A silent disease that is affecting more than 26 million Americans and that according to research 1 out of 3 Americans is in risk of developing a kidney failure disease, kidney failure is a disease that can stay silent for several years and only manifest itself once you have already have a lot of damage. Most people are diagnosed when they suffer diabetes or uncontrolled blood pressure, but there are other ways of damaging your kidneys. There are several causes that are becoming the main causes of Kidney failure, the most frequent ones are diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, smoking and heart disease. Once there is kidney failure the patient needs to start treatment with dialysis or with a kidney transplant. Joe Cosgrove has a great article about how you can identify if you have kidney failure, where you can follow up after this.
What is it that Kidneys actually do?
Your kidneys are bean shaped internal organs that are located in your mid back, they have a very special mission: they are the ones in charge of cleaning your blood, maintaining a proper balance of minerals in your body as well as your blood pressure. Your kidneys have a renal artery and a renal vein, and are connected to your ureter, helping you re-absorb water, amino acids and sugar, as well as eliminating toxic waste through your urine.
What causes kidney failure?
There are two causes for having Kidney failure lets see a little bit more about each one:
1. Acute Kidney injuries
There are 3 main causes for suffering acute kidney failure: Having a very low blood flow to the kidneys; having a direct injury to the kidneys or having an excess of urine retained in the kidneys. However there are other reasons you can get Acute kidney failure, like taking some medicines or drugs that affect the kidney function, most common ones are antibiotics that contain gentamicin and streptomycin and pain pills that contain ibuprofen. Some of the symptoms you need to be aware of if you are not urinating enough during the day, if you have swelling in your feet and legs, feeling pain in your lower back and feeling nauseas. These kind of kidney failure can have different types of treatments, it can be with medication if it is not that severe, they can be to balance the amount of fluids in your blood, to control the levels of potassium or of calcium, when the degree of toxicity is higher then the patient will need dialysis to remove the toxins from the blood.
2. Chronic Kidney disease
This is the hardest one to diagnose since it’s being building up for years. Most frequent causes are diabetes, the leading cause for kidney failure right now or high blood pressure for many years that has been uncontrolled, at the moment about 165,000 patients have kidney failure due to high blood pressure. As well as the acute failure, consumption of many medicines that affect the kidneys function can lead to a chronic kidney failure. Most common symptoms you should be aware of are: increase or decrease of daily urine, swelling in several body parts, itchiness or numbness, dry skin, feeling nauseous, weight loss and muscle cramps. If you have a series of these symptoms visit your doctor and ask for a checkup a simple blood test can let your doctor know if your kidneys are failing. In Chronic Kidney disease most of the times the patient will need dialysis, the levels of toxicity in the blood flow is higher than normal and will need a detox to save the kidney from stop working for good. A great quantity of patients will be needing a kidney transplant as well.
How can you prevent kidney failure
- If you have diabetes you need to keep your sugar levels controlled under a targeted range that can be discussed with your doctor.
- If you have high blood pressure, try taking your meds and eating properly so you can keep it in a 130/80 range. Speak with your physician on how you can control your blood pressure.
- Maintain a healthy weight, being overweight can increase the possibility of having high blood pressure, develop a heart disease and even become diabetic.
- Keep other levels normal, cholesterol, triglycerides and others checked and in a normal range.
- No smoking, tobacco produces atherosclerosis which that reduces blood flow including to the kidneys.
- Avoid taking pain medicine that contains ibuprofen or naproxen in a daily basis. These medicines tend to damage the kidney functions, ask your doctor for other ways of dealing with the pain or taking pills that are less aggressive on your kidneys.
Changing your habits to healthier ones, drinking enough water daily, avoiding medicines that damage your kidneys, exercising regularly are great ways to start preventing kidney failure. With age our body starts changing and all we do to it during our 40 years is reflected, many of our organs start failing because our blood flow decreases and all of the bad decisions we made with bad nutrition, drinking sodas and sugary drinks instead of water and becoming sedentary.