The Function Of The Kidneys
Theres nothing unhealthy about the moderate consumption of alcohol, says the National Kidney Foundation, and there are even health benefits to one or two drinks now and then. Drinking too much, however, causes a swath of medical problems and can trigger the development of kidney disease.
One of the main responsibilities of the kidneys is to sift out harmful substances from the blood, and alcohol is one such substance. Small amounts of alcohol can be easily filtered and disposed of, but too much alcohol affects how the kidneys work, impairing them to the point of not being able to properly purify the blood of the alcohol content. Alcohol is capable of undoing the kidneys ability to filter out toxins, and while this is not usually a problem with normal drinking, it becomes a serious problem when the drinking is abusive or excessive.
Additionally, since the kidneys are responsible for keeping the right amount of water in the body, compromised kidneys cannot stop alcohol from drying out the body beyond safe levels, affecting not only the kidneys themselves, but even basic cells and organs in other systems of the body.
How Is Chronic Kidney Disease Treated
There is no cure for chronic kidney disease , but steps may be taken in early CKD to preserve a higher level of kidney function for a longer period of time. If you have reduced kidney function:
- Make and keep your regular healthcare provider / nephrologist visits.
- Keep your blood sugar under control .
- Avoid taking painkillers and other medications that may make your kidney disease worse.
- Keep your blood pressure levels under control.
- Consult a dietitian regarding useful changes in diet. Dietary changes may include limiting protein, eating foods that reduce blood cholesterol levels, and limiting sodium and potassium intake.
- Exercise/be active on most days of the week.
- Stay at a healthy weight.
Can People Over 60 Use This
The program is harmless for people over 60 years old.
The program was made for men and women who have chronic kidney diseases or those at risk of developing one. The founders know that the odds of diseases increase as you get older, especially when you reach 60. So from the start, they know people in that group will most likely use it.
Everything in the program has been carefully researched and chosen to ensure the best results for individuals over 60.
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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.
Can I Continue Working
If you’re well enough, you can keep working for as long as you feel able.
Talk to your employer as soon as you feel your condition is affecting your ability to do your job so you can find a solution that suits both of you. For example, it may be possible for you to work part-time.
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 requires employers to make reasonable adjustments to help a person with a disability.
This might, where possible, include changing or modifying tasks, altering work patterns, installing special equipment, allowing time off to attend appointments, or helping with travel to work.
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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.
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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Why Should I Keep Track Of What I Eat And Drink
The choices you make about what to eat and drink can help you feel better and can make your kidney failure treatments work better. Eating the right foods may give you more energy and strength.
Healthy kidneys balance the salts and mineralssuch as calcium, phosphorus, sodium, and potassiumthat circulate in your blood. When you have kidney failure, what you eat and drink may help you maintain a healthy balance of salts and minerals in your body.
The kind of kidney failure treatment youve chosen will affect your eating plan. If you have a kidney transplant, youll have fewer limits to your diet.
What Happens If My Test Results Show I May Have Chronic Kidney Disease
Your doctor will want to pinpoint your diagnosis and check your kidney function to help plan your treatment. The doctor may do the following:
- Calculate your Glomerular Filtration Rate , which is the best way to tell how much kidney function you have. You do not need to have another test to know your GFR. Your doctor can calculate it from your blood creatinine, your age, race, gender and other factors. Your GFR tells your doctor your stage of kidney disease and helps the doctor plan your treatment.
- Perform an ultrasound or CT scan to get a picture of your kidneys and urinary tract. This tells your doctor whether your kidneys are too large or too small, whether you have a problem like a kidney stone or tumor and whether there are any problems in the structure of your kidneys and urinary tract.
- Perform a kidney biopsy, which is done in some cases to check for a specific type of kidney disease, see how much kidney damage has occurred and help plan treatment. To do a biopsy, the doctor removes small pieces of kidney tissue and looks at them under a microscope.
Your doctor may also ask you to see a kidney specialist who will consult on your case and help manage your care.
For help making sense of your lab values, .
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What If I Want To Stop Dialysis
This treatment should maintain or improve your quality of life. But you can choose not to have it or stop at any time. If you do, make sure to talk to your doctor about other treatments that can help you. Changes to your diet or lifestyle may improve your quality of life.
If you want to stop dialysis because you feel depressed or ashamed, your doctor may urge you to speak to a counselor first. Sharing your feelings, taking antidepressants, or doing both of these things may help you make a more informed decision.
Dialysis is not for everyone, particularly for the very elderly and those with very severe medical conditions.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: âYour Kidneys and How They Work,â âDialysis,â âChoosing Not to Treat With Dialysis or Transplant,â âTreatment Methods for Kidney Failure: Hemodialysis.â
National Kidney Foundation: âDialysis,â âHemodialysis,â âCoping With the Top 5 Side Effects of Dialysis,â Filtering Dialysis Myths From Facts,â âDialysis: Deciding to Stop.â
Texas Heart Institute: âVascular Access for Hemodialysis.â
Mayo Clinic: âHemodialysis,â âPeritoneal Dialysis.â
University of Wisconsin Health: âKidney Failure: When Should I Start Dialysis?â
American Kidney Fund: âPeritoneal Dialysis .â
American Journal of Kidney Disease: âFatigue in Patients Receiving Maintenance Dialysis: A Review of Definitions, Measures and Contributing Factors.â
What Causes Kidney Failure
In most cases, kidney failure is caused by other health problems that have done permanent damage to your kidneys little by little, over time.
When your kidneys are damaged, they may not work as well as they should. If the damage to your kidneys continues to get worse and your kidneys are less and less able to do their job, you have chronic kidney disease. Kidney failure is the last stage of chronic kidney disease. This is why kidney failure is also called end-stage renal disease, or ESRD for short.
- Autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and IgA nephropathy
- Genetic diseases , such as polycystic kidney disease
- Nephrotic syndrome
- Urinary tract problems
Sometimes the kidneys can stop working very suddenly . This type of kidney failure is called acute kidney injury or acute renal failure. Common causes of acute renal failure include:
- Heart attack
- Illegal drug use and drug abuse
- Not enough blood flowing to the kidneys
- Urinary tract problems
This type of kidney failure is not always permanent. Your kidneys may go back to normal or almost normal with treatment and if you do not have other serious health problems.
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What Do The Kidneys Do
The kidneys have several jobs. One of the most important is helping your body eliminate toxins. The kidneys filter your blood and send waste out of your body in urine.
The kidneys are bean-shaped organs about the size of your fist. They sit under your ribcage, toward your back. Most people have two working kidneys, but people can live well as long as at least one is working correctly.
When the kidneys dont work effectively, waste products build up in your body. If this happens, you might feel sick. In the most serious situations, kidney failure can be life-threatening. However, many people can manage kidney failure with the right treatment.
Know Your Kidney Numbers
Your kidney numbers include two tests:
- Estimated glomerular filtration rate a measure of how much blood your kidneys filter each minute. This tells you how well theyre working. If your eGFR is low, your kidneys are not working as well as they should. As kidney disease progresses, your eGFR goes down.
- A urine test to check for albumin. Albumin is a protein that can pass into the urine when the kidneys are damaged. Too much albumin in your urine is an early sign of kidney damage.
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How Can Kidney Disease Be Prevented
Preventing the risk of kidney disease entails taking care of your heart and weight. This might mean eating a healthy diet, staying hydrated, exercising, quitting smoking, and limiting alcohol consumption. For most people, simply scaling back drinks to one or two a week is enough to dodge this particular bullet. For many others, especially those who are struggling with alcoholism or who have a history of alcoholism in the family, a complete ban on alcohol might be the safest option.
WebMD also recommends getting tested regularly, especially if you have a higher chance of developing kidney disease than the general population. If you have a history of kidney problems in your family, if you have other kidney-related problems like diabetes or high blood pressure, or if you are dealing with alcohol abuse, regular testing can uncover the warning signs of kidney disease, opening the door to preventative treatment.
Testing can include urine tests to check the chemical composition of urine, an imbalance of which would suggest that the kidneys are in trouble blood pressure readings and glucose tests to measure blood sugar and hemoglobin A1C, which shows the average blood sugar level in the last three months.
What Is Stage 4 Chronic Kidney Disease
Stage 4 chronic kidney disease is defined as having a GFR of 1539 ml/min. This means your kidneys have lost nearly 8590 percent of its function and will require the assistance medical therapy.
Declining kidney function results in the build of waste products in the blood that can lead to several complications. This includes high blood pressure, anemia, bone disease, heart disease, and other cardiovascular diseases. If these complications are not taken care of promptly, it can lead can severe health consequences.
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How Is Kidney Disease Treated
How kidney disease is treated depends on the particular problem and what’s causing it:
- Kidney infections are treated with .
- Medicines to decrease may help with nephritis and nephrotic syndrome.
- Medicines can treat high blood pressure or help the kidneys make extra pee if fluid or swelling is causing a kidney problem.
- A person might need to eat a special diet that limits salt or other things.
Occasionally, if medicines and other treatments don’t work, the kidneys can stop working well. They may not clear enough of the body’s waste products and excess water. In that case, a person might need dialysis. This process uses an artificial filtering system to do the job of the kidneys when they can’t.
Some people who need dialysis on a permanent basis might be candidates for a kidney transplant. This means they get a donated kidney from another person. Someone who gets a transplanted kidney no longer needs dialysis to clean the blood of waste products and remove excess water. The donated, healthy kidney takes over the job.
Will Kidney Failure Affect My Sleep
People who have kidney failure may have trouble sleeping. Sleep loss can affect your quality of life, energy level, and mood. Restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea, pain, or itching may make it hard for you to sleep.
You can take a number of steps to improve your sleep habits. For example, physical activity during the day and a warm bath before bed may help you sleep better at night. Avoid caffeine after lunchtime. Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed. Avoid smoking.
Talk with your health care provider if you often feel sleepy during the day or have trouble sleeping at night. Health care providers can treat sleep disorders such as sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome.
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Will I Need To Take Medicines Or Follow A Special Diet
Most likely. Your healthcare team will work with you to develop a treatment plan that’s right for you. Your treatment plan may include taking medicines, restricting salt, limiting certain foods, getting exercise, and more. You will also need treatment for any other health problems you may have, including high blood pressure or diabetes.
Ckd In Elderly People
About 1 in 10 people have some degree of CKD. It can develop at any age and various conditions can lead to CKD. It however becomes more common with increasing age. After the age of 40, kidney filtration begins to fall by approximately 1% per year. On top of the natural aging of the kidneys, many conditions which damage the kidneys are more common in older people including diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
It is estimated that about one in five men and one in four women between the ages of 65 and 74, and half of people aged 75 or more have CKD. In short, the older you get the more likely you are to have some degree of kidney disease. This is important because CKD increases the risk of heart attack and stroke, and in some cases can progress to kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplantation. Regardless of your age, simple treatments can slow the progression of kidney disease, prevent complications and improve quality of life.
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Upset Stomach Nausea Vomiting
Why this happens:
A severe build-up of wastes in the blood can also cause nausea and vomiting. Loss of appetite can lead to weight loss.
What patients said:
I had a lot of itching, and I was nauseated, throwing up all the time. I couldn’t keep anything down in my stomach.
When I got the nausea, I couldn’t eat and I had a hard time taking my blood pressure pills.
Can Kidney Disease Be Prevented
Seeing your healthcare provider on a regular basis throughout your life is a good start for preventing kidney disease. About one in every three people in the United States is at risk for kidney disease. Identify and manage any risk factors for developing kidney disease.
- Control your high blood pressure. Normal blood pressure is 120/80.
- Control your blood sugar if you have diabetes.
- Eat a healthy diet. Follow a low-fat, low-salt diet.
- Dont smoke.
- Be active for 30 minutes at least five days a week.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Take nonprescription pain relievers only as directed. Taking more than directed can damage your kidneys.
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