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You might have noticed you’re peeing more than usual. Or that you’re not very hungry and always exhausted. It could be that your kidneys aren’t doing their job.

Healthy kidneys get rid of the toxins in your blood and turn the waste and extra water in your body into urine (pee). They also help control the amount of electrolytes in your blood. If you have chronic kidney disease (CKD), your kidneys slowly stop doing these important jobs.

Although we can’t repair the damage that’s already been done, we can help you manage your CKD. Our compassionate kidney specialists (nephrologists) know what to do to get the disease under control and keep it from getting worse.

Why Choose Cleveland Clinic for Chronic Kidney Disease Care?

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Skilled collaborative providers:

People with chronic kidney disease often have other long-term health issues, like diabetes or autoimmune diseases. Your healthcare providers take this into account when they team up to design your personalized treatment plan.

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Demonstrated expertise:

Each year, we care for thousands of patients with chronic kidney disease. Our providers know what it takes to diagnose, treat and manage your CKD. Meet our team.

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Personalized care:

Your treatment depends on how bad your CKD is and possible causes. Our expert team pinpoints the cause and considers your health and goals before they recommend the right treatment plan for you.

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Virtual visits:

Want to get care without leaving home? Virtual visits are a convenient and secure alternative to an in-person appointment. They let you talk with your healthcare provider using your smartphone, tablet or computer.

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National recognition:

U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Cleveland Clinic a top hospital in the nation. Newsweek has also named us a top hospital in the world.

Chronic Kidney Disease Diagnosis at Cleveland Clinic

Left untreated, chronic kidney disease can lead to other problems like heart disease or gout. Catching and treating CKD early can reduce complications and keep your kidneys working better longer.

Here’s what to expect at your appointment:

  • Medical history: We’ll talk about your medical history to find out if you have any health conditions that raise your chances for chronic kidney disease. These conditions might include diabetes, high blood pressure and overweight — also if you smoke or have a family history of kidney disease.
  • Urine sample: We may test your urine to check for protein or blood, which could be a sign that your kidneys are inflamed or aren’t working the way they should be.
  • Blood test: Too much waste in your blood could also be a red flag that your kidneys are having issues.

If this information points to a possible problem with your kidneys, we’ll do more tests to confirm CKD. These tests can include:

  • Ultrasound or CT scan: These tests can measure the size of your kidneys and find tumors or blockages.
  • Kidney biopsy: We’ll give you a local anesthetic, so you’re awake but don’t feel any pain. Then we’ll use a needle to take a small sample of your kidney tissue. We’ll send the tissue sample to our world-renowned pathology team, who’ll examine the sample and tell us what they see.

A member of our care team will call you with your test or kidney biopsy results. Once we know for sure what’s going on, the next step is discussing your CKD treatment options.

Locations

Our healthcare providers see patients at convenient locations throughout Northeast Ohio, and in Florida.

Chronic Kidney Disease Treatment at Cleveland Clinic

Chronic kidney disease is a lifelong condition, but with the right treatment, we can keep your kidneys working as well as possible for as long as possible. Your provider will consider many things — including your risk factors, test results and how severe your CKD is — before deciding on the best treatment for you. And if things change, we’ll adjust your treatment to make sure we’re caring for your kidneys in the best way.

Your treatment might include:

Blood pressure management

High blood pressure (hypertension) can put you at risk for kidney disease. To protect your kidneys, we’ll help you manage your high blood pressure with medication and lifestyle changes.

Blood sugar control

If you have diabetes, it’s important to keep your blood sugar (glucose) levels under control to stop further kidney damage. Our kidney experts will work with our diabetes specialists (endocrinologists) to care for you and teach you how to keep your blood sugar in check.

Medication adjustments

Some pain medications and antibiotics may hurt your kidneys. We’ll take a look at your medications and adjust them as necessary to make sure they aren’t making matters worse.

Lifestyle changes

We may recommend not eating certain foods since your kidneys can’t easily get rid of waste from your blood. Physical activity, quitting smoking and drinking less alcohol can help protect your kidneys, too.

Routine monitoring

We’ll keep a close eye on how well your kidneys are working and may do more blood tests and ask for urine samples along the way. If anything changes, we’ll make changes to your treatment. Keeping on top of what’s working and what’s not helps us keep your kidneys working better longer.

Late-stage chronic kidney disease

If you’re in the late stage of chronic kidney disease, your provider may recommend dialysis or a kidney transplant. If you need either of these treatments, know that you’re not alone. Our specialists will stick by you throughout the process and answer any questions or concerns you might have.

Taking the Next Step

It’s only natural to worry when you’re diagnosed with a life-changing condition like chronic kidney disease. It can be a shock, especially if you haven’t had many symptoms. But there’s no need to feel helpless and definitely not hopeless. Cleveland Clinic’s kidney experts are here to treat and manage your CKD — and support you along the way with compassion and understanding — so you can keep on living life to its fullest.

Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic’s chronic kidney disease experts is easy. We’ll help you get the care you need.

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Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic’s chronic kidney disease experts is easy. We’ll help you get the care you need.


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