Can Kidney Failure Be Prevented
While kidney failure from chronic kidney disease cant be reversed, you can do many things to help preserve the kidney function you have today. Healthy habits and routines may slow down how quickly kidneys lose their functional abilities.
If you have chronic kidney disease or kidney failure, youll want to:
- Monitor your kidney function, with your doctors help.
- Keep your blood sugar levels under control, if you have diabetes.
- Keep your blood pressure levels in a normal range.
- Avoid smoking.
- Make healthy diet choices, such as limiting foods high in protein and sodium.
Complete Kidney Failure Stage
Kidney has some important roles to the body function, which include filtering blood, regulating hormones, balancing body fluids, keeping bones healthy, and helping make red blood cells. Thus, a complete kidney failure will likely to affect your body functions significantly. Commonly, kidney disease stages are divided into 5 main stages based on the degree of severity. In the earlier stages, mild symptoms of kidney failure problems can be improved through proper treatment plans and dieting. However, the latest stage, which is stage 5 may require a kidney transplant in order to keep the patient alive.
What Health Problems Can People With Kidney Disease Develop
Kidney disease can lead to other health problems. Your health care team will work with you to help you avoid or manage:
High blood pressure. High blood pressure can be both a cause and a result of kidney disease. High blood pressure damages your kidneys, and damaged kidneys dont work as well to help control your blood pressure. With kidney failure, your kidneys cant get rid of extra water. Taking in too much water can cause swelling, raise your blood pressure, and make your heart work harder.
Blood pressure-lowering medicines, limiting sodium and fluids in your diet, staying physically active, managing stress, and quitting smoking can help you control your blood pressure.
Heart disease. Kidney disease and heart disease share two of the same main causes: diabetes and high blood pressure. People with kidney disease are at high risk for heart disease, and people with heart disease are at high risk for kidney disease.
Anemia. When kidneys are damaged, they dont make enough erythropoietin , a hormone that helps make red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs to other parts of your body. When you have anemia, some organssuch as your brain and heartmay get less oxygen than they need and may not function as well as they should. Anemia can make you feel weak and lack energy.
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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.
About Chronic Kidney Disease
CKD is a condition in which the kidneys are damaged and cannot filter blood as well as they should. Because of this, excess fluid and waste from blood remain in the body and may cause other health problems, such as heart disease and stroke.
15% of US adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease, that is about 37 million people.
Some other health consequences of CKD include:
- Anemia or low number of red blood cells
- Increased occurrence of infections
- Low calcium levels, high potassium levels, and high phosphorus levels in the blood
- Loss of appetite or eating less
- Depression or lower quality of life
CKD has varying levels of seriousness. It usually gets worse over time though treatment has been shown to slow progression. If left untreated, CKD can progress to kidney failure and early cardiovascular disease. When the kidneys stop working, dialysis or kidney transplant is needed for survival. Kidney failure treated with dialysis or kidney transplant is called end-stage renal disease . Learn more about ESRD.
Not all patients with kidney disease progress to kidney failure. To help prevent CKD and lower the risk for kidney failure, control risk factors for CKD, get tested yearly, make lifestyle changes, take medicine as needed, and see your health care team regularly.
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Kidney Failure Life Expectancy
Its not possible to know exactly how long a person with kidney failure will live. Every person with kidney failure is different.
In general, the National Kidney Foundation says that a person on dialysis can expect to live for an average of 5 to 10 years as long as they follow their treatment. Some people live for more than 20 or 30 years.
Factors that can play a role in life expectancy include your:
- stage of kidney disease
- other coexisting conditions
Once you reach end stage kidney failure, you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant to live. Missing even one dialysis treatment can decrease your life expectancy.
Can I Keep Working With Kidney Failure
Many people with kidney failure continue to work. KidneyWorks is a program to help people with kidney disease keep working. The program focuses on Americans with CKD whose kidneys have not yet failed or who are living with a transplant. If you are on dialysis, the information in the KidneyWorks paper may also provide tips to help you keep your job.
The Americans with Disabilities Act means that an employer cant legally fire you just because youre on dialysis or have had a kidney transplant. The law requires an employer to make reasonable changes to the workplace for a person with a disability. For example, your employer may give you lighter physical jobs or schedule your work hours around your dialysis sessions. If youre on peritoneal dialysis, youll need space and time to change the dialysis solution in the middle of the work day. Most employers can make these adjustments.
If your employer isnt willing to meet your needs, your dialysis clinics renal social worker may be able to help find a way to satisfy both you and your employer.
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What Are The Causes Of Kidney Failure
It depends on the type of kidney failure or kidney injury. Acute renal failure has a sudden onset that happens in days. In contrast, chronic kidney failure has a progressive and slow beginning that may take months even years.
Having kidney failure means that 85% to 90% of kidney function is gone. The following are the causes for each one of the possible scenarios of kidney failure.
Prognosis Of Chronic Kidney Disease
If chronic kidney disease is caused by a disorder that can be corrected and if that disorder has not been present for too long, then kidney function may improve when the causative disorder is successfully treated. Otherwise, kidney function tends to worsen over time. The rate of decline in kidney function depends somewhat on the underlying disorder causing chronic kidney disease and on how well the disorder is controlled. For example, diabetes and high blood pressure, particularly if poorly controlled, cause kidney function to decline more rapidly. Chronic kidney disease is fatal if not treated.
When the decline in kidney function is severe , survival is usually limited to several months in people who are not treated, but people who are treated with dialysis Dialysis Dialysis is an artificial process for removing waste products and excess fluids from the body, a process that is needed when the kidneys are not functioning properly. There are a number of reasons… read more can live much longer. However, even with dialysis, people with end-stage kidney failure die sooner than people their age who do not have end-stage kidney disease. Most die from heart or blood vessel disorders or infections.
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How Long Does It Take To Die Of Liver Failure
Hepatic failure is a serious illness to the human body as it fails to perform several important functions that are necessary for maintaining the normal healthy life. The hepatic failure can be described as acute or chronic i.e., sudden onset or slow progressing liver failure. But recently, the researcher identified a new syndrome known as an acute-on-chronic liver failure. It is characterized by sudden decompensation of chronic liver disease.
Will Kidney Failure Affect My Sex Life
Kidney failure will affect your emotions, nerves, hormones, and energy levels, all of which may change your sexual relationships. Taking good care of yourself by managing your kidney disease and controlling your blood pressure and blood glucose levels can help prevent some sexual problems, such as erectile dysfunction. Getting counseling may help with some emotional problems, such as anxiety and depression, which can get in the way of having satisfying sex.
You may feel shy asking questions about your sex life, but your health care team has heard the same questions from other people. Your provider is trained to help you address concerns about your sex life.
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Where Can I Get Support
Renal units are usually in large teaching hospitals. They offer specialised help for you to adjust to kidney failure. The team includes your renal physician, nurses, dialysis staff and social workers. Renal units also have access to psychiatrists, psychologists and chaplains. Most also have their own patient-run organisations and support groups. You can find out about these from your renal unit staff or from Kidney Health NZ. Kidney Health NZ has patient support centres around the country for people with kidney failure. These are run by trained volunteers who have experienced kidney failure in their own families/whnau, and who offer their time to talk and share stories.
Will Kidney Failure Affect My Sleep
People who have kidney failure may have trouble sleeping. Sleep loss can affect your quality of life, energy level, and mood. Restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea, pain, or itching may make it hard for you to sleep.
You can take a number of steps to improve your sleep habits. For example, physical activity during the day and a warm bath before bed may help you sleep better at night. Avoid caffeine after lunchtime. Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed. Avoid smoking.
Talk with your health care provider if you often feel sleepy during the day or have trouble sleeping at night. Health care providers can treat sleep disorders such as sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome.
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What Is The Best Treatment For Me
There are many things to consider when choosing a treatment for kidney failure, including:
- health problems
- having someone to assist you
Your decision should be based on more than your medical history, doctor’s opinion, and on what you and your family want. Learning about your treatment choices will help you decide which is best for you.
Is A Kidney Transplant An Option
If kidney failure occurs and is non-reversible, kidney transplantation is an alternative option to dialysis. If the patient is an appropriate candidate, the healthcare professional and nephrologist will contact an organ transplant center to arrange an evaluation to see whether the patient is suitable for this treatment. If so, the search for a donor begins. Sometimes, family members have compatible tissue types and, if they are willing, may donate a kidney. Otherwise, the patient will be placed on the organ transplant list that is maintained by the United Network of Organ Sharing.
Not all hospitals are capable of performing kidney transplants. The patient may have to travel to undergo their operation. The most successful programs are those that do many transplants every year.
While kidney transplants have become routine, they still carry some risks. The patient will need to take anti-rejection medications that reduce the ability of the immune system to fight infection. The body can try to reject the kidney or the transplanted kidney may fail to work. As with any operation, there is a risk of bleeding and infection.
Kidney transplants may provide a better quality of life than dialysis. After one year, 95% of transplanted kidneys are still functioning and after five years, the number is 80%. It seems that the longer a patient is on dialysis, the shorter the life of the transplanted kidney.
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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:
What Is Kidney Failure
Having kidney failure means that 85-90% of your kidney function is gone, and they don’t work well enough to keep you alive. There is no cure for kidney failure, but it is possible to live a long life with treatment. Having kidney failure is not a death sentence, and people with kidney failure live active lives and continue to do the things they love.
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How Fast Does Chronic Kidney Disease Progress
Chronic kidney disease doesnt progress at the same rate for all patients. A significant portion of patients with mild-to-moderate CKD do not experience a predictable pattern of disease progression.
Extensive research has uncovered several indicators that influence the speed of CKD progression, including whether or not the disease progresses at all. Factors like genetics, underlying health issues, age, sex, and lifestyle choices, however, can also affect a studys findings and alter the outcome.
While this can make the question How fast does chronic kidney disease progress? a tricky one to answer, heres a breakdown of what scientists and medical professionals know about kidney disease progression up to this point.
What Is Stage 4 Kidney Disease
Stage 1 and stage 2 are considered early-stage chronic kidney disease. The kidneys arent working at 100 percent, but they still work well enough that you might not have symptoms.
By stage 3, youve lost about half of kidney function, which can lead to more serious problems.
If you have stage 4 kidney disease, it means your kidneys have experienced severe damage. You have a glomerular filtration rate, or GFR, of 1529 ml/min. Thats the amount of blood your kidneys can filter per minute.
GFR is determined by measuring the amount of creatinine, a waste product, in your blood. The formula also takes age, sex, ethnicity, and body size into account. The kidneys are functioning at 1529 percent of normal.
GFR may not be accurate in certain circumstances, such as if you:
- are pregnant
Other tests that help determine the stage are:
- bloods tests to look for other waste products
- blood glucose
- urine test to look for the presence of blood or protein
- blood pressure
- imaging tests to check the structure of the kidneys
Stage 4 is the last stage before kidney failure, or stage 5 kidney disease.
In stage 4, symptoms may include:
- fluid retention
If your potassium levels get too high , it can affect your hearts ability to function.
Other potential complications include:
If youre pregnant, kidney disease can increase risks to you and to your baby.
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What Procedures And Tests Diagnose Kidney Failure
Hemodialysis uses a machine filter called a dialyzer or artificial kidney to remove excess water and salt, to balance the other electrolytes in the body, and to remove waste products of metabolism. Blood is removed from the body and flows through tubing into the machine, where it passes next to a filter membrane. A specialized chemical solution flows on the other side of the membrane. The dialysate is formulated to draw impurities from the blood through the filter membrane. Blood and dialysate are never touched in the artificial kidney machine.
For this type of dialysis, access to the blood vessels needs to be surgically created so that large amounts of blood can flow into the machine and back to the body. Surgeons can build a fistula, a connection between a large artery and vein in the body, usually in the arm, that allows a large amount of blood to flow into the vein. This makes the vein swell or dilate, and its walls become thicker so that it can tolerate repeated needle sticks to attach tubing from the body to the machine. Since it takes many weeks or months for a fistula to mature enough to be used, significant planning is required if hemodialysis is to be considered as an option.
Dialysis treatments normally occur three times a week and last a few hours at a time. Most commonly, patients travel to an outpatient center to have dialysis, but home dialysis therapy is becoming an option for some.