Kidney failure can lead to serious consequences that affect your overall health. It is essential that your kidney disease is identified at an early stage so that your treatment can be carefully controlled and managed. The experienced specialists at Marina del Rey Hospital offer modern, least invasive techniques including laparoscopic and advanced robotic surgery. The treatment approach that is safe and suitable to achieve the best possible outcome will be suggested.
Kidney failure is a condition in which your kidneys are damaged, and cannot perform their functions properly, which means less than 15% normal function. This causes accumulation of harmful wastes in your body. It can also lead to high blood pressure, fluid retention, and insufficient production of red blood cells that cause other health problems.
If the kidney damage continues, often because of high blood pressure or diabetes, its functions start diminishing progressively leading to chronic kidney disease. The final and most severe stage of chronic kidney disease is kidney failure, which is also called end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
When the kidney functions come to a halt suddenly as a result of an injury, illness or intake of certain medications, this type of damage is called acute kidney injury or acute kidney failure. With treatment, acute kidney failure can resolve and your kidneys may function normally if there are no coexisting serious health concerns.
Kidney transplantation: Some patients with kidney failure may be treated with a kidney transplant, which involves the procurement of a healthy kidney from a donor and the placement into the patient’s body through surgery. The donated kidney can replace the failed kidney and perform its functions. After you receive the transplant, you will be prescribed immunosuppressant medications to ensure that your immune system accepts the donated kidney.
Kidney failure can be classified into five different types that are described below.
Kidney failure symptoms do not appear until the late stages of chronic kidney disease. You may have several symptoms as a result of severely damaged kidneys causing retention of waste and excess fluid in your body. The initial symptoms of kidney failure include:
In conditions where your kidneys stop functioning suddenly or acute kidney failure, one or more of the following symptoms may appear:
If you notice any of the above symptoms, consult your physician immediately as they can indicate a serious kidney disorder.
Your doctor may order several tests to diagnose kidney failure such as:
The common risk factors for kidney failure include:
It is important to undergo tests to detect kidney disease if you have any of the above risk factors, as early kidney disease does not have any other signs and symptoms.
Often, kidney failure occurs as a result of other conditions that cause progressive, irreversible damage to your kidneys over a period of time. The most common cause of kidney failure is diabetes, and the second most common cause is uncontrolled high blood pressure. Other causative factors are diseases such as:
The causes of acute kidney failure include the following:
Your doctor may advise certain alternative therapies along with conventional medical treatments. The goal of alternative medicine is to improve your symptoms and to enhance the vitality of the urogenital system. The most commonly used alternative treatment modalities are biological products such as herbal and dietary supplements and mind-body practices such as Yoga, Tai Chi, meditation and deep breathing techniques. Herbs and homeopathic medicines provide relief from acute pain and tone the urinary tract if used for a long-term under the supervision of a natural health care provider. Some herbal remedies that help flush out toxins from your blood are:
Further research is needed to establish the effectiveness of alternative therapies in patients with the end-stage renal disease or kidney failure.
Here are some important measures that can be taken to maintain kidney health, if you are at an increased risk of developing kidney failure.
The majority of kidney and urinary tract disorders may result in kidney failure if left untreated. Safeguard your kidney health by maintaining blood pressure and blood sugar levels under control. To do this, you need to strictly follow your doctor’s advice, take your prescribed medicine the way you have been directed, and maintain a healthy lifestyle by:
These steps allow you to control your risk factors, blood pressure in particular so that you can either delay or prevent the onset of kidney failure. Your nephrologist will be able to guide you through the treatment plan and advise the preventive tips that suit your condition.
For further questions, information or guidance on kidney failure, consult our specialty-trained doctors at Marina Del Rey Hospital.