12 April 2011


What is Kidney Failure?

Inability of kidneys to function properly
Symptoms of Kidney Failure
The signs and symptoms of kidney failure vary, depending on whether the failure is acute or chronic.
Acute kidney failure - Acute kidney failure occurs when your kidneys suddenly stop filtering waste products from your blood. The signs and symptoms may include:
- Fluid retention
- Bleeding, often in your stomach or intestines
- Confusion
- Seizures
- Coma

Chronic kidney failure - They include:
- High blood pressure
- Unexplained weight loss
- Anemia
- Nausea or vomiting
- Malaise or fatigue
- Headaches that seem unrelated to any other cause
- Decreased urine output
- Decreased mental sharpness
- Muscle twitches and cramps
- Bleeding in the intestinal tract
- Yellowish-brown cast to the skin
- Persistent itching
- Sleep disorders
- End-stage renal disease

For some people, end-stage renal disease is the final result of chronic kidney failure Anemia
- High blood pressure
- Congestive heart failure
- Bone disease
- Digestive tract problems
- Loss of mental functioning (dementia)

Quick summary of the common causes of kidney failure:
- Diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Glomerulonephritis
- Polycystic kidney disease
- Scarring from kidney infection in childhood
- Obstruction

Screening and diagnosis - To help confirm a diagnosis of kidney failure, you may have the following tests:
> Ultrasound imaging. This test that uses high-frequency sound waves and computer technology to generate images of your kidneys. Ultrasound scans are noninvasive and usually take less than 30 minutes.
> Computerized tomography (CT) scan. This test uses computers to create more detailed images of your internal organs - including your kidneys - than conventional X-rays do.
> Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Instead of X-rays, this test uses magnetic fields and radio waves to generate cross-sectional pictures of your body.
> Renal biopsy. Sometimes your doctor may remove a small sample of kidney tissue and send it to a laboratory for analysis.
A diagnosis of end-stage renal disease is confirmed when blood tests consistently show very high levels of urea and creatinine - a sign that kidney function has been severely and permanently damaged
Kidney failure is treated by a combination of methods which include diet, medication, and possibly dialysis. Another option which may be possible for you is to be considered for a kidney transplant

Patients guide to Kidney Transplant Surgery
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs located toward the back of the body on either side of the spine near the waistline. They are about the size of a fist and are protected by other organs and two of the lower ribs. Normal functioning kidneys serve the body in several very important ways. They:
- Clean your blood and remove waste products
- Balance water and salt to control fluid in the body
- Control blood pressure
- Help make red blood cells and strong bones
- Control the amount of potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus in the blood
Symptoms may include:
> Fluid retention
> Shortness of breath
> Change in mental status
> Abnormal urine or blood test results
> Headache
> High blood pressure
> Fatigue

A number of diseases can directly damage the kidney. Damage to the kidney can seriously affect the removal of water and waste products, production of red blood cells, regulation of blood pressure and balance of electrolytes such as potassium, calcium and phosphorus.

If the damage is severe enough, transplantation may be necessary. A transplant provides a patient with a kidney that can keep up with the demands of a full, active life.
The patient will be under general anesthesia throughout the surgery. Once asleep, the transplant surgeon will make an incision on the right or left side of the lower abdomen just above the groin. [Also see: Kidney Donation Process]

After Surgery
After the patient's medical condition has stabilized, he will be transferred from the ICU to the acute care unit. During the patient's stay on this unit, his laboratory studies, medications, nutritional status and exercise tolerance will be monitored. As soon as the patient is able, discharge instructions will begin to prepare him for going home.
Upon leaving the hospital, the patient will receive a schedule of follow-up clinic visits for lab tests and checkups. The purpose is to track your progress and detect potential complications as early as possible.
Although the patient is encouraged to resume normal activities after recovery, it is important to understand that having a new kidney brings new responsibilities.
- Skin and Hair Care
- Sexual Activity
- Smoking
- Vacations and Travel
- Dental Care
- Pregnancy
- Exercise
- Diet and Nutrition
- Alcoholic Beverages

Signs to Watch Out For
While primary concerns involve infection and rejection, many other problems, such as colds or flu, adjus

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