Chronic renal failure: symptoms, causes and treatment

The kidneys, as with the liver, are fundamental organs in the detoxification and purification of our body, especially because they are responsible for the elimination of those toxins and waste that our body does not need. They consist of a pair of organs with a shape or appearance that is reminiscent of beans or snap beans, and which have a size of a closed fist (about 13 centimeters long and 8 centimeters wide).

We found them in the back of the abdominal cavity, located just above the waist. In the case of the right kidney, it rests under the liver, while the left kidney is under the diaphragm. As regards its main functions, they are essential in the detoxification and purification of our body, so it is always fundamental to purify the kidneys at least once a year.

There are several diseases and disorders that can affect the kidneys. The most common and habitual are kidney stones, although it is true that the one known as Kidneys pain It may appear for other reasons: presence of cysts, kidney inflammation, infections or more serious diseases such as kidney cancer.

What is chronic kidney failure?

Also known by the name of chronic kidney disease, it is a disease that causes a progressive and irreversible loss of the different functions of the kidney.

This degree of affection, which must be for 3 more months, is determined with a degree of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in blood of <60 ml / min / 1.73m2.

The result of this condition is more than obvious: the kidneys lose their ability to carry out their basic functions, such as eliminating wastes and toxins, preserving electrolytes in the blood and concentrating urine.

Symptoms of chronic renal failure

Since the first symptoms that tend to appear as a consequence of chronic renal failure are usually nonspecific, being - in fact - the same as for many other diseases and health disorders, the symptoms at the beginning may be:

  • Sensation of general malaise.
  • Fatigue and nausea.
  • Headache.
  • Inappetence
  • Weightloss.
  • Itching (generalized itching of the skin).

On the other hand, when kidney function has worsened, the following symptoms may occur:

  • Bone-ache.
  • Dark or very light skin.
  • Drowsiness, problems to think or to concentrate.
  • Numbness, swelling in hands and feet.
  • Cramps.
  • Bad breath.
  • Bruising or blood in the stool.
  • Frequent hiccups
  • Excessive thirst.
  • Problems related to sexual activity.
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Vomiting, especially in the morning.
  • Amenorrhea.

We must bear in mind that the loss of renal function is in most cases very slow, so it is common that no symptoms occur at the beginning, until the kidneys have almost stopped working.

Causes of chronic renal failure

Medical specialists establish two common causes of chronic kidney failure. Basically it is due to diabetes and high blood pressure.

However, it can also be caused by other disorders and other diseases:

  • Problems with the kidneys: kidney diseases, renal congenital anomalies (polycystic kidney disease), injuries, infection, kidney stones or reflux nephropathy (retrograde flow of urine to the kidneys).
  • Certain toxic chemicals or medications, such as analgesics or drugs to treat cancer.

How is it diagnosed?

There are several tests and analyzes that are performed to diagnose the possible existence of chronic renal failure. For example, a urine test can detect protein in urine or other changes, which may arise between 6 months to 10 years or more before symptoms appear.

Fundamentally, the tests that are carried out are: creatinine clearance, creatinine levels analysis, and BUN. When there are problems with the kidneys it is common, for example, for high creatinine to appear in the blood.

When the diagnosis of chronic kidney disease occurs, it is usual to perform blood tests every 2 or 3 months, especially when the disease worsens. In this sense, the values ‚Äč‚Äčthat change are usually: cholesterol, albumin, electrolytes, complete blood count, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium.

Treatment of chronic renal failure

At the time of take care of the kidneys It is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle, making certain changes that can be very useful when it comes to protecting the kidneys:

  • Avoid smoking and consuming alcohol.
  • Avoid eating foods rich in fat and cholesterol, and add salt.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Control blood pressure.

From a medical point of view, there are some treatments that can be useful, such as drugs that prevent high levels of phosphorus, medicines for the treatment of anemia, calcium and vitamin D.

On the other hand, when the kidneys do not have the capacity to eliminate waste and excess fluid from the body, dialysis or a kidney transplant is needed. This article is published for informational purposes only. It can not and should not replace the consultation with a Physician. We advise you to consult your Trusted Doctor. ThemesKidneys

3 Treatments for Chronic Kidney Disease (March 2023)