Chronic Kidney Disease
Every year, about 2,000 patients with kidney failure join the list of dialysis patients in Israel. Although the treatment saves lives, it takes a heavy physical and mental toll on patients. Treatments to slow down the disease and treat its complications are constantly being developed – the innovative treatments can already be obtained today as part of clinical studies in Israel.
The two kidneys located at our waist height are responsible for extremely important functions in our body. These functions include maintaining blood pressure, cleansing waste and toxins, and balancing water and salts in the blood. Kidney failure is an impairment of the kidneys’ ability to perform their important functions.
In most cases, this is a gradual injury. Kidney failure develops over time without the patient feeling any symptoms. At this point, the injury is manifested in various laboratory indices.
Because this is a gradual process, with the deterioration of kidney function there may be various symptoms and an increase in the morbidity that accompanies kidney failure.
In advanced cases, when the kidneys lose their function, patients may need alternative kidney treatment (dialysis) or a kidney transplant – medical treatments with broad implications for quality of life.
Either way, persistent and untreated kidney failure can interfere with the balance of vitamins and salts in the body, leading to bone disease and increasing the chance of developing heart disease, among other things.
CKD is a relatively common disease, affecting about 10% of the elderly population in the Western world.
The most common causes of CKD are hypertension and diabetes.
CKD can cause worsening of blood pressure.
One of the most serious complications of CKD is heart disease.
In recent years, the number of patients suffering from CKD of any degree has increased.
The onset of CKD can be manifested by the appearance of edema, hypertension, fatigue – or accidentally detected by routine tests.
Treatments to slow down kidney disease and treat its complications are constantly being developed – the new ones in these treatments can already be obtained today as part of clinical studies in Israel – Find your trial here.
Kidney function is measured using a number of metrics. A simple blood test can detect the level of a protein called creatinine, which is higher in kidney failure – as it tends to accumulate instead of being excreted in the urine. Creatinine is an indirect measure of the ability to filter and clear the kidney, also called GFR (Glomerular Filtration Rate).
Deterioration in the ability of the kidneys to filter can also be monitored by a urine protein test called albumin. Properly the kidneys do not excrete the proteins from the blood, so there should be no protein in the urine at all. The appearance of protein in the urine can indicate damage to the “filter” of the kidney. Significant loss of protein in the urine can lead to medical complications on its own.
The severity of renal failure is determined by these two parameters, in numbers ranging from 1 to 5, with grade 5 being considered a terminal renal failure requiring dialysis treatment.
It is important to know that chronic kidney failure is defined as a decrease in kidney function for a period of 3 months or more, as opposed to acute failure or acute kidney injury, a shorter condition.
Sometimes, to determine the diagnosis of kidney failure and its causes, additional tests, such as imaging tests, including ultrasound or CT, are needed; In some cases it is even necessary to sample a small portion of the kidney tissue to look at it under the microscope, in a procedure called a kidney biopsy.
Early diagnosis of chronic kidney failure, close monitoring and treatment accordingly can improve the chances of achieving a slowdown of the disease, which currently does not have a cure.
There are many treatments for patients with CKD. The treatments’ goals are to slow down the disease, prevent its complications and identify early patients who will need dialysis later. The treatment includes, among other things, a change in lifestyle – which includes smoking cessation and an adapted diet.
Slowing the progression of kidney failure often depends on the ability to treat the cause that led to it. for example:
- Sugar balance in diabetics can also slow the rate of impaired kidney function.
- Weight loss was found to be beneficial as the rate of renal deterioration slow down.
- Lowering blood pressure prevents the ongoing damage to the kidneys, which can lead to a worsening of blood pressure.
It seems that various drugs may be effective in slowing the rate of protein loss in the urine (a medical condition called proteinuria). These include drugs that inhibit the ACE enzyme (such as Lisinopril®, Losartan®, etc.), by preventing the production of hormones that raise blood pressure in the body, which can damage blood vessels.
Another group of drugs that has been found to be effective for this purpose is the channel inhibitors that are responsible for the absorption of sugar in the kidneys (in the medical jargon – SGLT2 inhibitors). These drugs encourage the excretion of sugar in the urine and are therefore also used to treat diabetics.
Other treatments focus on the complications of CKD. For example, various treatments are given for fluid accumulation that leads to edema and in severe cases also to difficulty breathing; For salt disorders that may lead to cardiac arrhythmias; Or for long-term damage of kidney failure, including anemia, increase in blood lipids, depletion of bone mass and more.
Despite the various treatments, the scientific world still have a hard time stopping or reversing the ongoing kidney damages.
Access to new treatments for Chronic Kidney Disease.
Chronic Kidney Disease affects our lives not only daily but also in the long run. Despite the various treatments, the medical world still has a hard time stopping or reversing the ongoing kidney damages.
The good news is that new drugs are being tested all the time – for this very purpose.
A major way to test the efficacy of new drugs for diseases such as kidney failure is through clinical trials, during which innovative treatment can be obtained that has already proven efficacy and safety in previous trials, under close medical supervision, and free of charge.
Participating in a clinical trial can help you find innovative treatment for your medical condition, and also allow you to contribute to the proof of the treatment so that it can be used in the future by more Chronic Kidney Disease patients.
Clinical studies in Israel for Chronic Kidney Disease
In Israel, a number of clinical trials are being conducted today, recruiting hundreds of patients with chronic kidney disease.
The treatments are offered in a large number of medical centers throughout the country and focus on treatments that can slow the deterioration of the disease, alleviate the diseases that accompany chronic kidney failure, and improve the quality of life.
Participating in a clinical trial can help you find innovative treatment for your medical condition, and also allow you to contribute to the proof of treatment so that it can be used in the future by more chronic kidney failure patients.
If you are interested in reading more about what clinical trials are and how they are conducted, you can find information on our website.
To check if there is a clinical study that is appropriate for your medical condition, you can click on “Match Me Clinical Trial” for a free eligibility check.
If we find you a suitable experiment, our team will be able to help you to better understand the pros and cons of participating in the study before joining it.