What You Can Do For Your Loved One
Besides managing symptoms, as a family caregiver you can help by communicating what end-of-life kidney failure signs you are seeing to the patients doctor and the hospice care team. Additionally, as a loved one, you can help the patient get their affairs in order. And finally, if it hasnt been done already, by contacting a hospice services provider as soon as possible.
Imaging Tests For Kidney Disease
Tests that create various pictures or images may include:
- x-rays to check the size of the kidneys and look for kidney stones
- cystogram a bladder x-ray
- voiding cystourethrogram where the bladder is x-rayed before and after urination
- ultrasound sound waves are bounced off the kidneys to create a picture. Ultrasound may be used to check the size of the kidneys. Kidney stones and blood vessel blockages may be visible on ultrasound
- computed tomography x-rays and digital computer technology are used to create an image of the urinary tract, including the kidneys;
- magnetic resonance imaging a strong magnetic field and radio waves are used to create a three-dimensional image of the urinary tract, including the kidneys.
- radionuclide scan.
How Long Can You Live On Dialysis
If your kidneys have failed, you will need to have dialysis treatments for your whole life unless you are able to get a kidney transplant.; Life expectancy on dialysis can vary depending on your other medical conditions and how well you follow your treatment plan. Average life expectancy on dialysis is 5-10 years, however, many patients have lived well on dialysis for 20 or even 30 years. Talk to your healthcare team about how to take care of yourself and stay healthy on dialysis.
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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.
Kidney Failure Symptoms Most People Will Miss
Today we are discussing kidney failure symptoms and the signs of chronic kidney disease. Whether you realize it or not, you know of many people who are living with kidney disease, including Selena Gomez, Nick Cannon, Tracy Morgan, and George Lopez. Over 37 million Americans are living with kidney disease and many of them don’t even know it. If you had symptoms of kidney failure, wouldn’t you want to know? Well, today we are discussing 10 symptoms of kidney failure.
I’m Dr. Frita. I’m a triple board-certified medical doctor and I practice nephrology at Emory University Hospital Midtown. I’m also the medical director of a dialysis unit with DCI here in Atlanta. As a nephrologist, I diagnose and treat kidney failure. And I often find that many of my patients whom I diagnose had no idea of the kidney failure symptoms. Many of them were also unaware that they were even at risk for kidney failure.
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Should I Keep Taking My High Blood Pressure Medication
Hypertension is a common cause of kidney problems. Hypertension damages the blood vessels of the kidneys and affects their ability to filter the blood. Kidneys also help to regulate blood pressure, so kidney damage can make hypertension worse. Over time, hypertension can cause kidney failure.
If you are living with hypertension, you might take medication for the problem. You may be reading news reports questioning the safety of taking certain prescription medicines to manage their condition: ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers .
Sperati says that patients should stay on their medications and discuss concerns with their doctors.
Right now there are two sides debating this issue. One side is saying, based on animal studies, that these medications might be harmful, increasing risk of infection. The other says these same drugs might protect against lung damage and other problems associated with COVID-19.
But all of the professional societies have published articles recommending that you not change your medications, he says. Staying the course with your prescriptions, he adds, can lower the risk of heart and kidney damage from unchecked high blood pressure.
Sperati does recommend that patients with kidney issues stay away from non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen and naproxen. These can raise blood pressure and increase fluid volume in the body, which puts strain on the kidneys.
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.
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Treatments For Kidney Failure In Dogs
A staple treatment for dogs suffering from kidney failure is fluid therapy. Because of the large amount of water that is passed out of the body when a dogs kidneys are in distress, dehydration is common. Fluids are intended to help combat the problem of dehydration.
Withholding access to clean water because your pet may feel the need to pee a lot during the night could cause more damage than you think. Your dog needs access to fresh water around the clock, but this is especially true if your dog suffers from kidney problems.
Another important aspect of treating an animal experiencing renal failure is to keep track of the food and water they consume each day. You need know if they are drinking less than normal, because if they continue to drink less and less you will need to give them fluids to ward off dehydration. Weight loss is another concern in dogs with kidney disease. Weigh your dog frequently to make sure he or she is eating properly and maintaining a healthy weight.
Another thing thats important is feeding your dog a healthy diet. It is probably best to speak to your vet on the best way to provide this. Foods with a reduced amount of protein and lots of moisture content are important, but certain high protein foods contain phosphorus, and phosphorus levels must be carefully monitored in a dog suffering from renal failure.
What Tests Do Doctors Use To Diagnose And Monitor Kidney Disease
To check for kidney disease, health care providers use
- a blood test that checks how well your kidneys are filtering your blood, called GFR. GFR stands for glomerular filtration rate.
- a urine test to check for albumin. Albumin is a protein that can pass into the urine when the kidneys are damaged.
If you have kidney disease, your health care provider will use the same two tests to help monitor your kidney disease and make sure your treatment plan is working.
When To See A Doctor
Once youve determined whether your pain is coming from your back or your kidneys, consider seeing your doctor for evaluation and treatment.
You should always be seen if you think you have a kidney infection or kidney stone.
You might be able to treat acute back pain thats mild without seeing your doctor, but if it doesnt get better, is more than mild pain, or spreads, you should see your doctor.
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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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.
How To Keep Your Kidneys Healthy: 10 Ways To Fight Kidney Disease
Kidney disease is a major health problem in the United States, over 30 million Americans have kidney disease, and many of them dont even know it. In fact, 33% of Americans are at risk of developing kidney disease. Black people and people of color are disproportionately affected by kidney disease. But the good news is that many times, kidney disease is actually preventable. In this blog post, we will go over 10 tips on how to keep your kidneys healthy and fight kidney disease!
10 Ways To Fight Kidney Disease!
1. Drink Water
Many people dont know that not having enough water in your system, being dehydrated, or having;prerenal azotemia can lead to kidney failure. I have actually put people on dialysis just because they were severely dehydrated. So you want to be sure you drink your water. Now, for most adults, drinking two to three liters of water a day is appropriate, but you want to consult your physician because that can vary depending on how your body uses water, how much water you lose in a day, and whether youre exercising or being sedentary. So yes, consult your physician.
2. Have A Low Salt Diet
3. Exercise Regularly
4. Eat Healthy Foods
You definitely want to take in superfoods. Foods that are rich in nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants. You want to;eat the rainbow, a variety of fruits and vegetables. Be sure to watch my YouTube video on a;kidney diet;and how to eat right with CKD.
5. Maintain Normal Sugar or Glucose Levels
10. Reduce Your Stress
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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.;
When To See A Doctor With Stage 3 Ckd
Its important to see a doctor right away if you experience any of the above symptoms. While certain symptoms arent exclusive to CKD, having any combination of these symptoms is concerning.
You should follow up with your doctor if youve previously been diagnosed with stage 1 or stage 2 CKD.
Still, its possible to not have any previous history of CKD before getting diagnosed with stage 3. This could be due to the fact that stages 1 and 2 dont typically cause any noticeable symptoms.
To diagnose CKD stage 3, a doctor will conduct these tests:
- blood pressure readings
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Bubbly Or Foamy Urine
If you urinate in the toilet and it looks very bubbly or foamy as if you’ve just poured a beer or something then this could also be a symptom of kidney failure. When patients have protein in the urine, if they’re leaking protein in the urine, this could give that bubbly appearance of the urine in the toilet. Protein leakage is not normal and it is a sign of kidney failure. So pay attention to your urine. If it’s looking foamy, this could be a symptom of kidney failure.
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.
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Treatment For Kidney Disease
If detected early enough, the progress of kidney disease can be slowed and sometimes even prevented. In the early stages, changes to diet and medication can help to increase the life of your kidneys.;
If kidney function is reduced to less than 10 per cent of normal, the loss of function must be replaced by dialysis or a kidney transplant. Dialysis is a treatment for kidney failure that removes waste products and extra water from the blood by filtering it through a special membrane .;
You’re Experiencing Pain In Certain Parts Of Your Lower Back
Generally, kidney pain will occur near your lower back and it will typically be more concentrated on the sides of your body. Urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and injuries are some of the common causes of this type of pain.
The kidney pain may be sharp or dull or concentrated on one or both sides of your body. Depending on its cause, the pain could also extend further south if a kidney stone is traveling through your body or a kidney infection has spread to your bladder.
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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.