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How To Know If Your Kidneys Are Healthy

Acute Kidney Failure Complications

Are Your Kidneys Healthy? | Know This Way | Health Made Easy

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 bodys 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.

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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.

When Things Go Wrong

A little more than 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 20 show evidence of kidney disease. Some forms of kidney disease are progressive, meaning the disease gets worse over time. When your kidneys can no longer remove waste from blood, they fail.

Waste buildup in your body can cause serious problems and lead to death. To remedy this, your blood would have to be filtered artificially through dialysis, or you would need a kidney transplant.

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Symptoms Of Kidney Disease

Kidney disease is called a silent disease as there are often few or no symptoms. In fact, you can lose up to 90 per cent of your kidneys functionality before experiencing any symptoms. Some signs and symptoms include:

  • a change in the frequency and quantity of urine you pass, especially at night
  • blood in your urine
  • changes in the appearance of your urine
  • puffiness around your legs and ankles
  • pain in your back
  • pain or burning when you pass urine
  • high blood pressure.

If your kidneys begin to fail, waste products and extra fluid build up in your blood. This, and other problems, gradually leads to:

  • tiredness and inability to concentrate
  • generally feeling unwell
  • bad breath and a metallic taste in the mouth.

What Is Kidney Failure

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Kidney failure means one or both kidneys can no longer function well on their own. Sometimes, kidney failure is temporary and comes on quickly. Other times, it is a chronic condition that can get worse slowly over a long time.

Kidney failure may sound serious, and it is. But treatments such as dialysis and kidney transplant help many people with limited kidney function continue to live fulfilling lives.

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High Blood Pressure And Kidney Disease

High blood pressure is increased pressure inside the arteries that carry blood from your heart to all parts of your body. Untreated, high blood pressure can damage your kidneys.

Also, high blood pressure can develop as a result of kidney disease or renal artery stenosis . Your kidneys control the amount of fluid in your blood vessels and produce a hormone called renin that helps to control blood pressure.

What Causes A Uti

If you have had a UTI in the past, youre at a higher risk of getting one before. Women are also more likely to get a UTI than men based on their female anatomy.

Your genetic background can also put you at a heightened risk. Other risk factors of a UTI include sexual intercourse, menopause, obesity and uncontrolled diabetes.

During intercourse, the area near the urethra is prone to bacteria therefore, its important that you urinate immediately following intercourse to prevent fecal bacteria from being transmitted to the bladder.

When women go through menopause, they are also more likely to develop a UTI due to the lack of estrogen, which causes the vaginal tissue to lose elasticity. This allows bacteria to get into the vagina, often resulting in infection.

Women with a higher body mass index are also at a higher risk of a UTI because they typically have an increase in the folds of the labia, which can harbor bacteria.

Finally, anyone with uncontrolled diabetes typically struggle with a weakened immune system, causing them to be more susceptible to infection.

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How Can I Make Sure My Kidney Infection Is Completely Gone

If you recently had a kidney infection, the health care professional will often repeat urine cultures after your treatment ends to make sure your infection has completely gone away and has not come back. If a repeat test shows infection, you may take another round of antibiotics. If your infection comes back again, he or she may prescribe antibiotics for a longer time period.

If your health care professional prescribes antibiotics, take all of the antibiotics as prescribed and follow the advice of the health care professional. Even if you start to feel better, you should finish all of your medicine.

Feelings Of Stress Or Depression

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“Its common for people who have been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, patients on dialysis, and those who have received kidney transplants to feel sad and depressed. In fact, studies show that 20% to 40% of people with kidney failure may also have depression. While the risk of severe illness due to COVID-19 remains low in the general population, people who have a chronic illness or who are taking immunosuppressant drugs are at an increased risk of becoming very ill. These fears are real and the worry and stress can lead to an even greater bout of depression. If you are feeling more depressed than usual, The Centers for Disease Control has some great tips for helping you to manage your stress and anxiety.

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Managing Your Kidney Health

Kidneys are the unsung heroes of our bodies and perform a number of important jobs. They control your blood pressure, clean your blood, create urine, and manage Vitamin D production.

There are several ways to maintain kidney health. Here are our top four:

  • Avoid smoking. People who smoke are three times more likely to have reduced kidney function. If you smoke and youd like to take this first step, thats great news. You can call the Quitlink on 13 78 48 or visit www.quitnow.gov.au.
  • Be mindful of food and exercise. Eat a balanced diet consisting of fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, proteins and low-fat dairy products. And where possible, minimise long periods of time sitting and be active on most days during the week.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and avoid sodas and fruit juice.
  • Minimise alcohol. Excessive drinking can lead to high blood pressure, and this increases the risk of kidney disease. We recommended limiting your intake to less than two standard drinks per day.

Even if you know what is kidney disease, it can be difficult to tell if you have it. If you are in early stages, you will feel normal. There are no obvious signs you can lose up to 90 per cent of kidney function before symptoms appear. Youre most likely to notice kidney disease in the middle stages, as levels of waste in your blood increase and you start to feel unwell.

Kidney Failure Urine Color

The color of your urine is a small window into your bodys health. It doesnt tell you much about the state of your kidney function until damage to the kidneys has progressed.

Still, urine color changes may be a warning sign of some issues.

  • Clear or pale yellow.Clear or pale yellow urine indicates youre well hydrated. This is the ideal color in most cases.
  • Dark yellow or amber. You may be dehydrated. Try drinking more water and cutting down on dark sodas, tea, or coffee.
  • Orange. This could be a sign of dehydration, or it might be a sign of bile in your bloodstream. Kidney disease doesnt typically cause this.
  • Pink or red. Urine with a pink tint or a bit of red could have blood in it. It could also be caused by certain foods, like beets or strawberries. A quick urine test can tell the difference.
  • Foamy. Urine with excess bubbles is a sign that it likely has a lot of protein in it. Protein in urine is a sign of kidney disease.

Urine color can raise flags for potential problems. Learn about the common color causes and whats most likely to affect the shade of your pee.

Kidney failure can be the result of several conditions or causes. According to the National Kidney Foundation, the two most common causes are high blood pressure and diabetes.

People who are most at risk usually have one or more of the following.

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Difficulty In Sleeping During Night

When kidneys fail to filter waste products properly, toxins remain present in human blood instead of leaving from the body via urine. This may cause difficulty in sleeping. In addition, there is a close connection in between chronic kidney disease and obesity, while the problem of sleep apnea becomes common among individuals suffering from chronic kidney diseases.

Increase Vitamin C Intake

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Some evidence shows that increasing your intake of vitamin C could protect against urinary tract infections.

Vitamin C is thought to work by increasing the acidity of the urine, thereby killing off the bacteria that cause infection .

An older 2007 study of UTIs in pregnant women looked at the effects of taking 100 mg of vitamin C every day .

The study found that vitamin C had a protective effect, cutting the risk of UTIs by more than half in those taking vitamin C, compared with the control group .

Fruits and vegetables are especially high in vitamin C and are a good way to increase your intake.

Red peppers, oranges, grapefruit, and kiwifruit all contain the full recommended amount of vitamin C in just one serving .

Despite these studies, there is still more research needed to prove the effectiveness of vitamin C for reducing UTIs. .

SUMMARY

Increasing vitamin C intake may decrease the risk of UTIs by making the urine more acidic, thus killing off infection-causing bacteria.

Drinking unsweetened cranberry juice is one of the most well-known natural remedies for urinary tract infections.

Cranberries work by preventing bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract, thus preventing infection .

In a 2016 study, women with recent histories of UTIs drank an 8-ounce serving of cranberry juice every day for 24 weeks. Those who drank cranberry juice had fewer UTI episodes than the control group .

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Coronavirus Kidney Damage: A Serious Sign

Organ systems like the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys rely on and support one anothers 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.

Eat Plenty Of Fruits And Vegetables

Study after study has shown that people who eat more fruits and vegetables are less likely to develop kidney disease.

Aim for at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day! One serving is:

  • One cup raw
  • 1/2 cup cooked or canned
  • 1 piece of fruit

Diet patterns that include plenty of fruits and vegetables, like the DASH or Mediterranean diet, are amazing for both kidney and heart health!

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Swelling Around Your Eyes

According to the Mayo Clinic, kidney disease can create extra fluid and sodium in your circulation, which often leads to swelling around the eyes. In the case of nephrotic syndrome, in which too much protein is secreted through the urine, swelling also occurs due to lower levels of albumin in the blood.

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Take Some Time To Get To Know Them And Protect Them

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Don’t wait for symptoms to take action. By the time you feel it, it can be badly damaged.

Diabetes is the number one cause of kidney disease.

High blood pressure is the number two cause of kidney disease.

The only way to know if you have kidney disease is to get blood and urine tests.

There are kidney disease treatments, and new research offers hope.

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Kidney Disease: 11 Ways It Can Affect Your Skin

If you have kidney disease, you wont see early warning signs on your skin. However, as the disease progresses, you may develop one or more of the following:

  • Extremely dry skin. Skin can become so dry that it:

  • Becomes rough and scaly
  • Feels tight and cracks easily
  • Develops fish-like scales
  • Itchy skin. Extremely itchy skin is a common symptom of advanced kidney disease. The itch can range from irritating to life-disrupting. Your skin may itch all the time.

    Some people have itch on one area of their skin. The itch can also spread across most of your body.

  • Scratch marks and other signs of scratching. When you scratch often, it affects your skin. You can develop:

  • Raw, bleeding skin or sores
  • Thick, leathery skin
  • Firm, very itchy bumps
  • Color changes to your skin. When the kidneys stop working as they should, toxins build up in your body. This build-up can cause color changes to the skin. You may see any of the following:

  • An unhealthy pale color
  • Areas of darkened skin, as shown here
  • Yellowish, thick skin with bumps and deep lines
  • Cysts and spots that look like whiteheads
  • Nail changes. Kidney disease can affect the appearance of your fingernails, toenails, or both. People who have advanced kidney disease can develop:

  • A white color on the upper part of one or more nails and a normal to reddish brown color below, as shown here
  • Pale nails
  • White bands running across one or more nails
  • Legs
  • 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
    • Medication

    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.
  • Kidney transplant: In kidney transplant surgery, doctors place a healthy kidney in your body to take over the job of your damaged organs. This healthy kidney, called a donor organ, may come from a deceased donor or a living donor, who may be a friend or family member. People can live well with one healthy kidney.
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    The Link To Kidney Disease

    Acute kidney injury, also known as acute renal failure , is not the same as chronic kidney disease , which will eventually lead to chronic kidney failure . Neither CKD or CKF are reversible diseases. Detecting proteins and/or blood in urine labs is an early sign of kidney involvement in people with confirmed COVID-19.

    Understanding Kidney Health Checks

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    If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, its wise to get a Kidney Health Check as soon as you can. You should repeat this check every year.

    If you have any other risk factors , you should also get a Kidney Health Check but repeat the check every two years.

    If you do not have any risk factors for kidney disease, theres no need for you to undertake a Kidney Health Check unless your doctor wants to conduct a test for other reasons.

    A Kidney Health Check is accurate. In saying that, there can be several steps.

    If your test results show positive signs of kidney disease, your doctor will repeat the test to make sure. Your doctor may also organise an ultrasound to see the size of your kidneys, and potentially locate any kidney stones, tumours, or other problems with the structure of your kidneys and urinary tract. In some instances, you may be referred to a kidney specialist, called a nephrologist, for further review.

    A diagnosis of chronic kidney disease is only given when positive test results are consistent for three months or more. In this case, you will need to see your doctor for regular check-ups. You can find out more in our chronic kidney disease fact sheet.

    Book an appointment for a Kidney Health Check by calling your doctor today.

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