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The Importance of Dialysis

The National Institutes of Health report that 37 million American adults have chronic kidney disease. An estimated 90 percent of those are unaware of their condition. Kidney disease shows little to no symptoms in its earlier stages, and those who do show symptoms have end-stage kidney disease. The estimate of those with end-stage kidney disease runs at 808,000. At this stage, kidney transplants or repeat dialysis from a certified expert are crucial to the patient’s well-being and life.

The Importance of Kidneys

Think of the water you drink. Without filters, dirt, bacteria, and other matter can make your water murky and unsafe.

Kidneys function as the filters for your body. With nephrons, healthy kidneys remove waste, acids, and extra fluids from your blood. The excess water becomes urine that exists in your body and carries the waste with it. The cleansed blood brings oxygen and other nutrients to organs and cells.

At the point of end-stage kidney disease, your kidneys totally fail. In the wake of kidney failure may come heart disease, high blood pressure, severe itching of the skin, weakness from anemia (low oxygen in blood cells), gout, and neurological impairments such as confusion and seizures. Kidney disease typically proves irreversible.

Dialysis Does What Diseased Kidneys Can’t

Dialysis assumes the functions robbed by kidney failure. It performs the filtering and cleaning in the place of your kidneys. Nearly seven out of every 10 patients with end-stage kidney disease turn to this treatment. Dialysis can also help those with acute or temporary kidney failure.

With dialysis, you can extend your life expectancy even after a diagnosis of end-stage kidney disease. Those on dialysis can expect on average to live five to 10 years after starting. Some survive beyond 20 years.

External Filtering

Hemodialysis relies on a tube that transports blood from your body to a machine. A needle in your arm connects the tube to an outside machine that filters your blood. The cleansed blood then flows through another tube back into your arm and throughout your body.

In a facility such as the Kidney Clinic of North Florida, hemodialysis patients usually have three treatments per week. The number and length of sessions can differ depending on the individual case. Without treatment, you can expect your body to continue to develop unwelcome symptoms that inhibit your daily life. However, patients who undergo this dialysis treatment will find themselves able to enjoy their lives more fully.

Interior Cleaning

Peritoneal dialysis cleans from the inside. The lining in your abdomen, known as the peritoneum, filters the blood with the help of a cleaning solution. This fluid contains water along with salt and other medicinal substances. The fluid enters down a tube and through a surgically inserted catheter into your abdomen. After filtering waste out of your system, the fluids and waste flow into an empty bag.

This internal dialysis method allows you to conduct daily activities during the treatment generally. However, you’ll need to change bags roughly four times daily, though peritoneal dialysis can be performed at home luckily.

This form of dialysis is a more permanent solution, offering continuous treatment to regularly rid your body of waste. Machines can help automate this process while you sleep and maintaining regular cleaning can help patients in end-stages live longer.

Experts Can Help You

Kidney disease is a serious condition that can be fatal if ignored and left untreated. Seeking solutions can not only improve your energy levels and daily functions but can save your life. Dialysis is not a cure but will slow down the process significantly while a patient waits for a transplant. It is imperative that you do your research, and find a doctor who is both certified and experienced.

Dr. Gaurav Tandon, MD stands ready to bring his knowledge and experience in treating your kidney disease. Contact The Kidney Clinic of North Florida to schedule your consultation about whether you need dialysis and what method would best serve you.

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What to Expect When Recovering from a Kidney Transplant

As you await a new kidney, you likely have many concerns and questions about life after the transplant. At Kidney Clinic of North Florida, we want you to be knowledgeable and have the best outcome.

Toward this end, it’s essential to be well-informed ahead of the operation. Let’s take a look at what you can expect after kidney transplantation and how to promote its success.

Kidney Transplant Medical Follow-Up

After your hospital discharge, you’ll return to our clinic frequently for check-ups where Dr. Gaurav Tandon will oversee your ongoing care. Dr. Tandon and our team will support you as you go through the entire recovery process. Additionally, our team will update your primary care physician on your medical status.

At your first postoperative exam, we’ll review your medication use, diet, and the precautions to follow.

You’ll also need to have monthly blood tests. Regular labs will reveal any blood markers of kidney rejection, thereby preventing organ damage.

Diet After Kidney Transplantation

As you recuperate, it’s normal to feel weak and tired. During this period, your body needs optimal nutrition to ward off infections and heal. Of particular importance is getting ample protein to build muscle tissue and strength.

Dr. Tandon can inform you of what to include in your diet to help your recovery and will ensure you have everything you need to treat any kidney-related conditions you’re dealing with as well.

Exercise Guidelines

One week after your transplant, you can start doing dome light walking but you will want to limit your activity. Walk for as long as you’re comfortable, increasing the time gradually. At home, you can also do light chores.

Beyond that, you’ll need to avoid lifting anything over 10 lbs. for the next six months. You’ll also want to avoid any strenuous activities as that level of movement could cause complications as you heal.

Most kidney recipients can resume working or attending school within one to two months post-op.

Medication Regimen

You’ll need to take anti-rejection medications for the rest of your life. Make sure to follow Dr. Tandon’s instructions and take all your doses as prescribed. These drugs enable your body to accept the new kidney. Without them, your immune system will attack the organ, viewing it as foreign and threatening.

Still, immunosuppressants can raise your risk of infection. Meanwhile, your body will be adjusting to the new drugs, so be alert for any adverse side effects and notify us immediately if you’re having any issues.

Red Flags for Kidney Rejection

Even while taking immunosuppressants, your body can reject the new kidney. Indications of postoperative problems include:

  • tenderness or pain at the surgical site
  • fever
  • elevated blood pressure
  • debilitating weakness and fatigue
  • swollen hands or feet
  • weight gain
  • voiding less urine than usual

If you have any of these warning signs, promptly call our office. You must receive timely treatment to safeguard your kidney.

On the other hand, some transplant patients have no signs of kidney rejection. However, blood tests will catch any brewing problems at the outset.

Symptoms of Transplant Complications

Some other symptoms that will let you know you’re having transplant complications include:

  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Feeling lightheaded or unusually weak
  • Fluid retention, such as abdominal bloat
  • Bruising or bleeding
  • Dry or productive cough with yellow or greenish phlegm
  • Skin abnormality, such as a rash
  • Vaginal itch or discharge
  • Burning sensation while urinating
  • Orange-brown or reddish urine
  • Black stools

Again, if you’re experiencing any of these issues, call our office as soon as possible.

Kidney Transplant Recovery Tips

Typically, kidney transplant patients return to work or school in one to two months. Complete healing takes about six months. To ensure you’re staying on track, you’ll want to:

  • Take your medications as prescribed.
  • Avoid strenuous activities, sports, and lifting more than 10 lbs.
  • Eat nutritiously and walk as regularly as you can
  • Report any medication side effects or red flags of kidney rejection.
  • Promptly call our office with any questions or concerns.

Schedule A Consultation

Dr. Gaurav Tandon is a board-certified nephrologist and has been treating people with kidney disease for over 10 years. As Dr. Tandon’s valued patient, you’ll receive the most advanced kidney treatments available. No matter what your kidney concerns are, he can answer your questions and provide the best treatment for you.

To arrange a consultation, call our Jacksonville, FL office today at 904-593-5333 or use our online scheduling form.

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How to Prevent Kidney Stones: Diet and Lifestyle Changes That Can Help

Kidney stones are quite common and are most prone to happen in people with certain health conditions, like diabetes. That being said, they can also occur without any known underlying cause.

There are a lot of misconceptions about what causes kidney stones and how to get rid of them. Let’s take a look at what a kidney stone is and some recommendations on how to prevent them from occurring.

What Is a Kidney Stone?

Kidney stones are pieces of material that have accumulated in a person’s urine. They often are made up of salt, the waste products of protein, and potassium. Sometimes a stone can be broken down to pass harmlessly through the urinary system but other times, when they pass, they can be extremely painful. Most kidney stones are formed made of calcium oxalate and are formed when oxalate, a byproduct of certain foods, binds to calcium as urine is being produced by the kidneys.

Diet Recommendations for Kidney Stones

Eating a healthy diet is crucial for keeping kidney stones at bay. By changing a few specific things in your diet, you can help prevent them from forming. Let’s take a look at a couple of suggestions.

Drink Plenty of Fluid

Drinking fluids is essential to flush your kidneys with fresh, clean water. The more water you drink, the less chance you’ll have of forming kidney stones. Sports drinks containing electrolytes are another way to replenish hydration. They will also help the kidneys function properly and keep materials that can cause kidney stones out of the body. Maintaining hydration is especially important for people who have chronic conditions like diabetes.

Eat a Moderate Amount of Protein

Excess protein intake, including red meat, poultry, and eggs, can boost the levels of uric acid, which can lead to kidney stones. A high-protein diet can also decrease the levels of urinary citrate in the body which is the chemical in your urine that can help prevent kidney stones from forming in the first place. Aim to have a balanced diet including fruits, vegetables, lean protein, fish, and grains.

Limit Foods With High Oxalate Content

Oxalate foods are often a problem for people who have kidney stones. Oxalic acid is a substance that’s very common in the human body but it’s also found in many foods as well. Foods that have the most oxalates include green leafy vegetables, soy, almonds, potatoes, tea, rhubarb, cereal grains, and beets. Try to limit yourself to three servings daily. While these foods offer great nutritional benefits, they aren’t always the best for those trying to prevent kidney stones.

Schedule A Consultation

Kidney stones can be very painful when they form in the body and are passed through the urinary tract but with some changes to your diet, you can prevent them from occurring.

If you struggle with kidney stones or other kidney issues and are looking for help, Dr. Tandon and our team of professionals at the Kidney Clinic of North Florida are more than happy to help you figure out what’s wrong and to provide a customized treatment plan that fits your needs.

To schedule a consultation today, call our Jacksonville, FL office at +1 904-593-5333 or use our online scheduling form.

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Dialysis Options for Patients with Kidney Failure: Pros and Cons

Dialysis is a procedure for those who are dealing with kidney failure. With the kidneys no longer working properly, they don’t filter blood the way they’re supposed to. And because there is no filter, waste and other toxins build up in the bloodstream. Dialysis is used as a filter to remove all the toxins and waste from the blood.

There are two types of dialysis: hemodialysis (HD) and peritoneal dialysis (PD). Which one is best for you depends on your doctor’s recommendations and your overall health.

Hemodialysis (HD)

Hemodialysis uses a machine to move your blood through a filter outside your body. This filter is what removes the waste and then the filtered blood is returned to the body. It can be performed at a clinic or at home.

Before hemodialysis can begin, you’ll need a minor procedure. You’ll either have an arteriovenous fistula (AV fistula) where the surgeon connects an artery and vein to the arm or an arteriovenous graft (AV graft) where your surgeon will use a graft or small tube to connect the artery and the vein. These procedures make it easier to access the bloodstream and perform the dialysis.

During hemodialysis, blood is removed from a needle in your arm and the blood is circulated through the filter and moves the waster into a dialysis solution. The filtered blood is returned to the body through a different needle in the arm. While going through hemodialysis, your blood pressure is monitored so the blood flow can be adjusted as needed.


Some of the pros that come with hemodialysis include:

  • it helps control blood pressure
  • it balances minerals in the body like potassium, sodium, and calcium
  • it can be done in a clinic or at home which means you may not need to travel to a dialysis center for treatment
  • it can be more convenient
  • there are three types of hemodialysis depending on your schedule and needs:
    • standard home hemodialysis: takes place 3 times a week for 3-5 hours
    • short daily hemodialysis: 5-7 days per week for 2-4 hours at a time
    • nightly home hemodialysis: 3-6 times per week while you sleep


Like any procedure, hemodialysis also comes with a few cons as well. They include:

  • someone must be there while you’re on dialysis at home.
  • special electricity and plumbing may be needed if you have it done at home
  • both you and your dialysis partner must take time off work or your regular routine.
  • the dialysis machines can take up space in your home.
  • if you have it at home, there are no medical professionals to immediately answer questions and concerns.
  • in order to prevent treatment problems, patients may need to adhere to a restrictive diet, and fluid intake may need to be limited.
  • there can be side effects including low blood pressure (hypotension), muscle cramps, sleep problems, anemia, and fluid overload.

Peritoneal Dialysis (PD)

With peritoneal dialysis, tiny blood vessels inside the abdominal lining (peritoneum) filter blood with the help of a dialysis solution. The solution contains water, salt, and other additives.

This type of dialysis primarily takes place at home and there are two ways to do the treatment. You can either use an automated peritoneal machine called a cycler which pumps the fluid into the body while you sleep or you can have continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) which is a manual process.

During peritoneal dialysis, a catheter is connected to a tube and that tube is connected to the bag with the dialysis solution. The solution then goes from the tube and catheter into the peritoneal cavity. Once the bag is empty, disconnect the tube and cap off the catheter. You can go about your daily routine while the solution works. It typically takes 60-90 minutes.

After the solution does its work, remove the cap from the catheter and drain the fluid into a clean, empty bag. This is repeated four times of day if done manually.


Some of the pros of getting peritoneal dialysis include:

  • you have more options and independence with PD since it is done at home.
  • compared to HD, you may have fewer negative side effects.
  • compared to HD, you may have more freedom in what you can eat.
  • no machine is required with CAPD.
  • it takes less time.
  • with automated PD, you can do dialysis while you sleep.


  • you don’t have any days off as it must be done every day.
  • your blood glucose can be more difficult to control if you have diabetes.
  • there is the potential for an infection with a catheter.
  • you will need a machine with you at all times for automated peritoneal dialysis.

Schedule An Appointment

If you or a loved one are suffering from kidney failure, you have options with dialysis. To discuss your options and what type of dialysis is best for your needs, schedule an appointment with Dr. Gaurav Tandon at the Kidney Clinic of North Florida. Dr. Tandon is a board-certified nephrologist with years of expertise in managing dialysis and treating kidney-related diseases.

To schedule an appointment today, contact our Jacksonville, FL office at 904-593-5333 or use our online scheduling form.