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Frequently Asked Questions
You have two kidneys. They are bean-shaped, and about the size of a fist. They are located in the middle of your back, on the left and right sides of your spine, just below your rib cage. Their main job is to filter extra water and wastes out of your blood and make urine. They also help control blood pressure and make hormones that your body needs to stay healthy. Kidney disease means that the kidneys are damaged and can’t filter blood like they should. This damage can cause wastes to build up in the body. It also can cause other problems that can harm your health.
If kidney disease is not treated, it can lead to kidney failure. This means the kidneys stop working. Once the kidneys fail, you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant to maintain health.
The two leading types of kidney failure, also called end stage kidney disease or ESRD, are diabetes (also called Type 2, or adult onset diabetes) and high blood pressure. When these two diseases are controlled by treatment, the associated kidney disease can often be prevented or slowed down.
A doctor may first detect the condition through routine blood and urine tests. There are three tests to screen for kidney disease: a blood pressure measurement, a spot check for protein or albumin in the urine (proteinuria), and a calculation of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) based on a serum creatinine measurement. Measuring urea nitrogen in the blood provides additional information
Most often, kidney failure is a slow, progressive disease. Usually there are no severe tell-tale signs at the beginning stages of the disease. But you may experience:
frequent trips to the restroom
loss of appetite
dry, itchy skin
This refers to diseases that damage the glomeruli structures (inflammation) within the kidney responsible for the filtration in the kidneys. Diseases that are not properly treated help the body to produce antibodies and the kidneys in a bid to deal with them may get overburdened.
This does damage to the kidneys as a result of wrong or misuse of analgesics without proper prescription over a long time.
Bleaching Creams and soaps containing heavy metal (mercury) may overburden the kidneys.
POLYCYSTIC KIDNEY DISEASE
An inherited kidney disease that causes large fluid filled cysts to develop in the kidney. These cysts may eventually crowd out normal kidney tissues, thus reducing its effectiveness or even cause its function to cease.
Other diseases may include:
SICKLE CELL DISEASE
Through reduced blood flow and oxygen, which will stress kidney functioning.
Dialysis is the procedure for artificially replacing many functions performed by normal kidneys. It is necessary to replace kidney function when kidneys are no longer able to keep people healthy and safe. There are two common types of dialysis: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.
On average, a kidney transplant lasts between eight and 15 years. But some transplants last only a few weeks and some last 20 years. In general, kidneys from living donors last longer than those from cadaveric (deceased) donors.