SANDY, UT (6/26/2009) – People who suffer from chronic kidney disease who live in the southern part of the Salt Lake Valley have another option for their care. Alta View Hospital in Sandy, now offers nephrology services for those who require regular nephrology services such as dialysis. An estimated 26 million people nationwide have chronic kidney disease.
J. Reddy Kaluvapalle, MD (Dr. Reddy), a nephrologist, provides dialysis and nephrology services for patients at Alta View Hospital. Similar services are also provided by Dr. Reddy’s partner, Scott Eppich, MD, and physicians with Nephrology Associates.
Nephrology deals with the function and diseases of the kidney. In the past patients needing this type of care were required to go to another hospital.
Nephrologists are educated and trained in kidney disease, kidney transplantation, and dialysis therapy.
“Having nephrology coverage at Alta View Hospital is a huge bonus to those in our community suffering from kidney disease,” says Becky Kapp, Alta View Hospital administrator. “Our nephrologists bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience of how the kidneys function. They’re also outstanding caregivers.”
The primary role of the kidneys is to maintain the homeostatic balance of bodily fluids by filtering and secreting metabolites (such as urea) and minerals from the blood and excreting them, along with water, as urine. When the kidneys stop functioning the way they should, some patients need dialysis.
Dialysis does some of the work of the kidneys when the kidneys are unable to do it themselves. This work includes removing excess fluids and waste products from the blood, restoring electrolyte levels and helping to control blood pressure.
The early symptoms of kidney disease include the following:
- Increased urination at night
- Passing only small amounts of urine
- Swelling, particularly of the hands and feet, and puffiness around the eyes
- Unpleasant taste in the mouth and urine-like odor to the breath
- Persistent fatigue or shortness of breath
- Loss of appetite
- Increasingly higher blood pressure
- Pale skin
- Excessively dry, itchy, skin
- In children: increased fatigue and sleepiness, decrease in appetite, and poor growth
Kidney disease can be treated by medications. Drugs that control diabetes and high blood pressure can sometimes help slow the progress of chronic kidney disease. With long-term kidney disease, if the kidneys deteriorate and can no longer function at all there are only two treatment options: dialysis or kidney transplant.
Dialysis is performed one of two ways:
Hemodialysis uses an artificial kidney machine with a mechanical filter to help cleanse the blood. Before the first treatment, a surgeon implants a shunt, or small tube, in the arm or leg of the patient. Several times a week, for several hours at a time, another tube is connected to the shunt so that blood can be circulated through the kidney machine, cleansed, and pumped back into the body.
Peritoneal dialysis is a form of dialysis that makes use of the lining of the abdomen, or peritoneal membrane — which has many of the kidneys’ filtering characteristics — to help clean the blood.