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Diagnose & Treat Kidney Disease at Southcoast Health

Kidneys are vital organs, and are important to your health because they filter many gallons of blood every day, removing waste and extra fluid in urine.

Kidney disease is a potentially life-threatening condition that affects about 26 million American adults. It damages the ability of the kidneys to act as a filter, allowing waste and extra fluid to accumulate to dangerously high levels. Our nephrologists at Southcoast Health are experts at diagnosing and treating kidney disease in Fall River, Fairhaven and throughout southeastern Massachusetts.

There are two types of kidney disease:

  • Acute kidney failure, or acute renal failure, is damage and loss of kidney function that occurs suddenly over a few days. Shock, kidney infection, urinary tract obstruction and drug overdose can cause this kidney disease.
  • Chronic kidney disease is progressive damage and loss of kidney function that occurs over months or years. Long-term disease, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, are usually the clause.

Risk Factors & Causes of Kidney Disease

A number of risk factors increase your chance of developing kidney disease:

  • Age older than 65 years
  • African American, Native American, Hispanic American, Asian or Pacific Islander ethnicity
  • Family history of kidney disease
  • IV drug abuse
  • Obesity
  • Smoking

Various underlying conditions can lead to kidney disease, including:

  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol, hardening of the arteries and peripheral artery disease (PAD)
  • Inflammation of the kidney
  • Infections, such as repeated bladder infections and kidney infection
  • Kidney cancer
  • Overdose or long-term use of certain drugs, such as NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
  • Polycystic kidney disease
  • Reduced blood flow to the kidneys due to shock or narrowing of the renal arteries
  • Trauma or injury to the kidney
  • Urinary tract obstruction, such as a kidney stone, tumor, birth defect or enlarged prostate gland

Kidney Disease Symptoms

Symptoms of kidney disease can vary from underlying causes. If you have kidney disease, you may experience symptoms like:

  • Cloudy or discolored urine
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Dry and itchy skin
  • Easy bruising
  • Fatigue
  • Foul smelling urine
  • Frequent or urgent urination
  • Muscle cramps
  • Painful urination
  • Swelling of the feet or ankles
  • Vague symptoms, such as fatigue, difficulty sleeping, lack of appetite or generally not feeling well

Treatment to Improve Your Kidney Function in MA & RI

If you have kidney disease, find a kidney specialist near you to help you determine the best kidney care for your condition.

Kidney disease treatments can include controlling underlying conditions; eating a diet that limits fluids, salt and protein; maintaining a healthy weight; not smoking and using medicines to get rid of extra fluids, balance electrolytes and ensure adequate vitamin levels like vitamin D.

Dialysis or a kidney transplant may be the best option for those in advanced or end-stage kidney disease.

Southcoast Health offers treatment for kidney disease in Fall River and Fairhaven, as well as Dartmouth, New Bedford, Wareham, MA and parts of Rhode Island.