The human body relies heavily on its two kidney organs to keep the blood healthy. When these organs or kidneys fail to perform their regular duties, it can result in a potentially dangerous condition called renal failure or kidney failure. Here, we will delve into what this condition is, how it affects general kidney health, and available kidney treatments and modifications that may be needed. We will also look at the need for any medications or dietary changes.
What are the symptoms of Kidney Failure?
When the kidneys cannot function correctly, it can lead to a condition known as renal failure. This is when the blood is no longer filtered from waste and excess fluids. This condition has numerous possible causes, including diabetes, high blood pressure, infections, or certain medications. In addition, should renal failure be allowed to worsen and decline in severity, toxins will start to build up in the body, which poses several health risks.
What are the causes of Kidney Failure?
Kidney failure can result from many different underlying reasons. One of the most common ones is type 2 diabetes, in which long-term high levels of blood sugar damage vital filters and vessels in the kidneys. Additionally, uncontrolled hypertension can disrupt the regular functioning of the kidneys due to strain on their blood vessels. In both scenarios, it can lead to severe impairment of renal function.
While untreated urinary tract infections and kidney infections are known to cause kidney failure, a variety of medical conditions can also lead to the same result. These include chronic kidney disease (CKD), polycystic kidney disease (PKD), glomerulonephritis, and interstitial nephritis. All of these illnesses can damage the structure and operation of the kidneys, potentially leading to their complete failure.
In addition to pre-existing conditions and genetics, many medications and toxins can result in kidney failure. For example, when used long-term, common drugs such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antibiotics, and blood pressure medication can often cause irreparable harm to the kidneys. Similarly, exposure to toxic substances like heavy metals, chemicals, and illicit drugs poses a severe threat – potentially leading to complete kidney damage.
Although not always the case, sudden kidney failure can arise and is known as acute kidney injury (AKI) or acute renal failure. Circumstances that may lead to AKI include extreme dehydration, drastic blood loss, medical interventions such as previous surgery or trauma, and severe infections.
What are the risk factors of Kidney Failure?
The effects of kidney failure can be severe and even life-threatening, as the body is unable to eliminate waste products, control electrolyte balance, and manage blood pressure. These complications manifest in various signs or symptoms ranging from confusion to fatigue, swelling in the legs and ankles, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, decreased urine output, high blood pressure levels, itching sensations on the skin surface and dry skin. Without proper treatment, these issues may worsen over time.
What are the available kidney failure treatment options?
Depending on how serious it is and what has caused it, there are many ways to manage kidney failure. A few of these treatments can be seen below: Some of them include:
► Dialysis: Dialysis is a process that removes toxins, fluid, and other byproducts from the blood. There are two ways to carry out dialysis: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. With hemodialysis, a machine cleanses the blood outside the body. In contrast, peritoneal dialysis uses the lining of the abdominal area as a filter for purifying the blood.
► Kidney Transplant: In place of a failed organ, transplantation surgery offers the opportunity for improved health and longevity. Kidney transplants are an ideal solution for those dealing with renal failure, as it involves replacing the malfunctioning organ with a healthy replacement from either a living or deceased donor. This procedure could result in considerable improvements in quality of life and long-term survival.
Types of Kidney Failure Prevention Approaches
Kidney failure necessitates medication and dietary management for patients. Potential treatments include blood pressure medications, drugs to counteract anaemia, supplements to balance calcium and phosphorus, and antibiotics. Likewise, a low-salt, low-potassium, low-phosphorus, and limited-protein diet is prescribed to help patients cope with their kidney issues and slow the condition’s progression.
If you are experiencing symptoms of kidney disease, please do not hesitate to contact us for more information.