Tag Archives: Kidney Disease

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Stem Cell Therapy For Kidney Diseases: Is It Possible?

Stem Cell Therapy For Kidney Diseases: Is It Possible?

The number of people developing kidney issues is increasing at a rapid rate. Each day, there are several people being added to the waiting list for kidney transplant. While there is dialysis to buy these patients more time while waiting, there is still no guarantee that they can get the right match at the right time.

Because of this concern, experts continue in their search for a possible solution to cure kidney diseases once and for all. The latest of these potential treatments is Stem Cell Therapy.

What is stem cell therapy?

Stem cell therapy involves the use of stem cells to cure certain illnesses. One good example is the bone marrow transplant. Aside from this, stem cells can also be carried out through the use of blood taken from patients’ umbilical cords.

When it comes to your kidneys, experts are considering the use of stem cells to help your organ repair and regenerate after injury or damage. It’s expected to help treat kidney failure and even renal cysts. Studies also suggest stem cell therapy to be helpful in reversing kidney damage related to diabetes.

With a lot of possibilities, experts are now in the process of searching for the right stem cells for this purpose. The most recent discovery involving this treatment is the mesynchymal stem cells. These cells can be found in your bone marrow and have the ability to help your kidneys heal itself at a faster rate. Experts are eyeing at administering these cells through dialysis machines to expose your blood to them. The more exposure your blood gets means the higher the chance for their pro-repair proteins to reach your kidneys.

Is Stem Cell Therapy for kidney diseases possible already?

Stem Cell Therapy for kidney disease hasn’t been fully established yet. Although there’s progress, there are still a lot of factors that need to be considered first before it can be completely carried out in treatment centers.  With so many complex and different cells, experts need to come up with a process that can guarantee patients of the effectiveness of the treatment approach as well as their safety.

The good news is that research is aggressive and clinical trials are on-going. Although we might not be able to see results and progress anytime soon, we might be able to reap the benefits of these studies for a long time in the future. As of 2016, there are 10 stem cell treatments approved worldwide. Most of them are geared towards cancer and bone marrow treatment. Soon, we might have one for kidney diseases, too.

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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.

Urinalysis

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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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!

Kidney Infection during pregnancy

Kidney Infection During Pregnancy

Kidney Infection During Pregnancy

5 Things You Need To Know

Kidney Infection during pregnancyWomen are more at risk of kidney infection than men. Once they get pregnant, the physical and physiological changes of pregnancy put them at an even higher risk. If you are currently pregnant or planning to conceive anytime soon, here are a few things about kidney infection you should know about.

Asymptomatic pyelonephritis is one of the most common causes of preterm labor and premature rupture of membranes. It’s also one of the most frequent causes of complications in newborns and even death.

For the pregnant woman, an untreated kidney infection can result in a widespread infection and sepsis. It can also cause fluid accumulation in the lungs and eventual respiratory distress. Once the mother experiences trouble breathing, it can also pose a threat to the unborn child.

Pyelonephritis during pregnancy almost always results to hospital admission for treatment and close monitoring. You’ll be given antibiotics through an intravenous line during your hospital stay and another round of oral antibiotics once you get discharged. If the condition doesn’t resolve, an X-ray or an ultrasound may be ordered by your doctor to determine the root cause.

Delivery of baby at end of pregnancy term isn’t a complete guarantee that you won’t have another bout of infection. This makes it important that you undergo routine urinary examinations for early detection. The presence of bacteria and a high amount of white blood cells in your urine can indicate the presence of infection. For a more definitive diagnosis, your doctor may order for bacterial culture.

Untreated pyelonephritis can result to intrauterine growth retardation which means that babies may be born smaller or lighter than they should be. It’s also possible for these babies to develop pneumonia right after being born.

Kidney infection become at risk of increased blood pressure. There are also cases where pregnant women develop anemia.

Treatment of pyelonephritis is the same for pregnant and non-pregnant women. However, for the safety of the fetus, careful selection of medications is necessary to avoid complications. If a woman has had several episodes of the infection, she may be required to take suppressive therapy for the remaining time of her pregnancy. After treatment, a repeat culture of the urine should be obtained to make sure the patient is completely cured.

More important than treatment is the prevention of the infection. Because it’s closely associated with tons of negative effects to both mother and child, it’s essential that you know how to protect yourself. Drinking enough fluids, undergoing routine assessment, and practicing proper hygiene are some of the things you can do to limit the chances of acquiring kidney infection.

 

My Family and Kidney Disease

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Toni B

How do I tell my family that I am in Renal Failure? I feel ashamed and know they are going to just tell me it’s my fault. 

Just do it! Unless you live completely alone and there is absolutely no other human you know, besides your doctor, it is imperative that you share the diagnosis with people you spend time with, especially if you eat meals with others a any type of gathering.

Shame and Blame are big words for lots of people. Within yourself, you know how this disease came about. If you could have done something to prevent these consequences, take responsibility now to do all you can to learn all you can to ensure a better health outcome in the future. However, if this diagnosis was a surprise you found out about in the Emergency Room, take responsibility now to do all you can to learn all you can to ensure a better health outcome in the future.

At this point, Blame and Shame is not the point. The point is to grab a hold of this diagnosis and let it know you are all in, and you are an active participant in your health care. We live in the moment, the past is gone and nothing we can do will change it, except making better choices in the future.

Decide that you want to live and make the necessary choices to live as well as possible. There is plenty of information to assist you on your journey.

Start by taking with your health care team and then take your family members alone to appointments to help them gain further information and understanding about the disease, treatment and needs you might have.

Organ Trafficking

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Kidney Donation

Organ Trafficking

Kidney Organ Trafficking factsOrgan trafficking is a growing problem in America and in other parts of the world, led by a worldwide shortage of organ donors and a worldwide surplus of unscrupulous individuals more than willing to take advantage of someone in dire circumstances. This is especially true for those with kidney failure. Even though organ trafficking is a crime in almost all parts of the world, it is still a dramatic problem within the black market of medical chicanery. How organ trafficking occurs varies greatly, but the crime generally follows one of three possible scenarios.

Coercion

In one scenario, traffickers force or deceive the victims into giving up one or more of their organs. This is one of the most dangerous forms of the trade, because the victim can be harmed whether or not he or she gives up the organ. The threat may be physical, either to the victim or the victim’s loved ones, or purely emotional—a “guilt trip” insinuating that the victim lacks moral values if he or she refuses to cooperate with the organ trafficking attempt.

False Cure

Another possible scenario, quite common in underdeveloped countries, involves an unscrupulous doctor or health clinic treating the victim for a real or imaginary ailment. During the course of treatment, the healthy organ is removed under the guise of being diseased, and then enters the black market for sale to the highest bidder. This practice prays upon the underprivileged and uneducated, and the surgical procedures are often risky and unsanitary.

Promised Compensation

In the third scenario, an unwitting victim is promised compensation if he or she donates an organ. The victim is then either not paid at all, or is paid less than the agreed-upon price. There is no real course for recompense in this situation, because the victim cannot go to the authorities for justice due to the illegality of organ trafficking.

The Real Danger

The real danger behind organ trafficking lies in two directions: the injury to the “donor” and the effect on the legitimate organ donation system. First, the “donor” can often suffer life-threatening consequences of falling prey to an organ trafficking scheme. Organs that one cannot live without, such as the heart, might be stolen from a victim, causing the victim’s death. This is often a situation a family member, unable to support his or her family, will allow themselves to be subject to at the offer of large sums of money given to the family.

The next danger is to the legitimate organ donation system. Because these organs are trafficked outside normal channels, the legitimate organ donation system sees an even greater lack of organs available for donation. Sick patients who are the most likely to survive and thrive after donation cannot find donors, because the elite few who are not suitable candidates for donation can afford to take a donated organ for their own use.

Organ trafficking is a dangerous crime, and it is one that dampens the ability of traditional organ donation networks to work as effectively as they could otherwise. Unfortunately, this trade is believed to be on the rise, accounting for annual illegal profits between $600 million and $1.2 billion.

Michael & Jennie Machado

A Parent Struggles With Kidney Disease

A Parent Struggles With Kidney Disease

A Parent Struggles With Kidney DiseaseNothing can be more heart-wrenching than watching one of your kids go through a terrible situation like kidney disease. As parents we are instinctively geared to protect our kids. Even though they turn 24 years of age, like my son, they are still our kids.

This is the story about how I informed my wife that our son was dying…

Cindy, the best secretary ever,  saw me as I rushed into Jennie’s open office. Now vacant, computers on, stacks of work in progress and arranged in a circular perimeter. I envisioned her in the middle, still working long after everybody had left for the day. But, where was she now?

“Hey Chuck,” she walked in behind me. “I thought that was you.”

Cindy. Thank God.  She would know exactly where my wife would be.

“I need to talk to Jennie.”

“She’s in Cabinet,” arching an eyebrow. “Can’t be disturbed. Doesn’t even have her phone turned on.”

Both phones, I thought. The previous year I’d bought her an iPhone with a personal number since the State of California-issued Blackberry was part of a budget-cutting plan, which included not ever getting a message to finally receiving one weeks later. Joining our Family Plan, she assured me, the kids and I would always be able to reach her.

“Cindy, go get her. It’s important.”

“I—can it wait another hour?”

Cabinet is the once weekly meeting held that nobody could interrupt. The event was crucial to those charged with running the State School For The Deaf. Jennie was a crucial part of this team and she consistently worked 60 hour weeks. It pretty much consumed her, but since we were empty nesters, I was also able to match her hours. But now I needed to speak to her. I had to do so immediately.

“Michael is in the hospital.” I tried to hold back the tears forming. ” Please.”

It came in a whisper and my eyes welled as I watched her pick up the phone and punch a series of buttons.

“No answer,” she reported,  “it must be something critical if they are not picking up. Don’t worry,” she said in a rush, “I’ll send Robin in the golf cart to retrieve her.”

I sat on the sofa in the reception area and as I waited, I wondered how my sister was doing locating flights to Northern California. The ticketing prices would be outrageous since we needed to leave immediately, but it mattered little at the moment.  I punched her number into my mobile phone.

“Any luck on flights?” I asked.

“Can you believe Southwest? It’s like they shut down after lunch. Nothing to northern California until 6 AM and then you are going to pay through the nose.”

I thought of driving and imagined the nerve-wracked trip it would entail. Leaving in a couple hours meant we’d arrive at midnight. Certainly, we’d go directly to the hospital. Then what about our daughter, Jordan? I wanted to tell her and there would be no keeping her at bay. Ever protective of her brother, she would join us.

“I am going to call Jordan as soon as I speak to Jennie.” I replied. “Book the soonest flights you can get  and please and see if you can find us a room somewhere.”

Out the front window, I saw Robin driving the golf cart with Jennie in the passenger seat. Anybody witnessing this would surely sense the high tension in the air.  Neither of the women were talking, nothing going on between them and Jennie must know how serious it would be for me to drive to her office and pull her out of such an important meeting.

Cindy, to her credit, had left me alone, returning only once with an offer of coffee. I braced myself, alone, no receptionist on duty when Jennie opened the door with a jerk and saw the look of despair on my face.

“What?” she sat very close to me, taking both my hands in hers.

I tried. God knows I tried and I’ve always been the one to deliver bad news in our family.  I should be polished, composed. God knows I have had several instances of bearing bad news. Telling my mother that grandma had died. Telephoning Jennie’s mother several times as she was admitted to surgery for various ectopic pregnancies, but this was different. This was about our only son. It was Michael.

“Tell me.” She demanded as I tried to breathe—tried to swallow through a closed throat.

“It’s Michael.” I began, my words coming with a shudder. “He’s in the hospital. His kidneys have failed.”

 

Ask Toni B

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Toni B
  • Toni B writes about Kidney Disease

My name is Toni B. I have been living with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) for approximately five (5) years. ESRD means my kidneys are not working and therefore, require dialysis to sustain my life. Peritoneal Dialysis is the type of treatment I use, which is completed by me at home. I spend approximately 12 hours per day preparing for treatment, in treatment and disconnecting from treatment.  Previously, I worked as a psychotherapist, which has helped me to understand myself and other to develop excellent lifestyle habits to live victoriously, no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in. I would like to share information with you to assist you or someone you know traveling down a similar kidney journey. There are upcoming topics to address general questions and concerns to better understand ESRD and how to live our best possible health. Also, let me know if you have questions or concerns you would like addressed. Remember, the information I will offer is general and good for most circumstances. However, each personal situation has specific differences which will require specific information from YOUR personal care team. So, look for me as we take this journey together. (alternate: come, travel down this road with me)

Keep doing the dailies to live healthily.

Toni B