Chronic Kidney Disease Specialist

Alkeshkumar Patel, MD -  - Internist

Citrus Medical Clinic

Alkeshkumar Patel, MD

Internist & Primary Care Physician located in Chandler, AZ & Safford, AZ

Chronic kidney disease is a significant health concern in the United States, as it affects 15% of all adults. What’s more worrisome is this: the majority of people who have kidney disease aren’t aware of the problem until their kidneys are significantly damaged. Dr. Alkeshkumar Patel at Citrus Medical Clinic encourages you to get routine examinations so he can screen for chronic kidney disease and help you make changes to protect your health. Call one of his offices in Chandler or Safford, Arizona, or book an appointment online for a health evaluation.

Chronic Kidney Disease Q & A

What causes chronic kidney disease?

Chronic kidney disease refers to the gradual loss of kidney function over time due to kidney damage. The damage can be caused by injury or toxins, but it’s most often due to chronic diseases that harm blood vessels inside the kidneys. Once these vessels are destroyed, it’s impossible for your kidneys to work properly.

When your kidneys are injured, they can’t filter excess water and wastes out of your blood or produce the hormones needed to control blood pressure. They also lose the ability to synthesize red blood cells and regulate the amount of sodium, potassium, and calcium in your blood. The loss of these vital functions causes health problems throughout your body.

Are you at risk of developing chronic kidney disease?

You risk of chronic kidney disease increases if you have:

Diabetes

Diabetes is the top cause of chronic kidney disease because high blood sugar damages blood vessels in your kidneys. Nearly one in three patients with diabetes have chronic kidney disease.

High blood pressure

This is the second leading cause – about one in five adults with hypertension has chronic kidney disease.

Heart disease

If you have heart disease you’re at risk for kidney disease. Likewise, patients with kidney disease have a higher chance of heart disease.

What are the symptoms of chronic kidney disease?

Your kidneys can keep working for a long time even when they’re damaged, which is why you may not develop symptoms until the disease has progressed to cause significant health problems.

Edema, or swelling of your legs, feet or ankles, is the earliest sign of chronic kidney disease. As the condition worsens, you may experience:

  • Chest pain
  • Dry skin
  • Itching or numbness
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Increased or decreased urination
  • Muscle cramps
  • Shortness of breath

Untreated kidney disease may lead to anemia, bone disease, and malnutrition.

How is chronic kidney disease treated?

The damage to your kidneys is permanent, so treatment focuses on controlling symptoms, slowing disease progression, and reducing complications. Steps to accomplish these goals include:

  • Diet that limits protein to reduce the kidneys’ workload
  • Medication to treat underlying conditions, relieve swelling, and keep your bones healthy.

Many patients don’t need dialysis, but if your disease worsens and your kidneys begin to fail, Dr. Patel can coordinate dialysis.