Ques. 1 What is kidney failure?
Ans. Kidney failure or Renal failure is a situation in which the kidneys fail to function adequately. Elevated serum Creatinine is used as a measure of Kidney failure. It is an indicative of the failure of filtering ability of the kidneys.
The typical human reference ranges for Serum Creatinine are 0.5 to 1.0 mg/dL for women and 0.7 to 1.2 mg/dL for men. While a baseline Serum Creatinine of 2.0 mg/dL may indicate normal kidney function in a male body builder, a serum creatinine of 1.2 mg/dL can indicate significant renal disease in an elderly female.
Serum Creatinine is produced naturally by the body, which is the breakdown of Creatine Phosphate found in muscles. Thus, a person with higher muscle mass may have higher Serum Creatinine levels without any kidney failure, whereas a person with low muscle mass may be suffering with the Kidney failure even at low levels of Serum Cretinine.
Broadly there are three types of Kidney/Renal failures –
(1) Acute-on-Chronic Renal Failure (AoCRF)
(2) Acute Kidney Injury (AKI)
(3) Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
Ques. 2 Describe Acute kidney failure.
Ans. Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) was also known as Acute Renal Failure (ARF) earlier.
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Ans. Mild levels of azotaemia may produce little or no symptoms, but if the kidney failure continues then symptoms will become noticeable (if the failure is of sufficient degree to cause symptoms). Renal failure accompanied with noticeable symptoms is termed uremia.
Symptoms of kidney disease can vary from person to person. Some people with kidney disease may not even feel sick, of they may not notice their symptoms. If the kidney function fails, there is abnormal rise in the levels of nitrogen-containing compounds, such as urea, creatinine and other nitrogen rich compounds in the blood. This condition is termed as azotemia.
Ques. 6 What are the symptoms of kidney failure?
Ans. The symptoms of kidney failure
(1) More frequent urination, or in greater amount than usual, with pale urine
(2) High levels of urea in the blood, which can result in
(3) Pressure, or difficulty urinating
(4) Vomiting and/or diarrhea, which may lead to dehydration
(6) Weight loss
(7) Nocturnal urination
(8) Foamy of bubbly urine
(9) Muscle cramps (caused by low levels of calcium which can cause hypocalcaemia)
(10) A build up of potassium in the blood that diseased kidneys cannot filter out (called hyperkalemia) may cause:
(11) Less frequent urination, or in smaller amounts than usual, with dark coloured urine
(12) Blood in the urine
(13) Polycystic kidney disease, which causes large, fluid-filled cysts on the kidneys and sometimes the liver, can cause: Pain in the back or side.
(14) A build up of phosphates in the blood that diseased kidneys cannot filter out may cause:
(16) Bone damage
(17) Fluid volume overload – symptoms may range from mild edema to life-threatening pulmonary edema pressure is increased due to fluid overload and production of vasoactive hormones, increasing one’s risk of developing hypertension and/or suffering from congestive heart failure.
(18) Abnormal heart rhythms
(19) Muscle paralysis
(20) Failure of kidneys to remove excess fluid may cause:
(21) Swelling of the legs, ankles, feet, face and/or hands
(22) Shortness of breath due to extra fluid on the lungs (may also be caused by anemia)
(23) Healthy kidneys produce the hormone erythropoietin which stimulates the bone marrow to make oxygen-carrying red blood cells. As the kidneys fail they produce less erythropoietin resulting in fewer red blood cells being produced to replace the natural breakdown of old red blood cells. As a result the blood carries less haemoglobin which is known as anemia. This can result in:
(24) Memory Problems
(25) Difficulty Concentrating
(26) Feeling tired and/or weak
(28) Low Blood Pressure
(29) People with chronic kidney disease suffer from accelerated atherosclerosis and are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than the general population. Patients afflicted with chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular disease tend to have significantly worse prognoses than those suffering only from the latter.
(30) Metabolic acidosis, due to accumulation of sulfates, phosphates, uric acid etc. This may cause altered enzyme activity by excess acid acting on enzymes and also increased excitability of cardiac and neuronal membranes by the promotion of hyperkalemia due to excess acid (acidemia).
Other Symptoms include:
(1) Darkening of Skin
(2) Difficulty Sleeping
(3) Appetite loss, a bad taste in the mouth
The kidney failure results in a chemical misbalance in the body, which can be the cause of numerous diseases and organ failure. Although every organ of the body is equally important but the role of kidney is of utmost importance because it filters the entire toxins generated in the human body. Human body is the biggest chemistry lab; every action/reaction is the result of some or the other chemical reaction.
Ques. 7 Which medicines are good for kidney in Homoeopathy?
Ans. Berberis Vulgaris works good but should be used symptomatically.
Prepared by : Dr Pooja Rai, Bhopal..
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