What Causes Kidney Disease
Kidney diseases happen when your kidneys are damaged and cant filter your blood. The damage can happen quickly when its caused by injury or toxins or, more commonly, over months or years.
- Glomerulonephritis. This type of kidney disease involves damage to the glomeruli, which are the filtering units inside your kidneys.
- Polycystic kidney disease. This is a genetic disorder that causes many fluid-filled cysts to grow in your kidneys, reducing the ability of your kidneys to function.
- Hypertensive nephrosclerosis. Kidney damage caused by chronic, poorly controlled hypertension.
- Membranous nephropathy. This is a disorder where your bodys immune system attacks the waste-filtering membranes in your kidney.
- Obstructions of the urinary tract from kidney stones, an enlarged prostate or cancer.
- Vesicourethral reflux. This is a condition in which urine flows backward refluxes back up the ureters to the kidneys
- Nephrotic syndrome. This is a collection of symptoms that indicate kidney damage.
Coronavirus Kidney Damage: A Serious Sign
Organ systems like the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys rely on and support one another’s functions, so when the new coronavirus causes damage in one area, others might be at risk. The kidneys essential functions have an impact on the heart, lungs and other systems. That may be why doctors note that kidney damage arising in patients with COVID-19 is a possible warning sign of a serious, even fatal course of the disease.
Are There Stages Of Chronic Kidney Disease
Yes, there are five stages of kidney disease. The stages are based on how well your kidneys are able to do their job to filter out waste and extra fluid from your blood. The stages range from very mild to kidney failure . Healthcare providers determine the stage of your kidney function according to the glomerular filtration rate . Your GFR is a number based on the amount of creatinine, a waste product, found in your blood, along with other factors including your age, race and gender.
|Stages of Chronic Kidney Disease|
- Are African-American, Hispanic, Native American or Asian.
- Are over 60 years of age.
- Have a long history of taking painkillers, including over-the-counter products such as aspirin and ibuprofen.
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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.
What Causes Kidney Malfunction
A major culprit of kidney problems is an acidic diet . A brand-new study sheds light on the renal problems that can be caused by a high-acid, meat-rich diet.
The study followed 1,500 people with kidney disease for a period of 14 years. Participants who ate a diet high in meat came very close to experiencing complete kidney failure, while those who ate more fruits and vegetables did not even come close to kidney failure. Researchers estimate that an acidic diet can make it three times more likely for your kidneys to fail.1
Says lead study author Dr. Tanushree Banejee,
Patients with chronic kidney disease may want to pay more attention to diet consumption of acid rich foods to reduce progression to kidney failuredialysis treatmentsmay be avoided by adopting a more healthy diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables.1
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When Should I Call The Doctor
A nephrologist receives special training in kidney evaluation and treatment. You may benefit from a kidney specialists expert opinion if:
- You have trouble keeping your blood pressure levels in a normal range, even with medication.
- Your blood sugar levels fluctuate widely.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/11/2018.
What Are The Kidneys Where Are They Located
The kidneys play key roles in body function, not only by filtering the blood and getting rid of waste products, but also by balancing the electrolyte levels in the body, controlling blood pressure, and stimulating the production of red blood cells.
The kidneys are located in the abdomen toward the back, normally one on each side of the spine. They get their blood supply through the renal arteries directly from the aorta and send blood back to the heart via the renal veins to the vena cava.
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Early Warning Signs Of Kidney Disease
As we all know every human body has two kidneys, which are primarily responsible for filtering the blood free of the nitrogenous waste products like urea, creatinine, acids, etc. and produce urine.
Millions of people are living with various types of kidney diseases and most of them dont even have the faintest idea about it. This is why kidney disease is often known as a Silent Killer as most people do not feel any difference until the disease is advanced. While people get their blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol levels checked on a regular basis, they fail to get a simple creatinine test done in their blood, to detect any unidentified kidney problems. According to the Global Burden Disease study in 2015, chronic kidney disease is ranked as the eighth leading cause of mortality in India.
There are a number of warning signs of a kidney disorder, however, most of the time these are ignored or confused with alternative pathologies . Therefore, one has to be very watchful and should get the confirmatory tests done at the earliest appearance of any sign of a kidney disorder. One should visit a Nephrologist and clarify his/her doubts. But if you have hypertension, diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome as one calls it in todays age, or Coronary Artery Disease, and/or a family history of the same or a family history of kidney failure or even if youre older than 60 years of age, it is advisable to get kidney tests done on a regular basis.
Kidney Failure Definition And Facts
- Kidneys are the organs that filter waste products from the blood. They are also involved in regulating blood pressure, electrolyte balance, and red blood cell production in the body.
- Symptoms of kidney failure are due to the build-up of waste products and excess fluid in the body that may cause weakness, shortness of breath, lethargy, swelling, and confusion. Inability to remove potassium from the bloodstream may lead to abnormal heart rhythms and sudden death. Initially kidney failure may cause no symptoms.
- There are numerous causes of kidney failure, and treatment of the underlying disease may be the first step in correcting the kidney abnormality.
- Some causes of kidney failure are treatable and the kidney function may return to normal. Unfortunately, kidney failure may be progressive in other situations and may be irreversible.
- The diagnosis of kidney failure usually is made by blood tests measuring BUN, creatinine, and glomerular filtration rate .
- Treatment of the underlying cause of kidney failure may return kidney function to normal. Lifelong efforts to control blood pressure and diabetes may be the best way to prevent chronic kidney disease and its progression to kidney failure. As we age, kidney function gradually decreases over time.
- If the kidneys fail completely, the only treatment options available may be dialysis or transplant.
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Why Does It Happen
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, the size of your fist,;located on either side of the body, just beneath the ribcage. The main role of the kidneys is to filter waste products from the blood before converting them into urine. The kidneys also:
- help maintain blood pressure;
- maintain the correct levels of chemicals in your body which, in turn, will help;heart and muscles function properly
- produce the active form of vitamin D that keeps bones healthy;
- produce a substance called erythropoietin, which stimulates production of red blood cells
Chronic kidney disease is the reduced ability of the kidney to carry out these functions in the long-term. This is most often caused by damage to the kidneys from other conditions, most commonly diabetes and high blood pressure.
Read more about the causes of chronic kidney disease
Early Ckd May Not Have Any Symptoms
You may wonder how you can have CKD and feel fine. Our kidneys have a greater capacity to do their job than is needed to keep us healthy. For example, you can donate one kidney and remain healthy. You can also have kidney damage without any symptoms because, despite the damage, your kidneys are still doing enough work to keep you feeling well. For many people, the only way to know if you have kidney disease is to get your kidneys checked with blood and urine tests.
As kidney disease gets worse, a person may have swelling, called edema. Edema happens when the kidneys cant get rid of extra fluid and salt. Edema can occur in the legs, feet, or ankles, and less often in the hands or face.
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Coronavirus Might Target Kidney Cells
The virus itself infects the cells of the kidney. Kidney cells have receptors that enable the new coronavirus to attach to them, invade, and make copies of itself, potentially damaging those tissues. Similar receptors are found on cells of the lungs and heart, where the new coronavirus has been shown to cause injury.
Biopsy For Kidney Disease
A biopsy means that a small piece of tissue is taken for testing in a laboratory. Biopsies used in the investigation of kidney disease may include:
- kidney biopsy the doctor inserts a special needle into the back, under local anaesthesia, to obtain a small sample of kidney tissue. A kidney biopsy can confirm a diagnosis of chronic kidney disease.
- bladder biopsy the doctor inserts a thin tube into the bladder via the urethra. This allows the doctor to view the inside of the bladder and check for abnormalities. This procedure is called a cystoscopy. The doctor may take a biopsy of bladder tissue for examination in a laboratory.
Your doctor may arrange other tests, depending on the suspected cause of your kidney disorder.
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Watch Out For These Two Risk Factors
Two riskfactors may rear their ugly heads before you notice any kidney failure symptoms,giving you a head start to get on top of this disease.
The firstone to watch for is high blood pressure . High blood pressure may be a signof kidney disease, or it may cause it. Its the chicken-or-egg dilemma, Dr.Calle says.
Diabetesis another key risk factor. Anyone who has high blood pressure and diabetesneeds to be screened for kidney diseases.
Otherimportant risk factors include:
- Family history of kidney disease
- Regularly taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs suchas aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen as well as proton pump inhibitors suchas omeprazole that treat reflux and other GI issues
- A past acute kidney injury, which is when your kidneys are damagedor fail suddenly
- Certain chemotherapy regimens
And when in doubt, check it out. Dr. Calle recommends taking any questions or concerns to a primary care physician, internist or nephrologist.
Dont rely on your Internet research, he says. Some websites are not reputable and can needlessly scare you.
What Causes Kidney Failure
Kidney failure may occur from an acute situation that injures the kidneys or from chronic diseases that gradually cause the kidneys to stop functioning.
In acute renal failure, kidney function is lost rapidly and can occur from a variety of insults to the body. Since most people have two kidneys, both kidneys must be damaged for complete kidney failure to occur. Fortunately, if only one kidney fails or is diseased it can be removed, and the remaining kidney may continue to have normal kidney function. If both patient’s kidneys are injured or diseased, a donor kidney may be transplanted.
The list of causes of kidney failure is often categorized based on where the injury has occurred.
Prerenal causes causes are due to decreased blood supply to the kidney. Examples of prerenal causes of kidney failure are:
- Hypovolemia due to blood loss
Prevention Of Kidney Disease
Medication and changes to lifestyle, along with an early referral to a kidney specialist , can prevent or delay kidney failure.
Heathy lifestyle choices to keep your kidneys functioning well include:;
- Eat lots of fruit and vegetables including legumes and grain-based food such as bread, pasta, noodles and rice.
- Eat lean meat such as chicken and fish each week.
- Eat only small amounts of salty or fatty food.
- Drink plenty of water instead of other drinks. Minimise consumption of sugary soft drinks.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Stay fit. Do at least 30 minutes of physical activity that increases your heart rate on five or more days of the week, including walking, lawn mowing, bike riding, swimming or gentle aerobics.;
- If you dont smoke, dont start. If you do, quit. Call the Quitline or ask your doctor for help with quitting.
- Limit your alcohol to no more than two small drinks per day if you are male, or one small drink per day if you are female.
- Have your blood pressure checked regularly.
- Do things that help you relax and reduce your stress levels.
A range of medication is available for high blood pressure. Different blood pressure medications work in different ways, so it is not unusual for more than one type to be prescribed. The dose may change according to your needs.;
How Do You Know If You Have Kidney Problems
Kidney failure could lead to many complications, diseasesand when not caught early death.
Type 2 diabetes is a major risk factor for kidney failure. If you suffer from diabetes, take extra special care of your kidneys.
The frightening part about kidney problems is that early symptoms are hard to detect. And sometimes, there may not be any symptoms at all.
Many people with kidney disease can still live a normal life. Although they would often need a lifestyle change to protect their kidneys.
Check out Dr. Sten Ekbergs breakdown of signs and symptoms of kidney problems to watch out for:;
You have a give-and-take relationship with your kidneys. You give it care and importance , and it takes away all the harmful toxins in return.
Prevention is better than cure. If you live a healthy lifestyle and chow down on wholesome meals, your body will also take care of you.
Do you think youre due for a lifestyle change? Let us know in the comments section below.
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How Is Kidney Failure Treated
Kidney failure treatment is determined by the cause and extent of the problem. Treating your chronic medical condition can delay the progression of kidney disease. If your kidneys start losing their function gradually, your doctor may use one or more methods to track your health. By watching you closely, your doctor can help you maintain your kidneys function as long as possible.
Your doctor may gauge your kidney function with:
- Routine blood tests
- Blood pressure checks
Because the kidneys serve such an important purpose, people in kidney failure need treatment to keep them alive. The main treatments for kidney failure are:
- Dialysis: This treatment helps the body filter the blood .
- In hemodialysis, a machine regularly cleans your blood for you. People often receive this kidney failure treatment at a hospital or dialysis clinic, 3 or 4 days each week.
- Peritoneal dialysis cleans the blood in a slightly different way using a dialysis solution and a catheter. Sometimes, people can do their treatment at home.
What You Need To Know
You have two kidneys, located near the middle of your back, just below the rib cage. Each is about the size of your fist. Tiny structures called nephrons are inside each kidney and they filter the blood. There are about a million of them.
The kidneys are responsible for removing wastes, toxins and extra water from the body; balancing important salts and minerals in the blood; and releasing hormones to help control blood pressure, manage anemia and help maintain strong bones. The waste and extra water removed by the kidneys become urine. The urine flows through tubes called ureters. It goes to your bladder, which stores the urine until you go to the bathroom.
When the kidneys are damaged, they can’t filter blood as they should. The result can be a build-up of wastes in your body, as well as other problems that can harm your health.
One in three American adults is at high risk for developing kidney disease today. Yet most arent able to identify the signs and symptoms. One in nine American adults has kidney disease and most dont know it.
At first, kidney disease is silent. Symptoms often dont appear until the kidneys are badly damaged. Many people don’t have any symptoms until their kidney disease is advanced. Blood and urine tests are the only way to know if you have kidney disease.;
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