Kidney Failure in Humans.
Kidney failure in humans is what took my big brother away from us and the sudden demise broke my heart terribly. Although I did not know about kidney disease at that time, I still feel guilty because there were times he manifested some of the symptoms of kidney failure but we took no action.
There was a time he had a swollen ankle but made fun of it that he had been stung by a scorpion. Being an alcoholic, he refused to see a doctor and we took it lightly since the swelling subsided after a few days. There were times he woke up confused late at night. This occurred frequently and we thought he was using hard drugs!
After his demise, I did research to find out more about kidney failure and the early symptoms of kidney disease. I have shared them in this article and I hope you read to the end for your loved one’s sake.
What causes Kidney disease?
Like any other disease, kidney disease does not occur without a trigger. Various health conditions are responsible for gradually damaging your kidneys leading to kidney disease. When permanently damaged, your kidneys may not function as required and when the damage gets worse, chronic kidney disease occurs (gradual loss of kidney function that is not reversible).
At this stage, your kidneys are not able to filter extra water and waste out of your blood the way they should. Chronic kidney disease (whose progression can be slowed) can progress to a fatal end-stage kidney failure whereby your body becomes loaded with toxins. The treatment when you experience end-stage kidney failure includes kidney transplant or dialysis.
The health conditions that may damage your kidneys are:
- High blood pressure
- Autoimmune diseases like lupus and IgA nephropathy
- Glomerulonephritis (inflammation of the kidney’s filtering units)
- Prolonged obstruction of the urinary tract may be caused by an enlarged prostate, kidney stones, and some cancers.
- Recurrent kidney infection
- Vesicoureteral reflux is a condition that causes urine to back up into your kidneys
- Genetic diseases like polycystic kidney disease
- Nephrotic syndrome
Other factors that may increase your risk of chronic kidney disease include:
- Older age
- Severe dehydration
- Kidney trauma
- Toxic exposure to environmental pollutants or certain medications
- Abnormal kidney structure
- Being African-American, Native-American, or Asian-American
- Family history of kidney disease
Acute kidney injury occurs when your kidneys stop working very suddenly within two days. However, if you seek immediate treatment your kidneys may recover. Good health is a plus for recovering from acute kidney injury. The following conditions may cause acute renal failure:
- Urinary tract problems
- Lack of enough blood flowing to the kidneys
- Illegal drug use and abuse
- Heart attack
Stages of Renal Failure
What are the stages of Kidney Failure in Humans?
Although the damage is present in this first stage of kidney failure in humans, you may experience no symptoms or have no visible complications. Practicing a healthy lifestyle and taking a balanced diet may manage the disease. Avoid smoking, and alcohol, and maintain a healthy weight.
This is a mild stage and you may detect protein in the urine or more obvious physical damage to the kidneys. A healthy lifestyle may still manage the disease at this stage.
This is a moderate stage and your kidneys aren’t filtering the excess fluid and wastes in your blood as they should. In this stage, there is Stage 3A and Stage 3B, which are differentiated by a blood test that measures the number of waste products in your body. Visible symptoms like swelling in feet or hands may become more apparent. It is important to follow your doctor’s directions about lifestyle approaches that could help.
This is a moderate to severe stage where the kidneys aren’t working as they should but complete kidney failure has not occurred yet. More symptoms are evident and a healthy lifestyle is vital for survival.
Your kidney is almost failing or is already in complete failure at this stage. The symptoms of the last stage include nausea, vomiting, trouble breathing, etc. The treatment at this stage is a kidney transplant or dialysis.
The symptoms of kidney failure in Humans
What are the early signs of Kidney Disease in Humans?
There are many physical signs of kidney disease in humans but if you are not keen enough, you may attribute them to something else. In most circumstances, patients with kidney disease tend not to experience the symptoms of kidney disease until the very late stages. This is when the kidneys are failing or when they notice large amounts of proteins in their urine.
Although the sure way to know if you have kidney disease is by being tested, the following symptoms may indicate the early stages of kidney disease:
- Swollen ankles and feet
- Persistent itching
- Muscle cramps
- Loss of appetite
- Fatigue and weakness
- Decreased mental alertness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Too much rune or not enough urine during pee
- Trouble sleeping
- Trouble breathing (may cause confusion in sleep)
The signs of acute kidney failure in humans are:
- Back pain
- Abdominal pain
- Chest pain if fluid builds up around the lining of the heart
- Shortness of breath, if fluid builds up in the lungs (may cause insomnia or confusion in sleep)
- Reduced amount of urine
- High blood pressure that’s difficult to control
The above signs and symptoms of kidney disease in humans may be most common in other diseases and there’s no need for alarm when you notice any of the symptoms. However, it is highly advisable to make an appointment with your doctor for further diagnosis.
Smoking increases the risks of Kidney failure in Humans!
How to reduce the risk of developing kidney disease
The following are the steps you can take to reduce the risks of developing kidney failure:
- Avoid taking too many over-the-counter medications such as pain relievers like aspirin, ibuprofen, etc. To be on the safe side when taking these medications, always follow the recommended dosage on the package. Too many pain relievers could damage your kidneys.
- It is important to maintain a healthy weight. Obesity is a factor that may increase the risks of kidney disease.
- Avoid cigarette smoking as it can damage our kidneys or worsen an already diagnosed kidney disease.
- Avoid alcohol as it increases your blood pressure.
- Manage your blood sugar since diabetes increases the risks.
- Manage your blood pressure as it also increases your risk for kidney diseases.
- Avoid taking too much salt in your meals.
- Drink enough water to reduce dehydration.
- Ensure you take a healthy balanced diet.
- Exercise regularly
- Avoid stress and anxiety
Finally, always consult your doctor when you notice any of the outlined symptoms of kidney disease in humans above for an early diagnosis and treatment. Living a healthy lifestyle is one sure way of reducing the risks of developing a kidney disease, which may progress to kidney failure if not taken care of.