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Is chronic renal failure curable?

Q: My 30 years old wife has been diagnosed with chronic renal failure (CRF). Her serum creatinine level was 3.65 two months back but now it has come down to 1.63. Is renal failure a curable disease? What diet restrictions should be followed? She has been advised to go either for dialysis later in life or for kidney transplant. Is there any alternate treatment available for this? What about stem cell therapy? Please advise.

A:Persistently elevated serum creatinine for more than 3 months is reflective of chronic kidney disease (CKD). If your wife already has an established kidney disease as diagnosed, then she would need to closely monitor her blood pressure and avoid exposure to all potential kidney toxic medications in months and years to follow. This is desired to delay the progression of kidney disease to the stage of kidney failure requiring dialysis or preferably transplant. Also, she would need to be closely followed by her nephrologist for complications of kidney disease including anaemia and bone disease. Lastly, if not done, she may benefit from kidney biopsy to ascertain the exact cause of kidney disease. The cause behind CKD does help to prognosticate her chances of going to dialysis any time soon and chances of recurrence of the disease in the transplanted kidney if she happens to get one in future. Diet should canter around daily intake of 50-55 grams of protein along with low salt, carbohydrates and saturated fat. Stem cell therapy for kidney disease is still in research stage and not yet proven to be effective in patients.

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