The Kidney is a bean-shaped organ located in our abdomen posteriorly. They are two in number, and each one has a size of around 5 to 6 inches long. It is considered the filter plant of our body, which filters the blood, removes waste products, and supplies pure blood to the body.
The filtered waste products are excreted through urine from the body. Each Kidney has millions of filter units called nephrons.
Any abnormality in the nephrons can drastically affect our bodies. For example, when the Kidney fails to filter your blood and fluid retention occurs in your body, there might be some sort of kidney disease in your Kidney. Persistent kidney disease can lead to permanent kidney failure.
Kidney failure is more common in females than males. According to a study, Kidney disease is found in 15% of women and 12% of men worldwide. Kidney disease has a peak ratio in people above 60 years of age.
Healthy kidneys do many important jobs. They remove wastes and extra fluid from your body, help to make red blood cells, help to keep bones healthy and maintain the right amount of minerals in your body.
The Kidney maintains the fluid and minerals within the normal range and keeps our body free from serious diseases such as blood pressure and heart disease.
Risk factors for Kidney Failure:
Risk factors associated with kidney failure are the following:
1. Kidney stones
2. Acute kidney injury
3. High blood pressure
4. Blood vessels disease
5. Urinary tract infection
6. Autoimmune disease
7. Haemolytic uremic syndrome
8. Drink alcohol
9. Digestive and Kidney diseases
What are the different types of kidney diseases?
Our kidneys can be affected by several types of kidney diseases, which include:
Chronic kidney disease CKDChronic kidney disease is when gradual loss of kidney function occurs. Many people with chronic kidney disease will not have symptoms until it reaches an advanced stage. Therefore, treatment of chronic kidney disease should be focused on slowing disease advancement by eliminating the cause.
- Acute kidney failure
Acute kidney failure occurs due to other health problems like blood pressure and heart disease. In this condition, the Kidney stops functioning suddenly. As the name suggests, it is not due to injury or trauma but occurs as a complication of other diseases.
- Kidney stones
Kidney stones are hard calculi formed in the tiny blood vessels of the Kidney. It impairs kidney function and may lead the Kidney to chronic kidney failure.
- Kidney failure
Kidney failure occurs as a complication of other kidney diseases. If advanced kidney disease is left untreated, it may lead the Kidney to complete kidney failure. If you have early symptoms of kidney disease, you should consult a doctor so timely precautions are taken and prevent your Kidney from complete failure.
Signs and symptoms of Kidney Disease
- Fluid Retention
As discussed earlier, the Kidney works to excrete extra minerals and water from the body. However, in case of kidney failure, the fluid remains in the body and causes swelling of your legs and ankles. In addition, fluid retention extensively occurs in the lower body and causes high blood pressure.
Anaemia is a condition where a mark reduction in your haemoglobin level occurs. This could be due to a diminished level of red blood cells. Our kidneys produce a hormone called erythropoietin, which is needed to produce red blood cells.
When you have kidney failure, your Kidney doesn't make enough erythropoietin; as a result, our blood tests show a decreased haemoglobin level.
- Itchy skin
When your kidneys cannot maintain the right balance of your minerals, the extra minerals accumulate in different body organs. Also, harmful toxins build up in our blood, which can cause rash and itchy skin.
- High blood pressure
Excessive water and sodium retention in your body as a complication of kidney disease can lead to high blood pressure. High blood pressure can also destroy the kidney's blood vessels and lead to worsening kidney diseases.
- Bone disease and muscle cramps
Impaired kidney function can result in too much acid in your body which is called metabolic acidosis. Acidosis can cause bone disease and muscle cramps. Furthermore, electrolyte imbalance can affect your bone structure.
- Sleep Apnoea
Sleep apnoea is more common in those people who have chronic kidney disease. Kidney failure may narrow your throat and aggregate toxins in the lower part of your throat. Moreover, fluid accumulation in our lungs leads to sleep apnoea.
- Pale urine
Urine symptoms are early signs of kidney disease. The excessive minerals in urine cause smell and turn the urine colour into brownish or very pale urine. Damaged kidneys may also let blood leak into your bladder.
- Other symptoms include;
a. Weight loss
b. Muscle camping
c. Raised blood sugar level
d. Erectile dysfunction
e. Enlarged prostate
Treatment options for kidney failure
Following are the treatment options:
In the early stages of kidney disease, routine medications can cure the disease. These medications are helpful to relieve symptoms and lower the burden on your Kidney.
However, your Kidney demands a healthy lifestyle and sufficient nutrition to function properly.
In addition, any abnormality in your body that affects your Kidney's health must be treated. Medication includes diuretics to prevent fluid accumulation in your body and keep your Kidney safe from kidney problems.
In the case of the advanced stage of kidney disease, if the cure with routine medications becomes ineffective, then your doctor may advise you to go for dialysis.
Kidney dialysis is a modern-day treatment in which your blood is kept clean through machinery, and as a result, the clean blood is again inserted into the body.
The end-stage kidney failure may eventually require treatment with a kidney transplant. The transplanted Kidney can work fully, so you no longer need dialysis. However, the transplanted Kidney must be compatible with your body.
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