Kidney Disease & Health

Kidney Disease & Health Articles

Cystourethrogram

By filling your bladder with a liquid dye that shows up on x-rays, your doctor can watch the motion of your bladder as it fills and empties and can see if your urine splashes backwards toward your kidneys as the bladder muscle squeezes. This kind of test can help your doctor to better understand problems with repeated urinary tract infections or problems involving damage to the kidneys. It can also be useful for evaluating urine leakage problems. Tell your doctor before the test if you have ever had an allergic reaction to x-ray dye (IV contrast dye). Also let your doctor know if there is any chance you are pregnant. You wear a hospital gown and lie on a table in the x-ray department. A part of your genital area is cleaned with soap on a cotton swab. Then a soft, bendable rubber tube called a urinary catheter is inserted into your bladder, usually by a nurse. The tube is first coated with a slippery jelly and then pushed gently through the opening of the urethra (at the end of the penis for men and near the opening of the vagina for women). (Locked) More »

Kidney Transplant

A kidney transplant is surgery in which a person who has permanent kidney failure receives a healthy kidney from another person. This single, healthy kidney takes on the workload of both of the person's failed kidneys. The failed kidneys usually are left in place. The new kidney is added to the abdomen. The new kidney can come from a living or dead donor. A living donor is often a close blood relative of the person who receives the new kidney (the recipient). However, in certain cases, a recipient's spouse or friend can be a kidney donor. Most people are born with two kidneys, but really need only one of them: the second kidney is like an "insurance policy". Therefore, there is little risk in a living donor giving up one of his or her two kidneys. (Locked) More »

The kidney stone diet: Not as restrictive as you may think

Harvard doctors say long lists of foods to avoid in order to ward off a second kidney stone are often too restrictive. While it’s important to limit foods high in oxalate, it’s unnecessary to avoid all foods with oxalate. Instead, doctors suggest avoiding foods with more than 75 mg of oxalate per 100-gram serving. Such foods include many nuts, spinach, and rhubarb. Other approaches to avoiding another kidney stone include getting enough dietary calcium, limiting animal protein, and drinking 2 to 3 liters of fluid per day. (Locked) More »

Red meat, TMAO, and your heart

Researchers are finding that a substance called trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), produced when the body digests red meat, is linked to health ills such as cardiovascular disease and kidney disease. Experts say people with high levels of TMAO in their blood may have double the risk of cardiovascular disease, compared with people who have lower levels. (Locked) More »

Avoiding the pain of kidney stones

Kidney stones are small hard stones, formed when high levels of minerals in the urine crystallize in the kidneys, forming a pebble-like mass. They can be very painful, but luckily, they are largely preventable. Eating a healthy diet, drinking enough water, and understanding other risk factors, can help head them off before they become a problem. (Locked) More »

Keeping kidney stones at bay

Kidney stones are more common in men than women, and half of people who’ve had them will have a repeat episode within 10 to 15 years. Men can reduce their risk of new and recurring kidney stones by drinking sufficient water, increasing calcium, reducing sodium intake, and avoiding or cutting back on high-oxalate foods and animal protein. (Locked) More »

Tips for taking diuretic medications

Diuretics, commonly called "water pills," are the oldest and some of the least expensive class of drugs used to treat high blood pressure. They help the kidneys eliminate sodium and water from the body. This process decreases blood volume, so the heart has less to pump with each beat, which in turn lowers blood pressure. People with heart failure, who often gain weight because their bodies hold onto excess fluid (a condition called edema), are often prescribed diuretic medications. Not surprisingly, one of the most common side effects of taking water pills is frequent urination. Other possible side effects include lightheadedness, fatigue, bowel changes, and muscle cramps. Men may occasionally experience erectile dysfunction. More »