How to Treat Impaired Kidney Function

Updated July 19, 2017

Impaired kidney function can be caused by a number or underlying diseases and conditions and can be treated through a combination of diet, medication and lifestyle choices. The severity of kidney disease and the treatment options available depend largely on the cause of reduced kidney functions. While some cases of impaired kidney function can be treated quickly and easily, others require a long commitment to often annoying, difficult and expensive treatment.

Identify and treat the underlying disease or condition. Impaired kidney function can be caused by a number of conditions and diseases such as dehydration, blood loss, adverse reactions to medications, sepsis, kidney stones and extremely serious conditions such as prostate cancer or abdominal tumours. Once whatever is causing impaired kidney function has been identified, your doctor can prescribe a customised treatment plan to restore kidney function or slow the progression of kidney disease and kidney failure.

Control medical conditions that can further damage kidneys. Keep blood pressure under control to avoid further exacerbating the kidneys and damaging the cardiovascular system. Quit smoking, maintain a healthy weight, take ACE inhibitor medications, manage stress levels and exercise at least three to five times a week to keep blood pressure low. Diabetics with reduced kidney function must keep their blood sugar levels constant to retain existing kidney function. Control high cholesterol to avoid further kidney impairment

Adhere to a specialised diet. Stick to a low-sodium, low-potassium, low-phosphorus and low-protein diet. Phosphorus binders can be prescribed by your doctor to prevent over-absorption of phosphorous and sodium bicarbonate can help slow the breakdown of proteins in the body. Avoid drinking too much water and liquids, as this can lead to water retention. A doctor can prescribe diuretics in order to rid the body of excess liquid.

Catch and treat infections early. Bladder, kidney and urinary tract infections should be treated with antibiotics to avoid further damage to the kidneys.

Undergo dialysis or kidney transplantation if kidney function is severely reduced. Dialysis works by replacing the function of the kidneys and removing harmful wastes from the blood. Although not a cure for kidney disease, dialysis can prolong an individual's life. Kidney transplantation is the best and only long-term treatment for kidney failure.


It is important for those suffering from impaired kidney function to avoid anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, as these can further damage the kidney. Tylenol is the safest pain killer for kidney disease sufferers, so long as the recommended dosage isn't exceeded.

Things You'll Need

  • ACE inhibitor drug
  • Diuretic
  • Cholesterol-lowering drugs
  • Low-sodium, low-potassium, low-phosphorus, low-protein diet
  • Phosphorus binders
  • Sodium bicarbonate
  • Antibiotics
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About the Author

Jisel Perilla works as a writer mental health counselor in the Washington, D.C area. She has written and contributed to several Frommer's Travel Guides, as well for a variety of culture, health and entertainment publications. She majored in English and minored in Spanish at the University of Mary Washington in Frederickburg, Va., and has traveled extensively throughout Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa.