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Chronic Kidney Disease Specialist

Victor Carabello, MD -  - Nephrologist

Carabello Kidney

Victor Carabello, MD

Nephrologist & Internal Medicine located in East Los Angeles, CA

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a serious, long-term illness that affects about 37 million people in the United States. CKD may not be curable, but it can be managed with the right approach. At Carabello Kidney in East Los Angeles, California, dual board-certified nephrologist and internist Victor Carabello, MD, specializes in helping patients with CKD manage their condition and stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Call the office or book an appointment online today.

Chronic Kidney Disease Q&A

What is chronic kidney disease?

You have two kidneys, each about the size of a computer mouse. While their main function is to filter and clean your blood by turning waste and extra fluid into urine, your kidneys also help control blood pressure and keep your electrolytes in check. 

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) develops when your kidneys become irreversibly damaged and can no longer filter your blood properly. Besides keeping your body from removing waste and excess fluid, CKD can give rise to a variety of health complications, ranging from anemia to heart disease. 

The two primary causes of CKD are diabetes and high blood pressure, or hypertension. 

What are the signs of chronic kidney disease?

CKD is a progressive illness that worsens over time, especially as it goes untreated. 

There are five stages of CKD. In the first three stages, your kidneys are still able to filter waste out of your blood; in the final stages, your kidneys may have to work much harder, or they may stop working altogether and lead to end-stage renal disease, or kidney failure. 

Early-stage CKD doesn’t make you feel ill. It’s often diagnosed by chance when a blood or urine test for another condition reveals a possible problem with your kidneys. 

Significant CKD symptoms don’t usually appear until the third or fourth stage, when you may experience: 

  • Ongoing back pain or muscle cramps 
  • Foamy, bubbly urine
  • Blood in urine
  • Swollen ankles or feet
  • Puffy eyes
  • Urinating more or less than normal
  • Persistent fatigue or trouble sleeping

If you have one or more of these symptoms, it’s important to seek a diagnosis as soon as possible. CKD is diagnosed with simple blood and urine tests.

How is chronic kidney disease managed?

Just as kidney damage can’t be reversed, CKD can’t be cured. It can, however, be effectively managed with an eye toward slowing its progress as much as possible to keep you healthy — and to try to prevent kidney failure.  

The main management strategies for CKD are:

Blood pressure control

Keeping your blood pressure under control is key to slowing the progression of CKD. Daily blood pressure readings are routine in later stages of the disease.

Diabetes management

Managing diabetes by maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is vital to controlling CKD.

Healthy lifestyle changes

Losing weight, eating a heart-healthy diet, exercising every day, limiting alcohol, and avoiding tobacco are important lifestyle changes for anyone with CKD.    

Other aspects of your CKD treatment plan depend on the stage and severity of your condition. Late-stage CKD, or kidney failure, is treated with dialysis or a kidney transplant.

To learn how Dr. Carabello can help you manage your CKD, call the office or book an appointment online today.