Treatment: If a pancreatic or liver tumor is identified and able to be surgically excised, the skin lesions may normalize for an extended period of time, but because these tumors metastasize (spread to other areas of the body) quickly, surgery is not curative. In cases of end stage liver disease, surgery is not possible, and the goal of therapy is to increase quality of life and decrease uncomfortable skin lesions with supportive care and addressing the nutritional abnormalities. Supportive care includes supplementing protein and necessary minerals and enzymes through the diet and oral supplements or by weekly intravenous amino acid infusions that are performed in the hospital on an outpatient basis until improvement in the skin is noted. Unfortunately, despite the supportive care, the disease will progress.
At later stages of kidney disease (stage 5, some on stage 4) you may be asked to follow a special diet in which there may be controlled amounts of protein, salt, phosphate, and potassium. You may not need to restrict all of these, and recommendations are likely to change with time. It is also important to avoid under-feeding. This is why the dietitian is an important member of the renal team. Separate information on diet is available,
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In renal failure the kidneys are unable to excrete the normal acid waste products of the body. People in renal failure often have too much acid in the blood (acidaemia) and have to take bicarbonate tablets to neutralise this.
Prevention of heart disease, stroke and vascular disease
People with kidney disease are at greatly increased risk of heart disease, stroke and problems with the circulation. It is particularly important that you should not smoke as this increases the risk of heart disease even further. You should also attempt to maintain a healthy diet and take regular exercise. Cholesterol and other lipids are often high in kidney disease, this may require special medication.