When To Get Medical Advice
See your GP if you have persistent or worrying symptoms that you think could be caused by kidney disease.
The symptoms of kidney disease can be caused by many less serious conditions, so it’s important to get a proper diagnosis.
If you do have CKD, it’s best to get it diagnosed as soon as possible. Kidney disease can be diagnosed by having blood and urine tests.
Find out more about how CKD is diagnosed.
Page last reviewed: 29 August 2019 Next review due: 29 August 2022
Kidney Damage Or When The Kidneys Stop Functioning Can Actually Turn Into A Fatal Condition If Not Treated On Time Never Ignore These Symptoms
Written by Satata Karmakar | Published : May 17, 2022 12:48 PM IST
Kidneys are a pair of organs which is located in your lower back region. Each side of your spine has one kidney. Though they are very small, their function is very important for your body. Kidneys help in filtering and flushing out toxins from the body. The filtered toxins go into the bladder, where it gets collected and then eliminated through the anus as urine. The term ‘damaged kidneys’ is referred to that particular condition in which the kidneys fail to perform the filtering job or flush out the toxins from the body. Before we tell you what is the warning signs that can tell you about the worsening condition of your kidneys, let’s look at what can actually lead to this condition.
Kidney Damage Can Occur From Overly Intense Muscle Use
It’s well established that the basic formula for healthier living and improved physical strength is achieved through a combination of sensible eating and regular exercise, where some lifting of weights is an integral component. This goes for middle-aged adults as well as those a decade or two younger.
That said, weightlifting, to keep muscles vibrant and strong, should not be overdone. And for beginners or those who haven’t done it in a while, lifting should be approached in a manner that doesn’t overwhelm the exerciser. Starting slowly, and with lighter weights, and then building progressively is essential in order to avoid a threatening, but often-overlooked, condition known as rhabdomyolysis.
Rhabdomyolysis, or rhabdo for short, occurs when muscle damage is done after trying to lift too much weight, or lifting with such frequent repetition that it prevents the taxed muscles from resting. When this happens muscle fibers break down and die. These fibers then enter the bloodstream and can create kidney problems, and in some cases, kidney failure. Some severe cases may require kidney dialysis.
In addition, it can strike both the fit and flabby among us.
How do you know whether you’re in danger of being afflicted by rhabdo? There are symptoms to watch for, but since they aren’t specific to this condition it’s hard to tell whether a specific weight-training workout, or an intense stationary bike-riding session, is the culprit.
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How Long Can I Live After My Kidneys Fail
When your kidneys fail, they cannot get better. Your life expectancy depends on many things, including your age. However, treatment can help people with kidney failure live for many more years:
- Dialysis helps people live for another five to 10 years on average.
- Living kidney donor transplants last 15 to 20 years on average.
If you choose not to get treatment for kidney failure, you can get medical management. This is supportive care and treatment to relieve your symptoms, but it will not keep you alive. There is no way to know how long you will live if you choose medical management. Your doctor will help you stay as healthy as possible.
What Is The Prognosis And Life Expectancy For Kidney Failure Can It Be Prevented
The outlook for kidney failure depends upon the underlying condition that caused it. Kidney function may return to normal, especially if it is due to an acute obstruction and that obstruction is relieved. Other causes of decreased kidney function leading to kidney failure are due to underlying disease and occur slowly over time.
Prevention is the best chance to maintain kidney function, and controlling high blood pressure and diabetes over a lifetime can decrease the potential for progressive kidney damage. Chronic kidney failure may be managed to help monitor electrolyte and waste product levels in the bloodstream. Major abnormalities can be life-threatening, and treatment options may be limited to dialysis or transplant.
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The Water Hydration Technique
You know how most of us generally go for long periods without water, become thirsty and scull the next available glass in about 30 seconds? Have you ever thought what this does to your body? No? I dont blame you.
The actual fact of the matter is that every time you a drink a glass of water in a hurry, you are placing pressure on kidney function. How? Well, seeing as one of the functions of the kidneys is to keep the fluid levels in the blood stream balanced, by drinking a full glass of water at once you are essentially dumping a large amount of water into the blood stream, which the kidneys now need to balance out . By drinking slowly, a mouthful at a time, you reduce the pressure on the kidneys and increase hydration. Sound too simple to do any good? Good. Now try it.
Treating Chronic Kidney Disease
There is no cure for chronic kidney disease, although treatment can slow or halt the progression of the disease and can prevent other serious conditions developing.
People with CKD are known to have an increased risk of a heart attack because of changes that occur to the circulation.
In a minority of people, CKD may cause kidney failure, also known as established renal failure or end-stage kidney disease. In this situation, the usual functions of the kidney stop working.
To survive, people with ERF may need to have artificial kidney treatment, called dialysis, or a kidney transplant.
Read more about living with chronic kidney disease
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Who Will Be On My Health Care Team
Youll have a whole team of trained health care providers to help you live well with kidney failure. The following people may be part of your health care team:
Nephrologist. A doctor who specializes in kidney health and oversees your treatment.
Dialysis nurse. A dialysis nurse will monitor your in-center dialysis and will see you monthly if youre doing home or peritoneal dialysis. The nurse will make sure youre taking your medicines correctly and help you find ways to lessen the side effects of dialysis. If you do home hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis, your dialysis nurse will teach you how to set up your treatment, take care of the equipment, and watch for infections or other problems.
Transplant coordinator. A specially trained nurse who will be your point of contact, arrange your appointments, and teach you what to do before and after the transplant.
Renal dietitian. A renal dietitian is trained to help people with kidney failure. Your dietitian will help you make choices about what to eat and drink to help your treatment work better so youll feel better.
Social worker. Dialysis clinics and transplant centers have a social worker who works with people who have ESRD. Your renal social worker can help you find answers to problems such as
- keeping a job or changing jobs
- getting help paying for treatments
- finding services to help with transportation or chores around the house
- finding counseling services to deal with family problems
Diabetes And Kidney Failure
Without management, high blood sugar can damage your kidneys. The damage can worsen over time.
Diabetic nephropathy, or kidney damage caused by type 1 or type 2 diabetes, cant be reversed. Managing your blood sugar and blood pressure may help prevent or limit kidney damage. Taking medications as prescribed by your doctor is important, too.
If you have diabetes, your doctor will likely perform regular screenings to monitor for kidney failure.
Your risk for diabetic nephropathy increases the longer you live with diabetes.
Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure. About one-third of adults with diabetes have kidney disease, according to the
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How Hospice Can Help With End
Besides providing help in recognizing the signs of end-of-life kidney failure, hospice can help the family caregiver in managing their own needs. The team at Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care includes nurses, volunteers, aides, social workers, and doctors who provide many different services, from personal care like grooming and bathing, to help with managing the patients medication.
If you would like to learn more about how Crossroads can help, we recommend you contact us now by selecting one of the Get Help options from the blue help center bar at the top of this page.
What Is The Best Treatment For Me
You should consider many things when choosing a treatment for kidney failure, including your lifestyle, your age, any other health problems you may have, and whether you have a friend or relative to help you. Your decision should be based on more than your medical history and your doctor’s opinion. It should also be based on what you and your family wants. Learning about your treatment choices will help you decide which one is best for you.
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How Low Is Low
A healthy kidney filters wastes from the blood at a rate of 90 milliliters per minute or more. This is known as the glomerular filtration rate, or GFR. With time, many men’s kidneys start to slip, but function must decline quite a lot before you start to really feel the impact. You feel fine up to the point that kidney function is almost gone, which means you can lead a normal life with reduced kidney function.
On the other hand, lack of early warning from symptoms can deny you the chance to slow the slide. Most people don’t start feeling really ill until kidney function is under 10%.
Problems Affecting The Kidneys Themselves
Haemolytic uraemic syndrome is the most common cause of acute renal failure in children. HUS causes damage to the kidneys and stops them working as they should. Other causes include inflammation of the kidneys and certain medicines. Sometimes, if we dont know the reason for the acute renal failure, we may need to do a kidney biopsy where a bit of tissue is taken from the kidney to examine in a laboratory. This will help us decide if additional treatment may improve your kidney function.
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Acute Kidney Failure Complications
Acute kidney failure can sometimes cause complications. These include:
- Fluid buildup. Acute kidney failure can sometimes cause a buildup of fluid in your body. If fluid builds up in your lungs, this can cause shortness of breath.
- Chest pain. If the lining that covers your heart becomes inflamed, you may have chest pain.
- Acidic blood . If your blood has too much acid due to acute kidney failure, you can end up with nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, and breathlessness.
- Muscle weakness. When your body’s fluids and electrolytes are out of balance, you can get muscle weakness. In serious cases, this can lead to paralysis and heart rhythm problems.
- Permanent kidney damage. Acute kidney failure can become chronic and your kidneys will stop working almost entirely or completely. This is called end-stage renal disease. If this happens, you will need to go on permanent dialysis or get a kidney transplant.
- Death. Acute kidney failure can lead to loss of kidney function that is so bad, it can cause death.
How Is It Tested
As part of standard blood tests, your doctor can check the creatinine level to assess kidney function. Creatinine is released from muscle cells into the blood stream.
Creatinine is one of the things that the kidneys filter from the blood. If the kidneys start to lose some function, blood creatinine level rises. The creatinine level is used to calculate an estimate of the GFR and provide an estimate of your kidney function.
Most people who have a minor reduction in kidney function can take steps to not keep the kidneys from getting worse. If the function is somewhat low but stable, you may need to see your doctor only once per year. If the GFR is declining or it is already under 50, it’s best to see a kidney doctor, if for no other reason than to become educated.
How high blood pressure damages the kidneys
High blood pressure can cause tiny cracks in the lining of arteries, which provide a breeding ground for fatty deposits that hamper blood flow. As the arteries that feed blood to the kidneys narrow, the body produces renin, a hormone that makes small arteries narrow further. This worsens high blood pressure, causing even more kidney damage. Over time, restricted blood flow can damage or destroy the nephrons, the tiny filtering units inside your kidneys.
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Coronavirus: Kidney Damage Caused By Covid
COVID-19 the disease caused by the coronavirus thats led to the global pandemic is known to damage the lungs. But, as more people become infected, more understanding of the disease emerges.
Doctors and researchers are finding that this coronavirus officially called SARS-CoV-2can also cause severe and lasting harm in other organs, including the heart and kidneys. C. John Sperati, M.D., M.H.S., an expert in kidney health, discusses how the new coronavirus might affect kidney function as the illness develops and afterward as a person recovers.
Muscle And Joint Pains
If you have muscle or joint pain, it’s ideal to use topical preparations , which are rubbed on to the painful area. Avoid tablets containing ibuprofen or similar drugs such as diclofenac if your kidney function is below 50%. Ibuprofen gel or spray is safer than ibuprofen tablets, but it isnt completely risk-free as a small amount of the drug penetrates the skin into the bloodstream.
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How Do I Cope With Kidney Failure
Learning you have kidney failure can be a shock, even if you have known for a long time that your kidneys were not working well. You may feel sad or anxious.
Reach out for support from your health care team and your family, friends and community. They can help you make changes to feel your best while you get dialysis and may be waiting for a kidney transplant.
To feel your best, your doctors will recommend that you:
- Go to every dialysis visit and consider getting a kidney transplant.
- Have visits with a nephrologist.
- Meet with a dietitian to help you create and follow a kidney-friendly eating plan.
- Keep your blood pressure at a healthy level. They may prescribe blood pressure medicines
- Keep your blood sugar at a healthy level if you have diabetes.
- Be active for 30 minutes on most days of the week.
- Drink less alcohol and quit smoking or using tobacco.
Living With Kidney Disease
Kidney disease affects different people in different ways, both physically and emotionally. It can impact on many aspects of life, including personal relationships, jobs and social life.
Get help with the many aspects of living with kidney disease, including mental health, diet, fluid restrictions, questions to ask you doctor, and benefits, on our Living with kidney disease section
We also have information on the following:
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Recovering From A Bruised Kidney
A bruised kidney is a serious injury that often requires immediate medical attention. If the injury was minor, it can take up to two weeks for a bruised kidney to heal on its own. Even with mild symptoms, kidney injuries can progress into serious complications and may cause internal bleeding.
If you were in an accident that injured your back or abdomen, call your doctor to discuss your kidney health. Though kidney bruising can heal on its own, professional observation is important to ensure further issues dont develop.
Kidney Damage From Covid
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs below your rib cage. Theres one on each side of your spine. They do important jobs to keep you healthy, like:
- Get rid of waste and extra fluid from your body through pee
- Help make oxygen-carrying red blood cells
Research suggests that up to half of people hospitalized with COVID-19 get an acute kidney injury. Thats a sudden case of kidney damage, and in some severe cases, kidney failure, that happens within hours or days. It causes waste to build up in your blood and can be deadly.
Some side effects tied to COVID-19 that might play a role in an acute kidney injury include:
- Damage to kidney cells with
- Increase in blood clotting
- Possible direct infection of the kidney
Some people dont have any symptoms of an acute kidney injury. But you could have signs like:
- Not peeing enough
- Keeping your distance from sick people
- Avoiding large crowds when possible
If youre on dialysis, dont miss your treatments. Do let your clinic know ahead of time if youre feeling sick, though. If youve gotten a kidney transplant, stick to your treatment plan and keep taking your anti-rejection medicines as prescribed.
National Kidney Foundation: Kidney disease & COVID-19, Acute Kidney Injury , Top 5 Jobs Kidneys Do, Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine, What Kidney Patients Need to Know.
Johns Hopkins: Coronavirus: Kidney Damage Caused by COVID-19.
Medscape: Half of Patients in Hospital for COVID-19 Get Acute Kidney Injury.
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