Kidney Disease Treatment in Santa Monica, CA
When you think of kidneys, you don't usually imagine the brain. However, it appears that the kidneys and the brain are indeed intertwined. In fact, it's been estimated by the CDC that over 20 million Americans have some form of chronic kidney disease (CKD). For those with CKD, a complication involving neurological deterioration known as uremic encephalopathy is shockingly common.
Kidney Disease and the Brain
Chronic kidney disease might primarily impact the kidneys, but it has been closely tied to several conditions including:
- Brain diseases (of the white matter)
- Intercerebral micro-bleeds (bleeding inside the brain)
- Cognitive impairment
CKD itself is commonly associated with — and may even stem from — illnesses including high blood pressure (hypertension , high cholesterol , and especially diabetes . Oxidative stress , inflammation , cardiovascular disease and anemia are also closely tied with chronic kidney disease.
In patients with untreated kidney disease, uremic encephalopathy (UE) may occur. Uremic encephalopathy is a condition in which the death of the kidneys leads to an accumulation of toxins in the body (they can't be urinated out as usual). This build-up causes brain issues (encephalopathy).
The symptoms of UE can be mild and easy to overlook or quite severe depending on the nature and duration of the kidney death. However, if left untreated, UE typically progresses to more severe symptoms, including:
- Mood swings
- Decrease or loss of cognitive function
- Erratic behavior
However, when UE first begins, symptoms as common as restlessness, nausea and drowsiness may be experienced.
Kidney Disease Treatment
The first step to any treatment is testing. With chronic kidney disease, a blood test , glucose level test , as well as electrolyte level and toxicology screen will likely be performed. Imaging tests like an MRI and perhaps a head CT will be performed, in addition to an EEG and cognitive function test.
Once these tests are completed and other causes ruled out, treatment for CKD and accompanying uremic encephalopathy can begin. The most common treatment for both chronic kidney disease and acute kidney issues is dialysis. Anemia brought on by kidney failure will also need to be corrected.
Despite the severity of kidney issues and their impact on neurological function, treatments have been shown to be highly effective in reversing neurological symptoms. As with many conditions, early detection is best. So if you — or someone you know — have experienced a sudden change in temperament, mood, concentration or any of the symptoms listed above, seek medical attention.
To request more information about Kidney Disease today. Call (424) 365-1800 or contact Dr. Jeremy Fischer online.
Vitality Integrative Medicine
Address4849 Van Nuys Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Tue: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Wed: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thu: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Fri: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sat: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm