5 Common Kidney Ailments You Should Know About

5 Common Kidney Ailments You Should Know About

Your kidneys are small organs that are responsible for a lot of functions. They filter blood, remove excess waste and produce hormones that are essential for your body’s homeostasis or balance. Despite their small size, your kidneys are vulnerable to damage and a whole range of diseases. Here are some of the most common kidney ailments you need to know.

Acute and Chronic Kidney Failure

Acute kidney failure happens when one of your kidneys losses its functions. If the loss happens progressively and gradually, it’s referred to as chronic kidney failure. People with a family history of the disease as well as hypertension and diabetes are the most predisposed group. Some of the symptoms of the disease include changes in the characteristics of the urine, pain, changes in mental status and muscle cramps.

Glomerular Diseases

Glomerular diseases are divided into two types: glomerulonephritis and glomerulosclerosis.

Glomerulonephritis refers to the inflammation of the glomeruli, which are the membrane tissues of the kidneys responsible for filtering out waste and extra fluid. Glomerulosclerosis, meanwhile, is the hardening of the blood vessels in your kidneys.

Common symptoms associated with glomerular diseases include anemia and the presence of high amounts of protein and blood in your urine.

Nephrotic Syndrome

Nephrotic syndrome refers to a class of symptoms indicating kidney damage. It can include high blood cholesterol level and edema. Other common symptoms of this condition are the presence of high protein levels in the urine and low levels of albumin in the blood.

People suffering from this condition can exhibit loss of appetite, tiredness and weight gain. Patients can also complain about experiencing foamy urine.

Polycystic Kidney Disease

Polycystic kidney disease is a genetic condition where multiple cysts form in the kidneys. These cysts are sacs usually filled with fluid. They grow in number and enlarge the kidneys over time. As they multiply, these cysts replace the normal structure of the kidneys until the organ loses function.

The condition can result in pain, edema and kidney failure. In some cases, it can also be accompanied by urinary tract infections and high blood pressure.


Pyelonephritis is a form of urinary tract infection that mainly affects the kidneys. It’s most commonly caused by a group of bacteria called E. coli. Some of its symptoms include fever, painful urination and nausea. It can also cause vomiting and pain at the back or the groin.

Pyelonephritis most commonly happens to people with structural abnormalities in their urinary tracts, particularly those who have kidney stones or enlarged prostate. If you are feeling the said signs and symptoms, it’s a good idea to get yourself checked first to verify your condition.


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Help For Kidney Failure: Why A Support Group Is Necessary For the Family


Help For Kidney Failure: Why A Support Group Is Necessary For the Family

Help For Kidney Failure: Why A Support Group Is Necessary

Help for kidney failure isn’t all about treatments and medications. Most of the time, the way a patient thinks about his disease and how he’s coping with it emotionally and mentally also say a lot about his prognosis. If you are feeling low or not sure about how you’re handling your condition, reaching out to a support group can really make a big difference.

Here are more reasons why a support group is necessary for kidney failure patients.

Peer Mentoring

For someone who’s struggling to cope with kidney failure, it’s essential that they don’t only get medical advice; they also need to be provided with support. If you are going through this situation, you would want to talk to someone who can really understand what you are going through. Peer mentoring involves people who have gone or going through the same life experiences as you. Although they are not encouraged to give medical advice and solutions, they can serve as role models and offer support.


It’s an overwhelming experience to be told you need to undergo treatments for your kidney. Upon diagnosis, it’s helpful if you can talk to people and ask for help for kidney failure adjustments. You can ask them what food they eat and what type of treatment they are going for just to get an idea of how they were able to cope. Small conversations like this can happen in clinics and treatment areas, but there are also more formal peer support systems you can reach out to.

Less Cases of Depression

Depression can easily develop in people who think and feel that they are alone. And this doesn’t only happen to actual patients, but their caregivers and families as well. When you have someone to talk to, vent out your emotions or just share your ideas with, it lessens the negative emotions that come with the situation. It fosters acceptance and encourages a sense of purpose.

Boosts Well-Being

Participating in self-help groups can mean lesser chances of feeling useless and unimportant. Just the idea of being able to encourage other people and help them adjust to the situation can give you a sense of accomplishment. Aside from that, helping other patients can also reinforce your skills in taking care of yourself.

Increased Survival Rate

Aside from the actual treatment, your predisposition can also affect the course of your disease. Most kidney failure patients face a lot of stress and challenges that push them to the brink of depression and even suicide. By having people who listen and cares for you, a support system can help ease your negative thoughts while encouraging your self-esteem and an optimistic point of view in life.


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Kidney Infection Symptoms

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Dr Lisa

Kidney Infection Symptoms

Kidney Infection Symptoms can be subtle, but dangerous.

There are several forms of urinary tract infections (UTI). They are divided into upper and lower urinary tract infections. In upper urinary tract infection, the kidney is the most important structure which is involved. It is often known as pyelonephritis. Lower urinary tract infection involves urethra and urinary bladder. There are several symptoms which can differentiate among the two viz. upper and lower urinary tract infections. Being an infectious disease, urinary tract infection presents with signs and symptoms of infection and inflammation. Look for the signs of kidney infection symptoms.


Pyelonephritis is an infectious (usually bacterial) and inflammatory disease of the kidneys. Typically, the disease affects only one kidney. It occurs in acute or chronic form. Pyelonephritis is more common in women than men. Furthermore, elderly men more often suffer from this disease.

Pyelonephritis in women typically begins after cystitis (inflammation and infection of urinary bladder) and ascending towards kidney resulting into pyelonephritis. Pyelonephritis in men is often a complication of urological diseases such as benign prostatic hyperplasia, any mass obstructing the flow of urine, prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate), kidney stones etc.

Causes of pyelonephritis

Kidney infection is usually caused by bacteria, most common being Escherichia coli (E.coli). The bacteria enter the urethra and travel up the urinary tract. Once in one or both channels connecting the bladder and kidneys (ureters), bacteria reach the kidney and contribute towards the development of the disease. Women are more exposed to the risk partly due to the fact that their urethra is located closer to the anus (where bacteria from the intestines leave the body). This simplifies the way the bacteria enter into the urethra. Sometimes kidney infection can occur without infection of the bladder. For example, if the ureter or kidney outflow is blocked by a stone.

Symptoms of pyelonephritis

Symptoms of acute kidney infection (Upper Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms) often develop rapidly over several hours or days: • High temperature (over 38 ° C) • Swelling of the face • Tremors • Pain in the lower back (maybe on one side only) • Feeling of being sick (nausea) • vomiting About one-third of the patients with an acute kidney infection also have the symptoms of bladder infection (Lower Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms) as well.

These symptoms may also be present when isolated lower urinary tract infection is seen e.g. infection of urethra, urinary bladder, prostate etc. These symptoms may include: • Burning sensation while urinating • The need to urinate more often than usual • Muddy, dark urine • Sharp unpleasant smell of urine • Blood in the urine These symptoms may be caused by other problems as well. So, if you have any of these symptoms, consult a doctor. If you are searching for a way to tell others about your kidney failure, you may be interested in a Live Kidney Donation.


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3 Things That Happen When You Stop Having Kidney Dialysis

3 Things That Happen When You Stop Having Kidney Dialysis

For most patients, kidney dialysis is the best treatment option. This is particularly true for patients who can’t afford to get a transplant or those who haven’t found the right match yet. However, although this treatment can help prolong a patient’s life, it’s inevitable for some patients to stop undergoing one.

It can be due to the other underlying health conditions they have or the cost of the treatment. For some patients, they just want to receive palliative care. If you or a loved one is considering this transition, it’s essential that you read the rest of this article first. It will give you a clearer idea of what can happen once you stop having kidney dialysis.

1. Physical and Emotional Changes

Dialysis helps remove toxins from the body. Once it’s stopped, toxins can build up and uremia can happen. This can result in loss of appetite, restlessness and even hallucinations. Patients can also develop fluid accumulation which can congest their systems. They can ex and he can experience confusion.

2. Medicines Will Be Stopped

Because there’s no longer the need to treat the underlying medical condition, doctors can order your medications to be stopped. This will also prevent the medicine from accumulating in your body since there will be no more mechanism to flush them out. However, if the after-effects are too severe, you may be prescribed with medications to control the congestion, agitation and pain

Aside from this, forcing fluids or even food can be discouraged. Although you can be allowed to eat or drink, it’s still not recommended that you consume too much.

3. The Body Will Stop Functioning

As your kidneys continue to deteriorate, your internal organs and entire system can shut down a few days or weeks after. As you slip into unconsciousness, your brain and your heart can stop functioning. Most families consider this a peaceful death for their loved ones since it’s almost pain-free, quick and quiet.

Some patients prefer to end their dialysis treatment and go for palliative care instead. They can go to either a dedicated facility or their home where they can be with their loved ones for their remaining time. This gives them and their families with enough time to be together and express their gratitude to one another.


Patients with kidney disease get to decide what type of treatment they should go for. They also have the right to terminate it. Whatever decision they make, it’s essential that they get reminded of the possible risks and consequences of their actions. They should also be offered with a lot of support, especially during their last few days after the termination of their dialysis treatment.


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4 Signs of Renal Failure

4 Signs of Renal Failure

 That Tell It’s Time For Kidney Dialysis

4 Signs of Renal FailureUnderstand the 4 Signs of Renal Failure and what to pay attention to. Not all patients with kidney diseases require dialysis right away. There are some cases that can still be managed with medications and lifestyle changes. Although effective at times, there are a handful of patients that don’t respond well to this treatment approach. If you show any of the following signs, then it’s probably high-time you consider dialysis.

Fluid and urea buildup in your body

While fluid retention and edema are common symptoms of renal failure, too much water can signal a different ball game. It can overload your lungs, heart and other vital organs which can cause them to fail. On a similar note, excessive urea inside your body can also trigger several health concerns. It can lead to nausea, weakness and purpura. On severe cases, it can even cause seizures. Kidney Disease should be treated with caution.

Swelling is typically assessed with the use of the pitting edema scale. The level of urea in your body, on the other hand, is measured through Blood Urea Nitrogen test.

Kidney functions aren’t improving

If your condition isn’t responding well to your existing treatment plan, it’s wise if you change it. Usually, severe symptoms of renal failure, such as losing weight, headaches and trouble concentrating, appear on the late stages of the disease. Recovery and good prognosis, during this period, may already be too difficult to achieve.

Aside from improving recovery rate, starting dialysis early can also diminish the associated signs and symptoms. It can help improve your appetite and taste as well as lessen the chances of fluid and waste retention in your body.

Uncontrolled high blood pressure

High blood pressure in renal failure is typically caused by the excessive fluid inside the body. Once there is an increase in the amount of fluid, then there is a tendency of your blood vessels to exert more effort to effectively do its job.

Unfortunately, uncontrolled blood pressure isn’t good news to your kidneys. Since there’s too much fluid to filter, your organs become overloaded. Aside from this, the high pressure can also cause damages to the minute vessels in your renal tract. If not addressed properly, uncontrolled high blood pressure can make your condition even worse.

Severe weight loss


Proper nutrition is important when you are suffering from renal diseases. Because food is our best source of vitamins and minerals, not eating enough can mean a lot of trouble. In most cases of renal failure, patients typically lose appetite because of the metallic and bitter taste in the mouth. This symptom is mostly associated with excessive toxins and waste products accumulating in your body. Undergoing dialysis won’t only improve your appetite but it can also help improve your nutritional status.

Learn more about the symptoms and cautions as you understand the 4 Signs of Renal Failure.


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Family Resources to cope with Renal Failure

Family Resources to cope with Renal Failure

Family ResourcesFamily resources are the main way people deal with kidney disease. When the kidney’s filtration process is compromised its ability to remove the body’s waste from the blood is ineffective. The result of which can lead to the accumulated of toxins in the body, presence of protein in the urine and reflects relatively high numeric figures in the glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Some kidney failure can be acute, which is treatable while other causative factors can lead to the development of chronic renal failure.

When the kidneys do not function well, patients may be advised to undergo dialysis. Dialysis is an artificial alternative to filter the waste in the blood. The mechanical filtration removes the excess water as well as metabolic wastes just like the what the kidneys. However, patients undergoing dialysis can face up to a number of challenges, which can be fatal. This is the point where family resources really come into play.

Drop in Blood Pressure

In the dialysis, the water is mechanically removed from the body following certain rate. However, when there are instances when the speed of water filtration during dialysis can cause the blood pressure to fall. The drop in B/P can cause fatigue, chest pain, irritability, and fainting, temporary loss of vision. In this case, the hemodialysis is stopped, and patient’s legs are elevated with their head down to increase the cardiac filling.


During the ultrafiltration process, patients may experience cramps towards the end of the hemodialysis. This happens where there is a significant amount of water is removed from the body. This is managed by immediately restoring the intravascular volume though isotonic saline like the 0.9% saline solution given in small boluses.

Family resources will involve driving the kidney patient to and from dialysis as well as helping to prepare meals. The sheer inability to cope with the effects of dialysis may frighten many, but the shock to the body has an expected outcome. Be patient, be kind and understanding as you undertake assistance to a family member.


Patients with fistulas may experience bleeding, which can add up to their stress level during their dialysis session. In instances where there is positive bleeding, the clinic can provide special bandages to stop the bleeding quickly.


Although all the dialysis clinics follow the highest standard of patient care and hygiene practices, but there are still risks for infection. The point of entry can be the dialysis catheter when it is compromised or when it comes out from where it is embedded. Infection is managed by antibiotic when it is positively traced.

Fluid overload

Patients undergoing dialysis are provided with the accurate volume of water consumption during the dialysis session. Drinking too much water in between sessions can cause water overload. Fluid overload can be fatal; it can cause pulmonary edema or heart failure.

Once the functions of the kidneys are upset patients are managed by the artificial means, which is through dialysis. This management can take a lifetime unless the organ is replaced by another kidney. On the other hand, patients can forget about dialysis when the kidneys are functioning well


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Alternative Kidney Failure Treatments

Alternative Kidney Failure Treatments

Are They Safe Enough?

Alternative Kidney Failure Treatments usually include dialysis.Are you searching for Alternative Kidney Failure Treatments? Being diagnosed with kidney failure isn’t only frightening, but it can also be costly. Other than the money you need to spend on treatment, the condition can also force you to leave work and rely heavily on your family for most of your expenses.Kidney Failure is real and is reaching epidemic proportions in the USA.

If this sounds exactly like you, then it’s important for you to know that you are not alone. These are also the exact same reasons why a lot of patients strive to find an alternative kidney failure treatment approach that will work for them.

In case you’re thinking of taking natural remedies and herbal supplements, then it’s critical that you read the following insights first:

Herbal supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration or FDA.

This simply means that there’s no way you can verify the authenticity and potency of supplements. Even their doses, ingredients and pureness can be regulated. Because of this, it’s relatively difficult to tell whether a supplement is safe to consume or not.

They can interact with your existing prescription medications.

Some supplements have the capacity to enhance or lessen your medications’ effects. Depending on the reaction, these supplements can put you at risk of toxicity.

They can increase your systemic potassium and phosphorus level.

Potassium in patients with kidney failure must be maintained within acceptable levels. Most of the time, potassium is limited or even restricted in a patient’s diet to avoid complications. Before you take a supplement or an herb, it’s very critical that you know how much potassium or phosphorus they contain.

Some herbs that are high in potassium include:

  • Lemongrass
  • Ginseng
  • Coriander Leaf
  • Noni
  • Papaya

Herbs that contain phosphorus include:

  • Evening Rose
  • Flaxseed
  • Milk Thistle
  • Bitter Melon

Some herbs are toxic to the kidneys.

There are herbs that contain aristolochic acid. This toxic acid doesn’t only have the ability to worsen your kidney damage but it is also closely linked to cases of urinary tract cancer. The U.S Department of Health and Human Services recognizes aristolochic acid as both nephrotoxic and carcinogenic agent,

They can complicate any other existing medical conditions you may have.

Most patients with kidney failure aren’t generally aware that they have other medical conditions. Because of this, taking herbal supplements without proper assessment and consultation with a doctor can put you at risk for complications. Pregnant patients and those with bleeding and clotting issues are particularly vulnerable.

There are supplements that may contain heavy metals.

Heavy metals can cause extensive damage to your renal tract. Aside from your kidneys, they can also affect your heart and even your mental capacities. Examples of these toxins include mercury and lead.

Alternative Kidney Failure Treatments usually include dialysis. Check with your health care professional.


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Kidney Stones Like Summer Heat

water-filtration1 (7)Kidney Stones Like Summer Heat

If you have been concerned with Kidney Stones, experts suggest that the hotter, Summer months may be the most difficult for those suffering from kidney stones.

The reason is dehydration, which causes minerals in the body to crystallize in the kidneys.

In the Journal of European Urology, a study in 2012 shows that men, more than women will get kidney stones and at a rate nearly double the population in general.

How much water should you drink?

That question is different for everybody, but kidney patients in particular, should consult their medical professional because living with impaired kidney function and monitoring liquids is critical to getting through the day. Kidney Stones Like Summer Heat but you can protect yourself by drinking plenty of water-provided you are not a kidney patient-then you should ask your doctor how much liquid is right for you!

Kidney patients have to remember that normal kidney’s make urine which is expelled in healthy people. A lot of kidney patients no longer make urine and adding more liquid to their diet just impacts daily living in a detrimental manner.

For the rest of us who enjoy healthy kidney function, safeguarding the health of our kidney’s is crucial by drinking an abundance of water. Not soda and not just any liquids.

Water is the key ingredient and health authorities tell us that we should be drinking about half a gallon of water daily.

Doing so, especially in the hotter months ahead, may save you from dehydration and thus may improve your chances of staving off kidney stones.

If you are in kidney failure learn how you can upload your story for free!


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Chronic Kidney Disease and Symptoms of Kidney Infection

Chronic Kidney Disease and Symptoms of Kidney Infection

The Charles and Jennie Machado FoundationThe Charles and Jennie Machado Foundation is helping people affected by chronic kidney disease.

Recent studies have shown that More than 26 million American adults have chronic kidney disease or or Symptoms of Kidney Infection, and this statistics increases yearly. This serves to isolate us from the personal stories and heartache that this silent disease brings. Many people have asked why we are doing this? Sure, our own son, Michael Machado, entered ESRK, end-stage renal disease, but he was fortunate to have three matching donors. So why continue an effort when this family is intact?

We at The Charles and Jennie Machado Foundation help to put a smile on the faces of those who are victims of kidney diseases, especially those in the end stage of renal disease because that is our mission and the thing that bothers us most is the look on a kidney patients faces as they sit in a chair, blood pulled from their body, artificially cleaned, and returned. Each one of these people has the same vacant stare-glassy eyes, hopelessness and despair enveloping them.

Many have given up on life itself and the joy of being with their loved ones. These people are members of our family, our community. They are uncles and aunts, cousins, brothers and also children. Our job is to educate these people, so that they become familiar with the aspects of Doctor’s & Kidney Failure and how much of our normal day to day activities that we take for granted when it comes to eating and drinking.

We created Charles And Jennie Machado Foundation to help pass along the words of hope and faith to those with this disease and also to ask for the help of good samaritans who will be willing to help through online donation for the purpose of organ procurement and online donations.


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Kidney Failure-A Family Affair

Kidney Failure-A Family Affair

Kidney Failure-a family affair. It really does affect the entire family, especially a close family structure like ours.

When my 24-year-old son, Michael called from his college town to tell me he was going in the hospital with kidney failure, I went into complete shock. And I hear this story-the reaction to kidney failure news from a lot of people with end-stage renal disease.

How does this happen? How do doctors miss the obvious signs that their patients are nearing the edge of a threshold that will soon change their lives forever? Michael was sky-diving the week before and other than feeling lethargic, he had no real signs that he was getting pretty close to death.

It’s not like he wasn’t checked by a doctor either. In the weeks preceding his discovery of kidney failure, Michael had seen two different doctors for an inflamed knee. One doctor wanted him to begin a regiment of physical therapy and the other started him on a high dose of anti-inflammatory drugs that would further erode his renal function.

What should the average American patient do in order to protect themselves? How do you know if your kidneys are working properly? If you have kidney failure?

When you have a visit with your doctor, ask them to check your kidney function. This is called a GMR Test (Glomerular Filtration Rate) and it measures, among other things,  the creatinine level in your blood. Creatinine is the waste as a result of healthy kidneys doing what they are supposed to do. Most healthy people have a creatinine level of  about .06 to 1.3 milligrams per deciliter.

Most doctors will not even think to provide this simple test, but it may save your life. Last year, the National Kidney Foundation asked me to speak at a luncheon of business leaders in Irvine, CA. Another speaker, who was a nephrologist, confirmed what I am telling you. Doctors are not trained to ask for kidney function tests without you advocating yourself.  It is not their fault, they are simply not aware that kidney disease is growing at a rapid rate.

To put this in perspective, Michael entered the hospital with a creatinine level of 20. That’s right. Twenty times normal and eight nephrologists came to his hospital room because they told me even the textbooks have never documented such high levels in someone who was still alive.

Well, that made me feel just great. Here I was sitting in his hospital room watching a machine remove and clean blood before returning it to a very sick young man and doctor after doctor were sneaking a peek in the room just to see if the rumor had validity.


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