added advantage of controlling hypertension and diabetes is that other complications like stroke and heart attack are also prevented.
Streptococcal throat infection
Sore throat caused by certain species of streptococci sometimes trigger an antibody response to the organism that cross-reacts and damages the kidneys. This misguided attack to the kidneys by one's own antibodies may be severe enough to need dialysis. You can prevent the condition by adequately treating streptococcal throat infections with a full course of antibiotics.
Kidney stones, when allowed to increase in size, may obstruct the flow of urine from the kidneys to the bladder. This obstruction, if untreated, damages the kidneys.
Drinking an adequate amount of fluids everyday is an easy way to minimize the formation of crystals in the urine. Preventing crystal formation prevents the growth of stones. If you do have stones, consult your doctor on the best way to manage them.
Preventing kidney failure and dialysis can be done simply and easily. Proper knowledge and the personal motivation to control the underlying conditions like hypertension, diabetes, streptococcal throat infection, and renal stones are all that you need to avoid the difficulties, and the cost, of kidney failure and dialysis.