3 Things to Know About Pain Management in Kidney Disease Patients

3 Things to Know About Pain Management in Kidney Disease Patients

Dull, cramping and shooting pain are some of the most common experiences kidney disease patients have. Depending on the severity of their condition, the pain can be mild or extremely debilitating.

Patients may find it hard to sleep or even perform their activities of daily living. Although it’s tempting to solve the symptom and its inconveniences by popping a pain reliever every time there’s discomfort, it’s best if you can steer away from using them without your doctor’s approval.

Since your kidneys are not functioning optimally, here are some of the things you should know about managing your pain.

1. Skip NSAIDS and aspirins

NSAIDS or Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs are the most common type of pain relievers. You can buy them over the counter even without prescriptions. Although effective in alleviating pain, NSAIDS are not the best ones to use for kidney patients since they can aggravate any existing damage to the organs.

Aspirins, on the other hand, can increase your risk of bleeding. Aside from this side effect, prolonged or even short term use of the medicine can also result in temporary or permanent decline in your kidney function.

In case your doctor gives you the permission to take these pain relievers, make sure to increase your fluid intake, unless contraindicated. It’s also helpful if you can take them no more than 10 days

2. Check your kidney function regularly

To make sure your pain relievers aren’t causing any further harm, you should make it a point to get your serum creatinine and estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate routinely assessed. Any increase in your creatinine result or decrease in your GFR can signal further deterioration of your organs.

Aside from these blood tests, you can also submit your urine for testing. Persistent presence of protein in your urine is a good indication of your declining kidney function.

3. Take pain medications as prescribed

Pain relievers, when taken excessively or for a prolonged period of time can cause a lot of adverse reactions.  If taking one is a must, make sure that the type of pain reliever you are going to use is prescribed by your doctor. It can also help limit the negative effects if you stick with the lowest dose possible.

Taking your pain medications as prescribed can help alleviate your discomforts. In case you still feel pain after your doctor’s recommended duration of taking them, do not decide on your own. Check back with your doctor and be open with all the signs and symptoms you are experiencing. Giving your doctors as much information as possible can help him decide the best next course of action for your condition.


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2 Tests You Need To Take For Early Kidney Disease Diagnosis

2 Tests You Need To Take For Early Kidney Disease Diagnosis

2 Tests You Need To Take For Early Kidney Disease Diagnosis

Early diagnosis is essential when it comes to kidney diseases. The early you get a definitive diagnosis means the more chances you can get the condition treated or even reversed. One good way to get yourself checked is to submit to laboratory tests. For kidney diseases, there are two major tests that you can take: blood test and urinalysis.

Blood Test

A blood test can test two things about your kidneys. One is your serum creatinine level. Creatinine is the waste product created through muscle use and protein breakdown. A healthy kidney should be able to filter it out effectively from the blood. If your test returns with a high serum creatinine level, it’s an indication of a decreased kidney function.

This test can also reveal your Blood Urea Nitrogen level, which measures the amount of urea present in your blood. Urea is a byproduct of protein breakdown from the food you eat. A high BUN level in your test can indicate a possible kidney problem.

A blood test can also determine your estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate. It’s one of the most common ways to measure kidney functions. It’s also one of the first tests your doctor can order if he suspects kidney problem in your initial assessment.


The earliest symptom you’ll experience when it comes to kidney diseases is the changes in your urine. You’ll feel pain, see visual changes and even notice a difference in how it smells. If you are experiencing any of these things, a urinalysis can give you a clearer idea on whether you should be concerned about them or not.

A urinalysis can test for the presence of albumin or protein in your urine, which is great for detecting the severity of damage to your kidneys. The test can also detect the presence of blood, bacteria or even pus.

If your doctor suspects further problems, he can order you to undergo further examinations or confirmation through X-rays, ultrasounds and other visual imaging tests. He can also suggest getting a biopsy to determine the right treatment plan for you.

In case you are particularly predisposed to kidney diseases, make sure to get your blood pressure regularly checked. It can also help if you can routinely monitor your blood glucose level, particularly if you are presently diagnosed with diabetes. Aside from these conditions, you may also need to undergo the said tests if you have a family history of kidney diseases or if you are already 60 years old and above. Being Asian, Hispanic and African American also puts you at an increased risk of developing kidney problems.


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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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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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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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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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Pediatric Kidney Disease Symptoms

tPediatric Kidney Disease Symptoms

How Aware Are You?

pediatric kidney diseaseCan you spot pediatric kidney disease symptoms? Children are not as aware of their bodies as adults are. In fact, they may not readily recognize potential health threats as they happen. Because of this, diseases and health issues can go unnoticed for a long period of time. This includes Kidney Failure.

This, however, doesn’t always have to be the case. For pediatric kidney disease, here are a few of the symptoms you can watch out for:

  • Changes in your child’s urinating pattern. He may start to have bed wetting episodes despite being able to use the bathroom independently.
  • Symptoms of flu, including nausea, vomiting and weakness. He may even show poor appetite.
  • Poor performance at school
  • Difficulty concentrating in academic activities
  • Swelling marked by indentation from socks and belt
  • Inability to freely move around due to swelling of extremities
  • High blood pressure
  • Headache
  • Visible changes in his urine’s color, smell and transparency. It can even be blood-tinged in some cases.
  • Slower growth compared to peers
  • Palpable mass
  • Pale skin
  • Bad breathe
  • Poor muscle tone

Aside from these manifestations, kidney diseases in children can also cause the following concerns:

  • Learning problems
  • Behavioral issues
  • Relationship conflicts
  • Negative self-image
  • Delayed development of both language and motor skills

There are a lot of reasons why pediatric kidney diseases develop. In fact, it doesn’t necessarily have to always be due to an infection. Some kidney diseases can happen due to trauma, birth defects or systemic diseases. They can also be due to a blockage in the tract that causes a reflux of urine to the kidneys. Some cases result from exposure to harmful and toxic substances, such as heavy metals, nephrotoxic medications, and toxic solvents.

If you have a genetic predisposition to kidney disease, it’s best if you can get your child checked right away. Urine and blood tests are two of the most common diagnostic methods your doctor can order for your child. If a blockage is suspected, he may also order for an X-ray or an ultrasound. He may also order for a bone scan and ECG to determine possible complications as well.

Aside from these methods, establishing awareness in your child can also help with early detection. Explaining kidney disease to children doesn’t have to be extremely detailed or complicated. In fact, you can simply go through the list of things he should tell you in case he feels something weird from his body, such as feeling hotter than usual or any presence of pain. Children may not be as aware as adults are, but it doesn’t mean they can’t be taught how to listen to their bodies, or even their kidneys, at an early stage. Keep an eye out for these issues if you suspect pediatric kidney diseases.


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