When a patient suffers from kidney failure, one or both of his kidneys cease to operate by themselves. The key underlying causes of kidney failure or reasons of kidney failure are diabetes, acute kidney injuries, and high blood pressure. When one suffers from hypertension, additional blood flows to kidneys which could damage kidney walls.
It is likely that in its early stages, chronic kidney conditions are free from symptoms. But in the later stages, the top symptoms of kidney failure include fatigue, vomiting, nausea, brain fog, and swelling. Changes might occur in the frequency of visiting toilet
Among the treatments of kidney failure are kidney transplant and dialysis. They are the common treatments implemented irrespective of the reasons of kidney failure.
Kidney failure is not necessarily a permanent condition. It is occasionally a temporary condition but develops acutely. There are also cases wherein kidney failure is a chronic condition that progressively worsens over time.
The most severe stage of a kidney disease is kidney failure. Upon suffering from kidney failure, an individual is likely to survive a few days or few weeks in dearth of treatment.
The working of kidneys
Kidneys are bean shaped organs and seldom bigger than our fists. They are situated below the ribcage, towards the back. In most cases, people have two functional kidneys. But you could be living very well with a single kidney, if it functions well.
Kidneys do a range of work in our bodies and the most important among them is to get rid of the body’s toxins. After filtering the blood, kidneys allow the waste to exit the body via urine.
When kidneys cease to operate normally, there is a buildup of waste in the body. In case this happen, the individual begins to feel unwell. This is a time when treatment is called for, in dearth of which, a patient dies. Proper treatment helps manage kidney failure.
What are the underlying reasons of kidney failure?
Anyone is vulnerable to kidney failure. But, one is at a higher risk of developing kidney failure if one:
- Has diabetes
- Suffers from heart disease
- Suffers from hypertension
- Has a family history of kidney conditions
- Has an unconventional kidney structure
- Is Black, native American, Hispanic, First nation, or Alaska Native
- Is over 60
- Has a long history of taking pain relievers, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
How frequent is kidney failure?
Each year, in the United States alone, kidney failure afflicts 750,000 people. Across the world, over 2 million people are afflicted by kidney failure yearly.
What happens when kidney failure starts?
The stages of kidney failure mentioned below are based on your estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR).
eGFR is a value that defines how well your kidneys are able to filter substances. Normally, eGFR is around 100. The lowest value that eGFR can attain is 0 and this implies that no kidney function remains.
The following are the stages of a kidney disease:
- In Stage I your GFR stays between 90 and 100. Despite mild damage, your kidneys function normally.
- If it is in stage II that your kidney condition is, the GFR will lie between 60 and 89. The damage to your kidneys will be more than stage I, but they would still be functioning well.
- In Stage III, your GFR will lie between 30 and 59. A mild to severe loss of kidney function takes place.
- GFR is between 15 and 29 in Stage IV and is accompanied by severe loss of kidney function.
- With GFR below 15, kidneys are at or nearing complete failure.
Warning signs of kidney failure
When kidney disease is in its early stages, most people experience few or no symptoms. But, if you suffer from Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), then it is likely to lead to damage even though you feel fine.
Symptoms of kidney failure and chronic kidney disease are variable among people. In case your kidneys are not working at their prime, you are likely to experience one or more of the following symptoms.
- Extreme fatigue
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Edema which is swelling, primarily around your face, ankles, or hands
- The need to visit the toilet more frequently
- Muscle spasms
- Itchy or dry skin
- Poor appetite or the food tastes metallic
How to prevent kidney failure
One should be aware that CKD and kidney failure are not reversible. But when considering how to prevent kidney failure, the following steps should be considered. They help preserve kidney function.
Routines and healthy habits will slow down the rate at which your kidneys lose the ability to function. So, one should have a fair bit of an idea regarding reasons of kidney failure and how to prevent kidney failure.
In case you suffer from kidney failure or CKD, it is recommendable to:
- Monitor your kidney function
- Keep your blood pressure levels in the normal range
- If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar levels in the normal range.
- Avoid foods high in Sodium and potassium
- Avoid using tobacco products.
- Go for scheduled appointments to your healthcare provider.
For kidney failure, there is no cure as such. But when the diagnosis and treatment is proper, you’d be able to lead a long life with no drastic changes in your life.
The work of kidneys in our body, which is to get rid of waste and extra fluids in the body, is critical. When one suffers from kidney failure, the kidneys cease to work effectively. In dearth of proper treatment, the condition is fatal.
With treatment options such as kidney transplant or dialysis, you could continue to live a long life. In your treatment plan, consuming medications is likely to be included and so is following a special diet.
We hope this article delivers a fair bit of an idea regarding how to prevent kidney failure. In case you have any concerns or questions associated with any part of your treatment plan, which could be lifestyle changes, medications, or treatments, please consult with your healthcare provider.