Kidney Failure - An awarness !!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

About Kidneys
Our body has two kidneys, each the size of the fist that is located on either side of the backbone at the level of the bottom rib. Our kidneys perform different functions, but its main task is to remove toxic wates from blood. It maintains our body's water content, acid balance and amount of salt and potassium in the blood.

Our kidneys also produce hormones that regulate blood pressure, produce redblood cells and lastly, Vitamin D to ensure that the bones are strong and healthy. Each day, our kidneys filter up to approximately 200 lires of blood through millions of filtering units called the nephron.

Function of kidneys
They work round the clock to ensure that their filtering function is met. This made possible through the nephron, the basic filtering unit of the kidney, which is made up of tiny blood vessels called capillaries that are linked with tiny tubes. Filtration starts when the blood passes through these capillaries where essential substances are re-absorbed into the blood. The rest of the filtrate, composed of toxic substances and excess water, are sent out from the tubes to the ureter in the form of urine.

Miseries of Kidney Failure
When our kidney fails, there will be accumulation of waste products and fluid reention in th body. if this persists for a long time, it may cause permanent and irreversible damage to our boy cells, tissues and organs.

Symptoms of Kidney failure
  • decreased urination
  • blood in the urine (tea-coloured or fresh blood)
  • nausea and vomiting
  • swollen hands and ankles
  • puffiness around the eyes
  • itching
  • loss of apetite
  • tiredness
A person can stay with one kidney also. However individuals with kidneys that function below 20% of their requires capcity, need some form of renal replacement therapy.

Possible treatments for kidney failure
There are two ways - dialysis or kidney transplantation. Some sptoms of kidney diseaase can be controlled with medication and diet if it is detecable at an early stage. However, there is no recovery from end-stage renal failure. To survive, the patient has to undergo regular dialysis treatment or receive a new kidney through transplantation. there are two types of dialysis treatments:
  1. Haemodialysis - where an artificial kidney machine takes over the functions of the real kidney
  2. Peritoneal dialysis - where the dialysis solution is placed inside the abdominal cavity to draw out toxic wastes.
Prevention is better than cure. Save your life. Your life in your hands.
Courtesy: NKF, Singapore

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