What Causes Kidney Failure
When the kidneys lose function suddenly , its called acute kidney failure . This type of kidney failure is often temporary. Common causes of acute kidney failure can include:
- Autoimmune kidney diseases
- A urinary tract obstruction
- Uncontrolled systemic disease like heart or liver disease
Kidney failure usually doesnt happen overnight. Chronic kidney disease refers to a group of health conditions that affect how well your kidneys function over time. If left untreated, chronic kidney disease can lead to kidney failure.
The biggest causes of kidney failure from chronic kidney disease are:
- Diabetes: Unmanaged diabetes can lead to uncontrolled blood sugar levels. Consistently high blood sugar can damage the bodys organs, including the kidneys.
- High blood pressure: High blood pressure means blood travels through your bodys blood vessels with increased force. Over time, untreated high blood pressure levels can damage the kidneys tissue.
Other causes of chronic kidney disease include:
- Polycystic kidney disease, a hereditary condition where cysts grow inside your kidneys.
- Glomerular diseases, such as glomerulonephritis, which affect how well the kidneys can filter waste.
- Lupus and other autoimmune diseases that can affect multiple body systems.
What Are The Complications Of Kidney Failure
Your kidneys do many jobs to keep you healthy. Cleaning your blood is only one of their jobs. They also control chemicals and fluids in your body, help control your blood pressure and help make red blood cells. Dialysis can do only some, not all, of the jobs that healthy kidneys do. Therefore, even when you are being treated for kidney failure, you may have some problems that come from having kidneys that donât work well. Learn more about the complications of kidney failure.
How Can Kidney Failure Affect Someone At The End Of Life
Kidney failure can affect different people in different ways sometimes it can progress very slowly and sometimes very rapidly.
When kidney failure decline is rapid prompt planning regarding the patients wishes and potential care at home is vital.
If the patient has kidney failure as well as another advanced condition, such as cancer, this can worsen the patients prognosis and lead to a faster deterioration.
Dialysis only addresses the kidney failure part of someones illness. If kidney failure is caused by another illness such as cancer, it wont improve the other symptoms that the illness causes. Dialysis may be challenging for people who are frail or have other advanced conditions.
Supportive measures, such as making sure the patient is as comfortable as possible and that symptoms are well managed, are important.
People with kidney failure at end of life will usually experience an increase in the symptoms listed above. They may become more drowsy and confused.
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Swelling In Hands Or Feet
Why this happens:
Failing kidneys don’t remove extra fluid, which builds up in your body causing swelling in the legs, ankles, feet, and/or hands.
What patients said:
I remember a lot of swelling in my ankles. My ankles were so big I couldn’t get my shoes on.
Going to work one morning, my left ankle was swollen, real swollen, and I was very exhausted just walking to the bus stop. And I knew then that I had to see a doctor.
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.
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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 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 risk. 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 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.
Foamy Or Bubbly Urine
Why this happens:
Kidneys make urine, so when the kidneys are failing, the urine may change. How?
- Urine may be foamy or bubbly.
- This can lead to an above-normal amount of protein in the urine.
What patients said:
The bowl would be filled with bubbles.
Sometimes I would notice my urine being very foamy, so I made an appointment with the doctor.
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What You Should Know About Chronic Kidney Disease
Work with your health care team on a treatment plan thats right for you.
Kidneys that function properly are important for maintaining good health. More than 1 in 7 American adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease , which affects how well kidneys function. Find out what you should know if you are diagnosed with CKD.
Your kidneys work hard. Every 30 minutes, they filter all your blood to remove wastes, poisons, and excess fluid from your body. Kidneys also help control blood pressure and produce several vital hormones. Kidneys that function properly are important for maintaining good health.
CKD refers to the loss of kidney function over time. This means that the kidneys are not able to filter fluids as well as they should. The excess fluid and waste that arent filtered remain in the body. This may cause other health problems, including heart disease and stroke.
The two main causes of CKD are diabetes and high blood pressure. About 1 in 3 adults with diabetes and 1 in 5 adults with high blood pressure have CKD.
People may not feel sick or notice any symptoms until CKD is advanced. The only way people find out if they have CKD is through simple blood and urine tests. The blood test checks for creatinine in the blood to see how well the kidneys work. The urine test checks for protein in the urine .
Getting Up During The Night To Make Urine
Why this happens:
Kidneys make urine, so when the kidneys are failing, the urine may change. How?
- You may urinate more often, or in greater amounts than usual, with pale urine.
- You may feel pressure or have difficulty urinating.
What patients said:
My urine is what I had started noticing. Then I was frequently going to the bathroom, and when I got there, nothings happening. You think, Hey, Ive got to go to the john, and you get there, 2 or 3 drops.
I would get up two or three times at night and had lots of pressure each time.
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Why Wait Until Your Kidneys Are Diseased
While the study was conducted on people with kidney disease, we could safely extrapolate the recommendations to those who want to avoid kidney disease and achieve optimal kidney function now, especially as we age.
In fact, additional research points to the actuality of physiological changes in the kidneys as we age. The research notes that a progressive reduction of the glomerular filtration rate and renal blood flow are observed in conjunction with aging. The reason for these phenomena is a decrease in the plasma flow in the glomerulus, a bundle of capillaries that partially form the renal corpuscle.2
In addition, the aging kidneys experience other structural changes, such as a loss of renal mass, and decreased responsiveness to stimuli that constrict or dilate blood vessels. The study concludes with a notable summation:
age-related changes in cardiovascular hemodynamics, such as reduced cardiac output and systemic hypertension, are likely to play a role in reducing renal perfusion and filtration. Finally, it is hypothesized that increases in cellular oxidative stress that accompany aging result in endothelial cell dysfunction and changes in vasoactive mediators resulting in increased atherosclerosis, hypertension and glomerulosclerosis.2
Signs Of Nephritic Syndrome
Nephritic syndrome is the name given to a collection of signs and symptoms that occur when the kidneys are inflamed. The syndrome is usually the result of an underlying condition such as acute glomerulonephritis, a bacterial or viral infection, a systemic disorder such as systemic lupus erythematosus, or a hereditary disorder like Alport-Syndrome.A syndrome is a group of symptoms that often and typically occur together and often develop as a result of another condition.
Nephritic syndrome causes the kidneys to be less efficient at filtering waste substances from the blood. In people with nephritic syndrome, protein and blood may be found in the urine. However, most cases of nephritic syndrome are chronic and have few symptoms. Acute nephritic syndrome usually does, however, present with symptoms.
Typical symptoms of acute nephritic syndrome include passing less urine than normal, having blood in the urine and swelling of the feet or face . Other possible symptoms of nephritic syndrome, also depending on the root cause may include:
- Pain in the back and/or sides
- Shortness of breath
- Symptoms related to the underlying cause, for example a rash or joint pain
The symptoms of nephritic syndrome differ, depending on whether the acute or chronic form of the syndrome is being experienced.
Symptoms of acute nephritic syndrome include:
- Edema in the face and legs
- Low production of urine
- Pain in the stomach
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Prevention And Treatments To Know
The best way to protect yourself against kidney disease is to maintain control of your blood pressure and blood sugar, Parsa says. In addition, studies show that following the Mediterranean diet, which focuses on eating fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains, can help reduce your risk of kidney problems.
If you already have advanced kidney disease, your doctor may ask you to restrict protein-rich foods, as well as food and drinks containing the minerals potassium, phosphorous and sodium, such as bananas.
Until recently doctors have relied mainly on medications called angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors to slow the progression of kidney disease because they help relax veins and arteries, resulting in lower blood pressure. Recent trials show that some newer diabetes medications, such as Jardiance, can be used in addition to ACE inhibitors to reduce the kidney disease risk in adults with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
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Noticeable Changes In The Urine
The texture, color, and odor of urine are characteristics that allow us to detect if the kidneys are having difficulties completing their tasks.
Noticeable changes, such as a more yellowish color than normal, could be warning signs of infections or chronic problems. It is also necessary to consult a doctor if:
- It burns when urinating
- There is blood in your urine
- The smell is too strong or unpleasant
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How To Know If You Have Kidney Disease
When you know the symptoms of chronic kidney disease , you can get treatment and feel your best. CKD symptoms can be subtle. Some people dont have any symptoms or dont think they do. If you have one or more of the 15 symptoms below, or worry about kidney problems, see a doctor for blood and urine tests. Many of the symptoms on this list can be caused by other health problems. The only way to know the cause of YOUR symptoms is to see your doctor.
NOTE: Low back pain is not a sign of kidney disease. Your kidneys are above your waist in the back of your body. If you have pain there, tell your doctor.
Fill out the symptom-chart at the end of this section and send it to share with our health care team.
How Is Kidney Failure Diagnosed
Doctors use a variety of tests to measure kidney function and diagnose kidney failure. If your doctors suspect you may be at risk for kidney failure, they may recommend:
- Blood tests, which can show how well the kidneys are removing waste from the blood.
- Advanced imaging, which can show kidney abnormalities or obstructions .
- Urine tests, which measure the amount of urine or specific substances in the urine, such as protein or blood.
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Signs Of Acute Pyelonephritis
Acute pyelonephritis is a painful bacterial infection of the kidneys which occurs when bacteria enter the urethra, move into the bladder, travel up the ureters and affect the kidneys. It is usually caused by the bacterium Escherichia coli, but can sometimes be caused by other bacteria.
Acute pyelonephritis is a common kidney problem in females, especially those between the ages of 15 and 29. The condition is rare among males, although it is more common in men over the age of 65 or men with anatomical abnormalities of the urinary tract. It can, however, affect people of any age. Although it is quite uncomfortable, acute pyelonephritis is seldom a cause of long term kidney problems. Some underlying conditions can increase the risk of developing acute pyelonephritis. These include:
- Urinating painfully or with difficulty
- Producing no urine
- Low blood pressure, which can manifest as dizziness and/or faintness
In men and women older than 65, the above-mentioned symptoms may be absent, and additional symptoms may include:
- Jumbled speech
Good to know:In babies and toddlers, the only sign of acute pyelonephritis may be a high fever.
What Should I Eat When I Have Kidney Failure
Dialysis helps to do some of the work that your kidneys did when they were healthy, but it cannot do everything that healthy kidneys do. Therefore, even when you are on dialysis, you will need to limit what and how much you eat and drink. Your diet needs may depend on the type of dialysis you are on and your treatment schedule. Learn more about the diet for living with kidney failure.
Learn what healthy eating means for people in every stage of kidney disease, including those on dialysis or living with a kidney transplant. Find recipes on Kidney Kitchen.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Kidney Failure In Dogs
As stated, your dog can suffer from acute renal failure or chronic renal failure. Some symptoms for acute renal failure are:
- Fluid retention in the abdomen and legs
- Painful kidneys
- Smaller or larger than normal kidneys
Sometimes your dog may even show slight changes in their bone structure by developing a swelling along the upper jaw which is due to imbalances in their bodies.
Unlike acute kidney failure, chronic renal failure happens much more slowly, occurring over the course of months and sometimes years. This condition is typically seen in older dogs, and usually by the time the symptoms have become obvious the condition is much harder to treat.
During chronic kidney failure, your dogs organs stop functioning optimally, leading to slow degeneration. Other signs and symptoms of kidney failure in dogs are sudden changes in your dogs health and well-being. If your dog begins to act sick very suddenly, this could be related to kidney failure and you should see your vet immediately.
So Now Is The Time To Pamper Your Kidneys
If youre experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, you should see your health practitioner and have a check-up, including tests to assess your kidney function.
And you should also make sure youre helping your kidneys stay in top shape by doing a thorough cleanse.
Even if you dont have any of these signs, a systemic cleanse is like a spa day for your kidneys. It helps them get in top shape and avoid damage and disease. This is why OsteoCleanse, The 7 Day Bone Building Accelerator was developed in conjunction with the Osteoporosis Reversal Program.
OsteoCleanse is not just about alkalizing your body, feeling younger and more energized, and removing osteoporosis drugs from your system. It does all of these things in just seven days, but at the heart of OsteoCleanses effectiveness are its kidney-boosting, liver-cleansing effects so youll strengthen and build your bones faster.
Its always a good idea to heed early warning signs and treat your kidneys to a cleanse before damage occurs, and its particularly important to offset the effects of aging on your renal system.
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