Symptoms of Kidney Failure

People suffering from Chronic Kidney Diseases suffer from a very subtle symptoms which often go unnoticed. The time period between Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and Kidney failure is undetermined. It may take years and also may happen soon, depending on case-to-case basis. Kidney failures can be determined with early stage symptoms which are necessary to be identified. Let us discuss the symptoms of kidney failures:

• The beginning is often asymptomatic which means there would be a very less amount of visible symptoms but as the disease advances the kidneys would be unable to regulate water, balance the electrolytes, remove the waste from the body, and produce red blood cells. Such a person would often undergo Lethargic behavior, uneasiness, weakness, short of breath, and general swelling.

• The body would be unable to manufacture bicarbonate due to which the body acidity increases. It is known as metabolic acidosis. Such body dysfunction would alter the enzyme and oxygen metabolism which would end with an organ failure.

• Kidney would not be able to excrete the potassium from the body thereby increasing its level in the serum and it causes fatal heart rhythm disturbance.

• Urea level rises in the blood and it affects various body organs like brain, heart, muscles and would also be responsible for low calcium levels in the body.

• Weakness may be due to anemia but in certain cases the red blood cell counts starts decreasing due to the lower level of erythropoietin which is caused due to the kidney failure. It reduces the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood and hence the body gets tired very soon.

• Loss of appetite and fatigue becomes regular and if it continues, it may affect the mental balance which may end up in comma.
• Rising blood pressure due to excess of fluid present in the body is another symptom for kidney failure and the fluid may start to deposit on lungs which ends with heart failure.

The symptoms of kidney failure would vary a lot depending on patient to patient and also it depends on what kind of treatment you undergo.

Test required to diagnose the Kidney Failure

• Kidney failures can be diagnosed with blood test. The buildup of waste product would determine the kidney failures. BUN, GFR, and Creatinine are essential factors to determine the condition of kidneys. When the BUN and Creatinine level rises up in the blood and the GFR level decreases, the kidney failure is confirmed. The above mentioned three factors determines the rate with which the blood is filtered through the kidneys. The rate would always differ depending on the age, gender, and race of the person.

• Urine can be used to determine the Kidney failure. With a urine test, the doctor would measure the amount of protein and the presence of abnormal cells in it. If protein is found in the urine, it points towards something abnormal in the body. Abnormally aggregated red and white blood cells in the kidney denotes the presence of Kidney Disease.

• Abdominal Ultrasound test can determine the size of the kidney. If any obstruction is seen in he reports, it denotes presence of Kidney Disease.

How Kidneys Work – The Vital Role of the Kidney in Human Beings

We celebrate World Kidney Day on every 2nd Thursday of March each year. This year we celebrated on 14th March 2013. Now it is obvious that why do we focus much more in saving our kidneys. What type of work the kidneys really do for us, why they are so important and why it is essential to take care of the kidneys. This article is all about the workings of our kidney. They are the waste disposal system of our body, which keeps on working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days of a year – that is without taking a single leave. When it takes a leave, our life comes to danger. Let’s explore why:

What do Kidneys do?
Have you ever thought that what will happen if the garbage collector does not appear for a week or the output of your toilet is chocked? Just imagine, how your home will look like? Similarly we can consider kidneys as garbage disposal unit of our body, without which our life comes to an end.

Kidneys are the bean shaped organ located just under the ribs and in the middle of our back. There are total two kidneys located on either side of our spinal cord. Their weight is about 0.5% of the total body weight and approx. size is about of our feast. Their main task is to purify the blood by removing the wastes.

Every day, a person’s kidneys process about 200 quarts of blood to sift out about 2 quarts of waste products and extra water. The wastes and extra water become urine, which flows to the bladder through tubes called ureters. The bladder stores urine until releasing it through urination. They requires large amount of blood to perform following tasks:

  • They clean the blood by removing the wastes such as urea, ammonia, toxic substance etc. and keep the essential elements as it is, thus they act as filter of our body.
  • Regulate the composition of blood; they keep constant concentration of various ions and other important substance such as salts and acids in body by purifying and filtering blood.
  • Maintain body’s calcium level.
  • Make red blood cells and help maintain blood composition and pH levels
  • Keep the proper balance of salts and acids in the body, and produce hormones and enzymes which help to control blood pressure, keep internal water level and maintain strong and healthy bones

Inside of Kidney:
Half cut of kidney includes following:

kidney cancer surgery

A. Renal Vein: It transmits the processed blood, which is repaid to the body through Renal Vein.
B. Renal Artery: Kidneys obtain the blood from the renal artery; it is processed inside of kidneys.
C. Ureters: It gathers the urine from the kidney and passes to the bladder.
D. Medulla: a darker, reddish-brown, inner region
E. Renal Pelvis – It is a flat, funnel-shaped cavity that collects the urine into the ureters
F. Cortex: A light colored outer region

Nephrons (the enlarged area in this image): They are located between Cortex and Medulla. They are tiny tubular structures stretched perpendicular to the surface of kidney. There are approx. one million of such nephrons.

Each Nephron Contains:
1 & 2. Loop of Henle – A long, hairpin loop after the proximal tubule, it spreads from the cortex down into the medulla and back.
3. Peritubular capillaries – They are nearby the proximal tubule, loop of Henle, and distal tubule.
4. Proximal convoluted tubule or proximal tubule – The first warped region after the Bowman’s capsule; it’s in the cortex.
5. Bowman’s capsule – This closed end at the start of the nephron is placed in the cortex.
6. Distal convoluted tubule or distal tubule – This second warped portion of the nephron after the loop of Henle is located in the cortex.

Overall, the process of waste removal from the body is as follows:

  • We eat the food and it enters into stomach. It is wrecked in to smaller particles and turned into nutrients.
  • This nutrient consists of solid and liquid.
  • The solid part enters into long intestine, where solid waste products are removed and nutrients are absorbed in the blood stream.
  • Such nutrients are used by the body in terms of energy utilization, to fight from the antibodies, and repairing and maintenance of any body part.
  • The wastes are transferred by blood and it then enters into kidneys.
  • Kidney filters blood from the smallest micro part called as Nephrons.
  • The waste is sent to bladder via ureter and it is stored in the bladder. Which we call as urine.
  • When sufficient urine is collected in bladder, the muscles contracts, which gives urge to urinate and we release urine via urethra.

The filtration process is carried out under pressure inside the Bowman’s capsule. The waste is consists of small molecules, small proteins, urea, glucose etc. The capacity of the filtration process is approx. 180 liters a day. This means if we have 7 to 8 liters of blood in our body, then kidney filters blood about 20-25 times each day.

The filtrate only covers small particles and water, and no Red Blood Cells. If we get blood in urine, then it is owing to hematuria. This is a conceivable sign of Kidney failure. If we get such difficulties then it is counseled to consult urologist directly.

Why do kidneys fail?
Maximum kidney diseases attack the nephrons, initiating them to lose their filtering capacity. Damage to the nephrons can happen rapidly, often as the result of injury or poisoning. But most kidney diseases abolish the nephrons leisurely and silently. Only after years or even decades will the damage become apparent. Most kidney diseases attack both kidneys concurrently.

The two most communal reasons of kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure. People with a family history of any kind of kidney problem are also at risk for kidney disease.

We will learn about Chronic Kidney Diseases (CKD) in next article.

To summarize, kidney separates blood and the waste. They flush the wastes and keep you healthy. Love your kidneys.