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How are kidney problems treated?

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Doctors often treat kidney complications by managing accompanying medical ailments that tax the kidneys' functionality, such as prescribing medications to lower cholesterol levels and high blood pressure or diuretics to reduce fluid retention, notes Mayo Clinic. If a kidney condition is advanced, the patient may require dialysis or a full kidney transplant.

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Dietary changes are an important factor in mitigating the additional damage caused to the kidneys in their impaired state once a condition is diagnosed, according to MedicineNet. Patients are often instructed to reduce their sodium, phosphorus and potassium intake to bolster they kidneys' function and avoid additional complications, such as osteoporosis, from arising. This means avoiding foods such as bananas, cheeses, yogurt, soda and sweet potatoes. Organ meats, whole grains, oysters, spinach and milk also make the list of foods to avoid.

Doctors may also prescribe medications such as calcium carbonate and sevelamer to assist the body in removing phosphorus, notes MedicineNet. It is not uncommon for patients with kidney disease or kidney failure to also experience anemia, according to Mayo Clinic. In these cases, patients may need to take iron and erythropoietin supplements to increase the body's red blood cell count and counteract symptoms of lethargy and weakness. The goal of these treatments is to avoid total renal failure, at which point the only treatment options remaining are dialysis or a kidney transplant.

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