Every minute, the kidneys filter about one liter of blood or a fifth of the amount pumped by the heart. Chronic kidney failure is a serious disease that causes gradual and irreversible deterioration of the kidneys’ ability to filter blood and excrete certain hormones. Metabolic products and excess water pass less urine and accumulate in the body. Chronic renal failure resulting from complications of diabetes, hypertension, and other diseases. Acute renal failure, in turn, occurs suddenly. It often occurs as a result of a reversible decrease in renal blood flow. The causes are multiple, such as dehydration, severe infection, obstruction as in prostate hypertrophy, or exposure to substances that are toxic to the kidneys as contrast media used in radiology.
Kidney Disease: When to See The Doctor
- If you have diabetes or another disease that can cause kidney failure, your doctor will monitor the health of your kidneys on a regular basis by analysis of blood and urine.
- If you have developed symptoms between visits, do not hesitate to contact your doctor.
- Even if you are not at risk of suffering from kidney failure, contact your doctor immediately if the volume of your urine changes significantly or if your urine contains traces of blood.
Symptoms of chronic and acute renal failure
The progression of chronic renal failure is so slow that symptoms are often imperceptible in the early years because the kidneys adapt and compensate for their loss of function. Many patients do not become aware of their condition until their kidneys are operating at less than 25% of their normal capacity. Some non-specific symptoms such as fatigue may be the only manifestation of the disease for a long time.
Once the disease is well-established, the following symptoms may occur:
- Swelling of feet, ankles, legs, or eyelids
- Painful urination and decrease in urine volume
- More frequent urination
- Foamy urine, cloudy or dark
- high blood pressure
- Fatigue and weakness more pronounced
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite and a bad taste in the mouth
- Unexplained weight loss
- Sleepiness, psychomotor retardation
- Sleeping troubles
- Pain in the middle, lower back, or sides of the basin
- Involuntary muscle contractions and cramps
- Persistent itching
The risk of chronic renal failure factors
- The most common cause of chronic kidney failure is diabetes, whether type 1 or type 2. In fact, diabetes damages the small blood vessels, including those found in the kidneys.
- In general, diseases that cause cardiovascular problems are also risk factors for kidney disease.
- Advanced age, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, smoking, and low HDL cholesterol (“good cholesterol”).
Other risk factors may cause chronic renal failure, including:
- Pyelonephritis (kidney infection)
- Polycystic kidney disease
- Autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus
- Urinary tract obstruction (as in prostate hypertrophy)
- Use of drugs metabolized by the kidneys, such as some chemotherapy drugs against cancer.
The prevention of renal failure
- In some cases, the disease is impossible to prevent. However, the two main causes are diabetes (type 1 and 2), and high blood pressure. Good control of these diseases greatly reduces the risk of progression to kidney failure. However, healthy lifestyle habits can help reduce the risks.
- Follow accurately the treatment recommended by your doctor if you suffer from a chronic disease such as diabetes, lupus, or hypertension.
- Do review your blood pressure regularly.
- Avoid alcohol abuse, drugs, and medicines, including those without a prescription, such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen.
- Get treatment immediately in case of urinary tract infection or other disorders of the urinary tract.
Medical treatment of renal failure
Treatment will be offered as needed to maintain red blood cells at a certain rate: darbepoetin (Aranesp) and erythropoietin (Eprex). The strict control of blood pressure reduces the progression of kidney damage and medication will almost certainly be necessary to achieve the desired pressure values. The target is under 140/90 or 130/80 if diabetes or proteinuria is involved. In addition, an attempt to need to urinate “excess water” present in the body with diuretics: furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (Hydrodiuril). In diabetics, blood glucose should be maintained at an acceptable rate, by the use of oral medications or insulin if the diet is not enough. A detail on diabetes (see the sheet).
Dialysis uses a membrane that acts as a filter and is used to remove toxins and excess fluid from the blood. There are two types of dialysis: peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis. The choice of one method over the other depends on the patient’s age, the ability to manage the treatment (peritoneal dialysis requires a minimum of dexterity and autonomy), the presence of other diseases, and preference patient.
“Renal failure”- peritoneal dialysis, the peritoneum is used to play the role of a filter. The peritoneum is the double membrane that lines the abdominal wall (tummy) and abdominal organs (intestines, stomach, etc.). These two membranes are separated by a small space in which installs a catheter (a flexible tube to very small dimensions) permanently. With this tube, fills the peritoneum of a solution called dialysate, left a few hours in this cavity.
The blood flowing through the vessels making the peritoneum is then filtered: toxins and excess water pass from the dialysate side. Once complete, removing the dialysate to replace it with another blank.
Peritoneal dialysis is usually performed at home by the patient or a family member. Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis is usually repeated every 6 hours. Automated peritoneal dialysis is 1 time per day, during the night, according to the programmed device. Hemodialysis should be performed in the hospital or in a clinic. It uses a machine called a “dialyzer” to filter blood. Blood is first pumped into the dialyzer. Inside the machine, it remains on one side of a membrane which acts as a filter. The waste and excess fluid through the membrane and pass on the other side, where the dialysate is. The filtered blood is returned to the body. In general, the procedure requires 4 hours. It must be repeated about 3 times per week.
3. kidney transplant
For some patients, a kidney transplant is needed. Entries are judged by strict criteria to avoid any form of discrimination. A detailed assessment by a specialist in kidney transplant nephrologist is needed to determine if this treatment option is appropriate for a given patient. The kidney may come from a living donor, usually a parent, or a donor who has died. With a successful transplant, the recipient gets to lead an active lifestyle, healthy.