What Is Kidney Disease a Overview
Kidney Failure is a medical condition that occurs when your kidneys fail to perform their vital functions. This causes an accumulation of waste in the blood that eventually causes organ failure and death if not treated.
What is a Kidney?
The kidneys are two small, bean-shaped organs one located on the left and one located on the right sides of the spine in the middle back. Each are responsible for maintaining normal balance in the body, they help with the production of red blood cells, the main organ for removal of excess fluid from the body, and regulation of blood pressure. The kidneys perform over 300 functions per day.
One of the key functions of the kidneys is elimination of certain waste products from the blood. This vital function is one they perform in order to keep us healthy. When the kidneys remove the extra water and waste products from our bodies it is then passed to the bladder expelled through the urinary system.
Chronic Kidney Disease
Although it is not always caused by kidney damage, chronic kidney disease (CKD) is the progressive decline in kidney function over time.
With Chronic kidney disease generally there are no symptoms, signs, or treatment options. Many have it without knowing because their symptoms are kept under control with medications. Generally patients are faced with one of two types of kidney failure chronic and acute. Here are some common forms of CKD
Chronic Kidney Disease associated with Diabetes (CKD-Nephropathy)
This is the most common form of CKD. It affects around 150 million people around the world and causes up to 60% of those with liver disease to be diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease. The symptoms that come with CKD-Nephropathy include loss of appetite, fatigue, thirst, and increased urination. Due to this, if someone has symptoms like these they may be diagnosed with CKD-Nephropathy and could be candidates for a kidney transplant.
Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)
Is a genetic disease. Cysts grow on the kidneys causing the kidney to shut down.The symptoms that come with Polycystic Kidney Disease are not as severe as some other forms of CKD, they include nausea, lethargy, swelling hands and feet and high blood pressure.
Chronic Kidney Disease associated with/or Renal Tubular Acidosis (CKD-RTA) H3
Also known as tubulointerstitial nephritis or tubular kidney is due to kidney damage due to the renal tubules not adequately processing acid waste.
This is just a small list of some of the more common forms of kidney disease follow as we have more discussions of other types of kidney disease and failure.
Types of Acute Kidney Disease
Acute Kidney Disease is a serious condition or event that affects the kidneys. Acute kidney issues can be caused by a variety of health conditions, from severe dehydration to infections even injury. In some cases, Acute Kidney Disease can be managed with medication. In other cases, surgery is necessary to repair damage to the kidneys. In some cases a kidney transplant is needed to save someone’s life.
Stages of Kidney Failure
Kidney disease is broken down into 5 stages. Starting from 1 to 5 each stage progressing to total kidney failure. The 5 stages of chronic kidney disease are defined by the amount of protein present in the urine, or proteinuria.
Stage 1: Less than 90% Kidney Function
Stage 2: 89% to 60% Kidney Function
Stage 3: 59% to 30% Kidney Function
Stage 4: 29% to 15% Kidney Function
Stage 5: 14% or less Kidneys in End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)
Symptoms of Kidney Failure
Symptoms associated with kidney disease vary at each stage also in each patient suffering from CKD. Those suffering from CKD do not always exhibit the same set of symptoms.
Some of the more common symptoms of those suffering from CKD are as follows:
“NOTE Please speak to your General Care Physician about any questions about your health this article is and was written as an informational guide NOT in any form given as medical advice. It is important and advised to speak with your medical team for proper diagnoses”
High Blood Pressure
Loss of appetite
Fatigue and weakness
Urinating more or less
Decreased mental sharpness
Swelling of feet and ankles
Dry, itchy skin
Shortness of breath, if fluid builds up in the lungs
Chest pain, if fluid builds up around the lining of the heart
Tests to determine Kidney Disease or Kidney Failure
There are a few test your doctor can do to determine kidney failure. Doctors can conduct a simple blood test, Ultrasound and even urine analyses. In some cases your doctor may want to have a CAT scan or MRI of your Kidneys.
Main Blood Test
Your doctor will run a blood lab and have it tested to check your Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) this is a test that assesses the health of your kidneys and, in particular, the ability of your kidney to filter blood and remove waste.
The most common way to measure Glomerular Filtration Rate is with a one-hour Plasma Creatinine Test (PCRT).
Treatments of Kidney Disease
Kidney Disease is treated differently at each stage and with each form of CKD. The most common forms of treatment are diet and Dialysis with the final stage of treatment transplant.
A renal diet is a special diet for those with CKD that they need to follow if you have any kind of kidney disease, or if you are on dialysis. Diet plays a crucial role in treatment of kidney failure. The renal diet has two components. The first is to reduce your intake of high-protein foods, which are the main culprit in progression of kidney disease. The second is to increase your intake of low-protein foods in order to help your kidneys in their work.
There are two types of Kidney Dialysis
Is a process where waste products are removed from the blood. Dialysis is done by artificially changing the blood and removing waste.
Kidney dialysis uses an artificial kidney machine to remove waste and extra water from the blood. The machine is called a dialyzer and it consists of two parts: the filters and the plastic tubing. The filters use membranes that separate blood into two parts: one part goes to your body, and the other part moves through the tubing to get filtered again.
Is the most advanced form of dialysis that can be performed and for the majority of CKD patients it is done at home. It is a type of hemodialysis, which is the process of removing waste and excess water from the blood using artificial methods.
Peritoneal dialysis is a treatment for kidney failure that uses the lining of your abdomen, or belly, to filter your blood inside your body.
Kidney transplant is a form of treatment where a kidney is transplanted from one human to another this type of transplant can come from a Living Kidney Donor meaning a friend a family member or in many cases a complete stranger. The donor would donate one of their good kidneys to a CKD Patient.
Kidney transplant can also be done with the kidney of a recently deceased person who has opted to be an organ donor upon their death.
We have covered a lot of topics in this article, there are still several topics and other important things that we will be discussing. If you want to learn more about kidney diseases, please follow us on social media.