Chronic kidney disease (CKD) isn't a disease. It is a set of symptoms that result from loss of the functional units in the kidneys, which are known as nephrons. CKD can result from chronic diabetes, long-standing high blood pressure, conditions in which the immune system damages the kidneys, damage from drugs, or other reasons. The most important thing in naturopathic medicine is to identify the cause or causes of the CKD and treat those to the extent possible. Unfortunately this is often not done, or assumptions are made without a rigorous work-up and evaluation, and instead the symptoms are just treated. While that can be important, it is highly limited and will ultimately fail.
Dialysis and transplant are amazing tools, but it seems that all too often they create complacency in conventional medicine. Ultimately these can be used to save people's lives, so unfortunately too often the result seems to be a lack of work to treat the condition and prevent the need for dialysis or transplant.
CKD is generally divided into five stages. Starting in stage 3 is usually when the problem is recognized. However, Dr. Yarnell can screen for it earlier than this and prevent it even getting to stage 3 in many cases. And he uses a more holistic system of tracking the CKD rather than just the serum creatinine or estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) blood tests. The more advanced the CKD, the more additional problems that arise (like bone damage, secondary hyperparathyroidism, cardiovascular disease, high phosphorus, anemia, and low vitamin D), and the more monitoring and treatment that is needed. While such steps are widely recognized as necessary in all types of medicine, the sad reality is Dr. Yarnell has often seen a lot of sloppy care and failure to identify or address these crucial areas.
So if you are looking for a more in-depth, whole-person approach to care of your kidneys, contact us today for an appointment.