The kidneys are twin organs which are responsible for filtering the blood to remove all waste solutions. The kidneys also release hormones which regulate the blood pressure and the amount of red blood cells. The blood enters the kidneys, together with all the waste materials diverted and sent through the ureter into the bladder to be removed from the body in the act of urination. The blood that’s been filtered goes back into the body. The kidneys process over 18 gallons of blood every hour for a total of 432 gallons of blood filtered daily. The kidneys also filter over half of fluids taken in by the body and release at least two quarts of urine each and every day. <!–More–>

The kidneys can be exposed to numerous different disorders such as kidney infections, kidney stones and a severe illness called Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) some of them can grow worse and might cause renal failure. Learn more about dialysis patient education handouts, just visit us on Dialysis Patient Education.

Renal failure can be either acute or chronic in nature and are generally detected with increased serum creatinine and decreased glomerular filtration rate. Renal failure may have several symptoms including:

– Increased levels of urea from the blood
– Vomiting or diarrhea which might be severe enough to cause dehydration
– Nausea
– Weight loss
– Nocturnal urination
– Foamy or bubbly urine
– Increased frequency or elevated quantities of very pale urine
– Blood in the urine
– Stress or difficult urination

Renal failure may also cause phosphates in the blood, itching, bone damage and muscle cramps that are brought on by the reduced levels of calcium. Potassium will develop in the blood flow, a condition called hyperkalemia that might cause abnormal heart rhythms and eventual muscle fatigue.

Some of the risk factors for kidney diseases include hypertension, particularly when it’s untreated, gout, diabetes, prolonged shock and the use of particular drugs.

Chronic kidney disease affects 26 million Americans with millions more at elevated risk of developing the illness. Early detection is the key to preventing CKD from progressing to kidney failure. Heart disease is the primary cause of death for people who have CKD. Hypertension is a significant risk factor of CKD, but CKD is a significant risk factor for developing hypertension also. Both can be called interchangeable since they’re so linked with each other. Virtually everyone with CKD will have hypertension and most the individuals with hypertension are at much greater risk for developing CKD.

Along with high blood pressure, the risk factors for CKD include: diabetes, family history of kidney diseases, and specific ethnic groups. Those of African American, Hispanic, Pacific Islander or Native American descent are at higher risk for this and other kidney diseases.

Causes of Kidney Failure:

– Hypovolemia (a low blood volume) can result from extreme blood loss
– Dehydration
– The use of diuretics
– The obstruction of renal veins or arteries.
– Sepsis (an overwhelming disease )
– Rhabodmyolysis (significant muscle breakdown in the body)
– Trauma or devastating accidents

The diseases that affect the kidneys may be either temporary or possibly fatal. Treatment can be as straightforward as drugs or can be as complex as having a new kidney. Even though it’s possible to live with only 1 kidney if something happens to one of these, it’s never advisable to do this because it places so much strain on the rest of the organ. There are three common tests to check for kidney failure such as: blood pressure, urine albumin and serum creatinine. High blood pressure can be a sign of kidney disease because the kidneys secrete hormones to regulate blood pressure.

Dietary Suggestions
Anyone with a chronic condition of any type should seek the advice of their physician regarding nutrition and the need for minerals and vitamins. Certain micronutrients can be harmful to the system that’s already over taxed. Furthermore, there are also some macronutrients which may be detrimental to people with CKD or other kidney issues.

People with CKD should restrict their protein intake in reason but just under the direction and advice of a nutritionist. Protein is an important part of a healthy diet, but there are a few restrictions for people with kidney disease. It could be important to restrict the amount of protein so the protein that you do get must be of top quality and very low fat.

Too much protein in the diet, changes the process of the metabolism into a state of ketosis. Ketosis occurs when the body stops burning carbohydrates for energy and reverts to burning fat instead. The fat is broken down to molecules of carbon which are called ketones. These ketones are released into the blood stream. Ketosis can be problematic since it suppresses the appetite while it increases the urinary output. The combination of both can result in dehydration, an electrolyte imbalance and osteoporosis.

The American Heart Association suggests that the amount of protein in the diet be no more than 35 percent of their daily calories, however this might be too much for people with beginning or worsening kidney disease. It’s important to be certain the physicians and nutritionists work to obtain the ideal amount of all three macronutrients, protein, fat and carbs that will work with the kidney disease. The proteins which are eaten should be of the healthy, low fat variety including plant proteins.

Kidney Stones
Along with the significant kidney ailments listed above, there are kidney stones also. Among the most painful urologic disorders is suffering from kidney stones. It’s also among the most frequent as well. While the majority of the kidney stones that somebody may develop will pass without medical intervention in any way, some may actually have to have some therapy.

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