Education

Feb
03
Medication list, should I have a copy?



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Yes, yes and YES! Your medication list can be the difference between a major medical complication and a long healthly life. The medications you have been prescribed, by any number of physicians, can have severe reactions to one another. It is very important that you keep and update your list at every visit. Here are tips on how to manage your medication list.



1: Use a medical portal online such as www.followmyhealth.com and keep your medications updated digitally.



2: Ask for a copy at every visit, after you have been prescribed new medications, to carry with you.



3: Create a list in the notes section of your smart-phone and update it with your physician or nurse at every visit.



4: You can kee...


Dec
27
Med Students Welcome!!


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Here at Iowa Kidney Physicians we have a unique opportunity to host rotations for medical students, who attend both the University of Iowa Carver Medical College and Des Moines University. Students will receive a diverse exposure to Nephrology both in the hospital and the clinic setting. We are so excited to participate in the shaping of young physicians and hope to offer opportunities to those students wishing to complete a rotation with us.



IKP participates in classroom education, noon lectures, and Grand Rounds at The Des Moines Area Medical Education Consortium at Unity Point Hospital. Teaching opportunities are a great way to give back to our community and with two medical colleges cl...


Dec
27
What are Kidneys



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Most things in the human body come in pairs, your kidneys are no exception. Nestled just below the line of your rib cage and on either side of your spine, you can find your kidneys hard at work. Each kidney is made up of millions of nephrons. Each nephron includes a two-part filter; the glomerulus, and tubule. What do they do you ask? The nephrons work through a two-step process. The glomerulus lets fluid and waste products pass through while blocking blood cells and large molecules the filtered fluid then moves through the tubule, which sends needed minerals back to the bloodstream while removing any waste. The final product: urine. These vital organs filter out between 120 and 150 quart...


Dec
27
The Kidney Stones



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Rock band name or painful condition?
More than half a million people will head to the ER each year for possible Kidney stone problems. What is a kidney stone? Wastes products in your body build up in your urine. When there isn’t enough fluid in your urine the waste products begin to form crystals that can cause blockages. There are four types of kidney stones all named after the chemical wastes that create them, and where they originate.




Calcium oxalate: Inadequate calcium and fluid intake, and other factors can cause this type of stone.



Uric acid: foods with a high concentration of purine are a contributing factor to this type of stone. may form stones in the kidneys.



&bu...


Dec
27
Diabetes effects your Kidney’s???


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Did you know that 30% of the people diagnosed with Diabetes will also be diagnosed with kidney disease in their lifetime? Of that 30%, 10-40% will eventually develop end stage renal failure that will require treatment to maintain life. Diabetes is diagnosed when your body cannot regulate sugar. Either you do not produce enough insulin (Type 1) or when you cannot use the insulin you produce to regulate blood sugar (Type 2). You are at risk for Type 2 diabetes if you are overweight, inactive, have high blood pressure, have family or genetic history. The early signs of kidney disease may go unnoticed, but if you know you are having trouble regulating your sugars you should talk to your docto...


Dec
27
Acute Kidney Injury


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Acute Kidney injury or AKI is a sudden incident of kidney failure that comes on quickly. Unlike Chronic Kidney disease and renal failure that happens over time, AKI is sudden and comes on in a few days or hours. Causes for AKI are restricted or decreased blood flow, sepsis, direct kidney damage, or a blockage. The treatment for AKI usually involves a hospital stay. Our nephrologists are on-call at many area hospitals. This will make it easy for us to access your care and treatment. AKI is a serious and potentially life-threatening situation and must be taken seriously. Acute kidney injury is most common in patients who are in the hospital, in intensive care units, and especially in older ...


Dec
27
Testing your Kidneys


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When your nephrologist suspects something may be up with your kidneys, they may recommend one or both, of the following tests, be performed in the lab: ACR (Albumin to Creatinine Ratio) and GFR (glomerular filtration rate). The ACR or Albumin to Creatinine ratio test is a urinalysis that determines whether you have protein (albumin) in your urine. Protein does not belong in the urine, it should be filtered by the kidneys. If your urine has protein in it, it may be a sign of kidney disease. This test is repeated frequently to track your kidney function. The GFR or glomerular filtration rate is a blood tests that looks for creatinine. Creatinine comes from muscle tissue and if your kidneys ...


Dec
27
What is Dialysis, and Do I need it?



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When your Kidneys begin to fail dialysis may become a treatment recommend by your nephrologist. Patients who have Chronic Kidney Disease can reach a certain point where their Kidneys Fail. When your kidney disease reaches Stage 4 (severe, with glomerular filtration rate, or GFR, less than 30 mL/min). Dialysis is a process where a special fluid called dialysate (a mixture of pure water and chemicals) is carefully controlled to pull wastes out of your blood without removing substances your body needs. A partially permeable membrane acts like a strainer that keeps the blood apart from the dialysate, by only allowing smaller particles through. This membrane lets the wastes and fluid in your b...


Dec
27
What is a Procrit shot?


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During your visit here at Iowa Kidney Physicians, it may be possible that your provider recommends a Procrit shot as part of your treatment. When your body produces less red blood cells you may be diagnosed with Anemia. Red blood cells makeup of the types of cells found in the blood stream. These cells deliver oxygen rich blood to your organs, through a protein called hemoglobin. Due to complications of Chronic Kidney disease or other medical abnormalities, your body may not be producing red blood cells, and your hemoglobin numbers may be low. To boost your red blood cell count or RBC’s, your care team may recommend a Procrit shot. This shot sends a signal to your bone marrow to sta...


Dec
27
Should I have a Kidney Transplant?



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Having a transplant isn’t a decision we can make in a split second. It takes months and even years to properly prepare for the transplant process. Some things to consider are the risks and benefits of a transplant, medications and their side effects, financial coverage and
your ability to continue follow-up care. Once you and your nephrologist have discussed these risk factors the evaluation process will begin.




Your care team will grow beyond that of our office to include social workers, imaging centers, additional physician evaluations, surgeons, and a hospital team. A thorough evaluation of your medical history, as well as additional imaging and testing will be needed to ensure your...