Kidneys are a vital pair of organs in the human body. They are bean-shaped and located towards the lower back. The function of the kidneys is to filter the blood and eliminate toxins and excess fluid wastes from the human body. The kidney makes way for the toxins and waste into the bladder and the body discards it by urination.
When the kidney stops functioning and is unable to discard toxins from the body it is known as a kidney failure. It is the end-stage of chronic kidney disease. If it is not properly treated in time one’s life becomes a threat. Therefore, one must seek help from a nephrologist and consult to avail their health insurance. There are many health insurances services available in South Africa for one to choose from, to make their access to the right treatment easy. Proper research can help one find numerous affordable health insurances to benefit from.
Symptoms of kidney failure
The symptoms of kidney failure may not be prominent at first. Some of the symptoms include:
1. Decreased urine quantity
2. Swelling in legs, feet, or ankles
4. Vomiting, diarrhoea
5. Fatigue and sleepless at night
6. Shortened breath
8. Muscle paralysis, cramps, numbness
9. Memory issues, inability to concentrate
10. Loss of appetite, weight loss
Causes of Kidney Failure
1. Diabetes: Excess amounts of sugar in blood streams cause damage to kidney’s filters.
2. High blood pressure: Blood vessels inside the kidney obtain damage due to high blood pressure. Damaged blood vessels do not allow the kidney to function properly
3. Polycystic kidney disease, a genetic disorder that leads to cysts in kidneys.
4. Toxic drugs and overuse
5. Blocked urinary tract
7. Lupus induced kidney disease
Kidney failure treatment
There are different treatments possible for kidney failures including kidney transplant and different types of dialysis. The one suitable is recommended by the doctor.
Dialysis is a treatment method that uses a machine to purify the blood by eradicating toxins. The machine acts as the kidneys. It is not a permanent fix for kidney failure but helps prolong life if the treatment is continued.
Types of dialysis
1. Hemodialysis: It is the most familiar type of dialysis. This process utilises an artificial kidney to discard excess fluids and toxins from the blood. The blood is extracted from the body, purified by the artificial kidney and sent back into the body using a dialysis machine. A doctor performs a certain surgery in order to create an access point into the blood vessels which lets the blood travel to the artificial kidney. Hemodialysis is mostly carried out three days a week with sessions lasting from three to four hours.
2. Peritoneal dialysis: In this type of dialysis a surgery is executed to implant a peritoneal dialysis catheter into the individual’s abdomen. The catheter’s function is to filter the blood through the peritoneum membrane located in the abdomen. Dialysate, a unique fluid streams into the peritoneum absorbing waste. This absorbed waste is later depleted from the abdomen. This type of dialysis must be carried out four to six times each day. It can be carried out during sleep as well.
Kidney transplant- A kidney transplant is a type of surgical treatment opted for kidney failures. It is a process that involves surgical placement of a healthy kidney into an individual with kidney failure, either from a living donor or deceased donor. A transplanted kidney can function like any other ordinary kidney without the requirement of dialysis.
1. Blood test- A blood test helps evaluate the amount of toxins in the blood.
2. Kidney scan- Helps to detect any barriers in the urine flow.
3. Kidney biopsy- A small obtained sample of kidney tissue is studied to detect cell damage.
4. Urine test- Helps determine the presence of blood or protein in the urine.
5. Chest X-ray- Helps detecting fluid in lungs.
6. Glomerular Filtration Rate- Helps determine the rate at which toxins and wastes are filtered by the kidney.
A few simple methods to reduce the risk of kidney failure-
1. Cultivate healthy habits such as exercising and eating healthy
2. Listening to the doctor
3. Avoid alcohol and tobacco consumption
4. Evaluate and tend to common causes of kidney failure such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
It is very evident that the kidneys are fundamental and basic to human life. One must take care of their health and improve their lifestyle in or order to avoid a fatal health condition such as a kidney failure. No one should shy away from consulting a doctor as well ask for help from health insurance services. Since health is wealth and one cannot afford to lose it.