Family Kidney Disease

Family Kidney Disease

Family_Kidney_DiseaseBesides Family Kidney Disease, hundreds of thousands of Americans suffer from Kidney Failure every year. Although there are many different causes linked to kidney failure, there are a few major diseases that are almost always a precursor to it. The following information analyzes the signs and symptoms of kidney failure and their apparent causes.

Kidney Failure Causes

Although doctors link kidney failure to numerous diseases, the most common are the following:

  • Lupus
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Genetic predispositions

Kidney failure may take place over time or come on suddenly depending on the case and individual. There are generally very few symptoms that are apparent if a person suffers from kidney failure. They include the following:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Lack of mental focus or concentration
  • Swollen Feet and hands
  • Lack of appetite
  • Puffiness around the eyes
  • Night time muscle cramps
  • Frequent urination particularly at night
  • Dry itchy skin.

Damaged or failing kidneys present tremendous challenges to doctors, and patients suffering from the disease. Once diagnosed, there is little chance for reversing the effects and individuals generally deteriorate over time. The only methods of treatment available are dialysis and kidney transplants, both of which are taxing on the human body.

How to prevent kidney failure

Although there is no fool-proof method for preventing kidney disease, there are a few steps you can take now to possibly negate the disease later in life. These methods include living a healthy active lifestyle with reduced sugar and salt intake. You can also reduce or control you blood pressure through medications or exercise.

If you have a predisposition to family kidney disease either through genetics or through other means, it is a good idea to monitor your symptoms through regular checkups with doctors. Failure to keep up with your disease can lead to complete kidney failure and or death.

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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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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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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

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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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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Help For Kidney Failure: Having a Support Group

help-from-familiyHelp 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.

Adjustments

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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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 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.

 

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5 Polycystic Kidney Disease Symptoms

5 Polycystic Kidney Disease Symptoms

You Should Look Out For These Symptoms

5 Polycystic Kidney Disease SymptomsPolycystic Kidney Disease happens when fluid-filled cysts form in the kidneys. It’s generally an inherited medical condition but patients with advanced kidney problems can also develop PKD.

Is it serious?

Generally, the cysts associated with PKD are non-malignant but they can vary in size and number. This means that they can possibly grow large to the point that they can interfere with your kidneys’ functions. Aside from your kidneys, the cysts can also grow in your liver and in the other parts of your body.

Symptoms of Polycystic Kidney Disease

The symptoms of Polycystic Kidney Disease, similar to other kidney diseases, can go unnoticed on the early stages. Patients typically discover the signs of the disease in their 30s or 40s. However, this doesn’t mean that it has no physical symptoms to warn you.

High blood pressure is the most common symptom you’d find in PKD patients. It is usually accompanied by an increase in the size of your abdomen and pain on your sides. You’d also notice yourself getting more frequents episodes of getting Urinary Tract Infections. In certain cases, you can also develop kidney stones.

Minor symptoms of PKD also include pain and a feeling of heaviness on the back area. Fatigue and joint pain can also develop. You can also develop bruising, pale skin and nail problems. Some patients experience frequent urination while others see blood-tinged urine.

If PKD is too severe, it can develop complications that can include cardiovascular diseases, anemia, bleeding and even brain aneurysms. Loss of kidney function is also possible as your kidneys find it more difficult to get rid of waste and toxins. In certain patients, their colon gets affected as well. Diverticulosis or the weakening and pouching of the walls of the colon can also happen.

The pain associated with PKD is often long term. However, as this symptom is also common among other kidney diseases, it’s often overlooked or disregarded until it’s too severe to ignore.

How’s it diagnosed?

As mentioned, PKD is an inherited condition which means that people who have first or second-degree relatives with the condition are particularly predisposed. If you have such predisposition, you should submit yourself to a routine screening.

For diagnosis, your doctor will order a urine analysis and a complete blood count. These tests aim to find existing infections and traces of protein and blood in the urine. Imaging tests may also be ordered for confirmation. It can include ultrasound, CT scan or an MRI scan.

In certain cases, an IVP or Intravenous Pyelogram can also be ordered. This procedure involves the injection of a dye to help visualize blood vessels more clearly.

 

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