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Which System Does Kidney Disease Affect

What Is The Treatment And Management Of Chronic Kidney Disease

How Does Renal Failure Affect the Cardiopulmonary System?

There is no cure for chronic kidney disease. The four goals of therapy are to:

  • slow the progression of disease
  • treat underlying causes and contributing factors
  • treat complications of disease and
  • replace lost kidney function.
  • Strategies for slowing progression and treating conditions underlying chronic kidney disease include the following:

    • Control of blood glucose: Maintaining good control of diabetes is critical. People with diabetes who do not control their blood glucose have a much higher risk of all complications of diabetes, including chronic kidney disease.
    • Control of high blood pressure: This also slows progression of chronic kidney disease. It is recommended to keep blood pressure below 130/80 mm Hg if one has kidney disease. It is often useful to monitor blood pressure at home. Blood pressure medications known as angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers have special benefit in protecting the kidneys.
    • Diet: Diet control is essential to slowing progression of chronic kidney disease and should be done in close consultation with a health care practitioner and a dietitian. For some general guidelines, see the Chronic Kidney Disease Self-Care at Home section of this article.

    The complications of chronic kidney disease may require medical treatment.

    • Lightheadedness
    • Allergic reactions

    Diuretics also may cause a decline in kidney function especially if fluid is removed rapidly from the body.

    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.

    Effects Of Kidney Failure On Body Systems

    Kidney failure is generally a multi-organ health issue, with a variety of cross effects on different body systems.

    The Blood System

    Damaged kidneys slow the production of the hormone erythropoietin, resulting in anemia and iron deficiency. Anemia may cause irritability, tiredness, shortness of breath, dizziness and if untreated may cause heart failure and organ failure. Most people with end stage renal failure will suffer from anemia. Anemia may be treated by taking supplements, red cell blood transfusions and adherence to an iron rich diet.

    The Cardio-Vascular System

    Kidney failure raises the risk of cardiovascular problems, and subsequently the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Kidney failure affects the heart in several ways:

    • Fluid builds up around the lungs, heart and other body tissue, over-taxing the heart and causing a rise in blood pressure.
    • Impaired kidney function causes a buildup of urea . High levels of urea are toxic, and cause inflammation of the pericardium.
    • Kidney disease may result in a buildup of fluid and salt and an over creation of renin, causing hypertension and atherosclerosis and damaging the blood vessels.

    Heart disease is the leading cause of death in ESRD, and heart function should be monitored regularly, excess fluid drained and preventative care taken.

    The Integumentary System

    The kidneys inability to balance levels of blood minerals such as calcium and phosphorus affects and harms the bodys integumentary system.

    The Skeletal System


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    How Does Kidney Disease Affect Other Organs

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    What Happens If Creatinine Levels Are High

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    Elevated creatinine level signifies impaired kidney function or kidney disease. As the kidneys become impaired for any reason, the creatinine level in the blood will rise due to poor clearance of creatinine by the kidneys. Abnormally high levels of creatinine thus warn of possible malfunction or failure of the kidneys.

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    Chronic Kidney Disease Often Leads To Cad

    There are two reasons people with chronic kidney disease have a high risk of developing CAD.

    For one thing, population studies have shown that people with chronic kidney disease tend to have a high incidence of typical risk factors for CAD. These include smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, sedentary lifestyle, and older age.

    But even without such associated risk factors, chronic kidney disease itself greatly increases the risk of CAD. Kidney disease increases this risk by several mechanisms. For instance, the toxins that accumulate in the blood because of abnormal kidney function increase the risk for CAD. Other blood and metabolic abnormalities associated with chronic kidney disease also increase the risk. These include abnormal calcium metabolism, anemia, a chronic inflammatory state , poor nutrition, and elevated blood protein levels.

    Taken together, these risk factors appear to produce generalized endothelial dysfunction, a condition associated with CAD and other cardiovascular conditions including hypertension, diastolic dysfunction, and cardiac syndrome x.

    As a result, not only is CAD prevalent in people with chronic kidney disease, but also the CAD associated with kidney disease appears to be more severe, and to respond more poorly to treatment.

    How Does Kidney Disease Affect Your Sexual Health And Reproductive Function What Are Your Treatment Options

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    SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION IN WOMEN WITH CKD1) Disturbances in menstruation

    Kidney disease could affect your sex lifeImage courtesy of Ambro/

    both2) Decreased libidoSEXUAL DYSFUNCTION IN MEN WITH CKD 1) Erectile dysfunction2) Decreased libido3) Abnormal sperm production4) Breast enlargementTREATMENT

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    What Is The Progonsis For Chronic Kidney Disease Can It Be Cured

    There is no cure for chronic kidney disease. The natural course of the disease is to progress until dialysis or transplant is required.

    • Patients with chronic kidney disease are at a much higher risk than the general population to develop strokes and heart attacks.
    • The elderly and those who have diabetes have worse outcomes.
    • People undergoing dialysis have an overall 5-year survival of 40%. Those who undergo peritoneal dialysis have a 5-year survival of 50%.
    • Transplant patients who receive a live donor kidney have a 5-year survival of 87% and those who receive a kidney from a deceased donor have a 5-year survival of almost 75%.
    • Survival continue to increase for patients with chronic renal disease. Mortality has decreased by 28% for dialysis patients and 40% for transplant patients since 1996.

    Urine Tests For Kidney Disease

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    Damaged or inflamed kidneys leak substances such as blood or protein into the urine. The preferred test for detecting protein in the urine is a urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio test, which shows the amount of albumin in the urine.

    A urine ACR test should be done at least once a year if the person has diabetes or high blood pressure, and every two years if the person has any of the other identified risk factors for developing chronic kidney disease.

    A urine ACR test is performed by sending a sample of your urine to a laboratory for analysis.

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    How Kidney Disease Causes Heart Problems

    On the other hand, kidney disease often leads to cardiac problems. It does this in two major ways.

    First, chronic kidney disease commonly produces salt and water retention, which can place significant strain on the heart. If any degree of underlying heart disease is present, whether it is CAD, heart valve disease or cardiomyopathy , this increase in the bodys fluid volume can cause cardiac function to deteriorate and can lead to overt heart failure.

    Second, chronic kidney disease is a major risk factor for developing CAD, and for worsening any underlying CAD that might be present. People with chronic kidney disease who also have CAD tend to have significantly worse symptoms, and worse outcomes, than people who have CAD without kidney disease.

    Symptoms Of Chronic Kidney Disease

    Symptoms usually develop very slowly. As kidney failure progresses and metabolic waste products build up in the blood, symptoms progress.

    Mild to moderate loss of kidney function may cause only mild symptoms, such as the need to urinate several times during the night . Nocturia occurs because the kidneys cannot absorb water from the urine to reduce the volume and concentrate it as normally occurs during the night.

    As kidney function worsens and more metabolic waste products build up in the blood, people may feel fatigued and generally weak and may become less mentally alert. Some have a loss of appetite and shortness of breath. Anemia also contributes to fatigue and generalized weakness.

    The buildup of metabolic waste also causes loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and an unpleasant taste in the mouth, which may lead to undernutrition and weight loss. People with chronic kidney disease tend to bruise easily or bleed for an unusually long time after cuts or other injuries. Chronic kidney disease also diminishes the bodys ability to fight infections. Gout Gout Gout is a disorder in which deposits of uric acid crystals accumulate in the joints because of high blood levels of uric acid . The accumulations of crystals cause flare-ups … read more may cause acute arthritis with joint pain and swelling.

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    What Happens If My Kidneys Fail Completely

    Complete and irreversible kidney failure is sometimes called end-stage renal disease, or ESRD. If your kidneys stop working completely, your body fills with extra water and waste products. This condition is called uremia. Your hands or feet may swell. You will feel tired and weak because your body needs clean blood to function properly.

    Untreated uremia may lead to seizures or coma and will ultimately result in death. If your kidneys stop working completely, you will need to undergo dialysis or kidney transplant.

    Risk Factors Of Kidney Disease

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    Kidney disease can be acute or chronic. Acute means that the problem occurs suddenly, it can develop only in a few days or even over a few hours. Chronic means that the problem takes more time to develop, causing the gradual loss of kidney function.

    Both acute and chronic kidney disease can cause kidney failure. And when your kidneys fail to work, you will have other serious complications. In the worst scenario, the damage can be permanent . For such case, dialysis or even a kidney transplant can be recommended.

    Risk factors are factors, conditions, habits, or other things that make you more likely to develop a disease. These can also raise the changes for an existing disease to get worse!

    What are risk factors of kidney disease? Kidney disease is attributed by a number of different factors. But in general, your risk is higher if you have some of the following conditions:

    High blood sugar

    This is common in people with diabetes . Diabetes is harmless as long as you can control it. But the problem comes when you lose control on it.

    Prolonged, poorly controlled high blood sugar in diabetes can cause serious complications, and even some can be life-threatening. Chronic episodes of high blood sugar level can be so harmful for many parts of the body, including kidneys.

    To make the kidneys work normally and effectively, the body has its own mechanism to maintain the rate of blood flow to the kidneys. Any conditions that impair this rate can hurt kidneys!

    High blood pressure

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    How Does The Endocrine System And Urinary System Work Together

    The formation of urine must be closely regulated to maintain body-wide homeostasis. Several endocrine hormones help control this function of the urinary system, including antidiuretic hormone from the posterior pituitary gland , parathyroid hormone from the parathyroid glands , and aldosterone from the adrenal glands .

    How Kidney Disease Affects The Body

    When kidneys stop working, the waste products the kidneys usually excrete build up. Levels of certain byproducts of cell function, such as urea and creatinine, can grow too high. Kidney disease can affect the concentration of certain minerals, such as sodium and potassium, which can affect many systems throughout the body. Low levels of these minerals, such as calcium and phosphorus can cause muscle cramps, for example.

    Kidney disease can also prevent the kidneys from concentrating the urine properly, which allows the buildup of excess fluid in the body. Puffiness or swelling of the feet, ankles and lower legs may occur some people with renal disease have puffy eyes too. Many people with kidney disease feel the need to urinate more often.

    Renal disease can cause dry and itchy skin. Among their many other jobs, kidneys help make red blood cells, work to balance the levels of minerals in the body and help keep bones strong. The mineral imbalances and bone diseases that often accompany advanced kidney disease can cause itchiness.

    For more information about renal failure and the effects kidney disease has on the body, consult with a vein doctor in Taunton, MA, and Brockton, MA that specializes in kidney disease, nephrology, and dialysis.

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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 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.

    What Are The Kidneys Where Are They Located

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    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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    Is There A Diet For Chronic Kidney Disease

    Chronic kidney disease is a disease that must be managed in close consultation with a doctor. Self-treatment is not appropriate.

    • There are, however, several important dietary rules one can follow to help slow the progression of kidney disease and decrease the likelihood of complications.
    • This is a complex process and must be individualized, generally with the help of a health care practitioner and a registered dietitian.

    The following are general dietary guidelines:

    • Protein restriction: Decreasing protein intake may slow the progression of chronic kidney disease. A dietitian can help one determine the appropriate amount of protein.
    • Salt restriction: Limit to 2 to 4grams a day to avoid fluid retention and help control high blood pressure.
    • Fluid intake: Excessive water intake does not help prevent kidney disease. In fact, the doctor may recommend restriction of water intake.
    • Potassium restriction: This is necessary in advanced kidney disease because the kidneys are unable to remove potassium. High levels of potassium can cause abnormal heart rhythms. Examples of foods high in potassium include bananas, oranges, nuts, avocados, and potatoes.
    • Phosphorus restriction: Decreasing phosphorus intake is recommended to protect bones. Eggs, beans, cola drinks, and dairy products are examples of foods high in phosphorus.

    Other important measures that a patient can take include:

    What Are The Symptoms Of Kidney Failure

    In early stages of kidney disease, many people experience few or no symptoms. Its important to note that chronic kidney disease can still cause damage even though you feel fine.

    Chronic kidney disease and kidney failure can cause different symptoms for different people. If your kidneys arent working properly, you may notice one or more of the following signs:

    • Fatigue
    • Poor appetite or metallic taste of food

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    Kidney Health And Kidney Disease Basics

    What is kidney disease?

    The kidneys are a pair of fist-sized organs located at the bottom of the rib cage. There is one kidney on each side of the spine.

    Kidneys are essential to having a healthy body. They are mainly responsible for filtering waste products, excess water, and other impurities out of the blood. These toxins are stored in the bladder and then removed during urination. The kidneys also regulate pH, salt, and potassium levels in the body. They produce hormones that regulate blood pressure and control the production of red blood cells. The kidneys even activate a form of vitamin D that helps the body absorb calcium.

    Kidney disease affects approximately 26 million American adults. It occurs when your kidneys become damaged and cant perform their function. Damage may be caused by diabetes, high blood pressure, and various other chronic conditions. Kidney disease can lead to other health problems, including weak bones, nerve damage, and malnutrition.

    If the disease gets worse over time, your kidneys may stop working completely. This means that dialysis will be required to perform the function of the kidneys. Dialysis is a treatment that filters and purifies the blood using a machine. It cant cure kidney disease, but it can prolong your life.


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