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Kidney disease

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Kidney disease is a disease that causes a functional problem of the kidney. Another name for kidney disease is renal disease. Kidney failure is a type of kidney disease and it can kill a person by stopping the filtering of blood in the body. Many reasons can cause kidney failure, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, inherited disease, and various kinds of infection. As there are many things that cause kidney disease, there are also several ways to prevent or slow kidney failure. Stopping smoking, losing weight, and lifestyle change are good ways to prevent and slow kidney failure. However, using a dialysis machine is one of the best ways to treat kidney failure once a person gets this disease. A dialysis is a machine that filters the blood which is the kidney's function. The machine sucks blood from the body through the first needle and filters it. After it filters blood, the machine puts blood back into the blood through the second needle.[1]

Classes (Types)

Kidney disease can be classified to several different types. It's called "acute" when the process of the kidney disease is on a fast onset. "Chronic" is opposite to acute, the process of the kidney disease is on a slow onset. The kidneys leak out certain body fluids or substances that cause other classes of kidney diseases. It may cause hematuria or blood in the urine. Another common kidney disease is called proteinuria. It occurs when protein leaks out of the body. There is another kidney disease that is called kidney stone. When a person secretes calcium oxalate into the urine excessively and does not have enough H2O in the body, kidney stone may occur. The following type of kidney disease is very odd; hypertension. Hypertension may cause kidney disease sometimes, but medications for hypertension may also cause kidney problems. There is another kidney disease that is called chronic pyelonephritis that causes chronic pain and inflammation in the kidneys. [2]


Main Article: Dialysis
The way hemodialysis works.
More detail system of hemodialysis

To treat kidney disease, the patient needs to change his or her own lifestyle and the way of eating. Diets can cause serious damage to the kidney because the body cannot control the blood pressure, which is assisted by the food. Of course, smoking is one of the big problems that causes kidney disease. Reducing the amount of consumed sodium (salt) will help control blood pressure too. Having good food, that contains high potassium, also helps prevent kidney disease. Bananas, dried beans and peas, nuts, and potatoes are good foods to eat to prevent or treat kidney disease. In additional, there are various ways to treat kidney disease by a doctor or a machine. One of them is removing the possibility that kidney disease may occur by controlling high blood pressure or diabetes. Another way of treatment is going to see a doctor about three times in a week. A health care professional is in charge of this job, and the professional will filter and clean the patient's blood through a machine that is called hemodialysis (commonly called kidney dialysis or simply dialysis). Hemodialysis uses a machine that filters out the waste and returns the filtered blood into the body. Usually this process takes 3-4 hours. The detail explanation about hemodialysis is listed below. Kidney transplant is another way to treat kidney disease. It can be done by either a living donor or a deceased donor. However, donors and patients should be matched with recipients based on blood type to prevent the body from rejecting the kidney that came from the transplant, and that is the requirement for the transplant. [3]

Treatment for kidney disease is performing hemodialysis. Hemodialysis uses machine that sucks the blood from the body, filter the blood, and put the blood back into the body. Hemodialysis is used to replace the function of kidney; filtering the blood. The following is instruction for performing hemodialysis.

1. Blood extracted through an arteriovenous fistula, a vein in the forearm is sent to the plastic tubing of the hemodialysis machine.

2. Similar to an artificial kidney, the hemodialysis machine carries the extracted blood to the dialyser to filter it.

3. Now the blood in the dialyser is mixded with saline solution and becomes dialysate.

4. Filtration is the way the dialysate is processed. After the process the clean blood goes back into the patient body.

5. Human kidney and dialysis machine have something in common with removing urea and salt also in balancing the salts in our body.

6. In the process of blood moving through semi-porous membranes from the patient to the sterile solution, components that are needed stay still whereas salts and urea go into the sterile solution.

7. The dialyser does the dialysis process where blood enters the red header and runs through thousands of thin hollow fibers. The dialysate now enters the blue header from the bottom and flows around to suck up from the blood big molecules and remove them.

8. Electrolytes and wastes move into the dialysate because it has higher concentration. This move is called diffusion. Fresh dialysate is there at all times and it never ends.

9. Through ultra filtration which is similar to reverse osmosis, fluid is removed because the membrane pore is so small that only water can move through. [4], [5]

Kidney Failure

There are many diseases that may cause kidney failure. These various disease may be described by the type of cause they produce. Pre renal causes, renal causes, post renal causes, and chronic renal causes are the four and each kind causes different diseases. An event causing decreased blood supply to the kidney are called Pre Renal Causes. Pre renal causes are caused by hypovolemia, dehydration, poor intake of fluids, and abnormal blood flow. Hypovolemia is due to blood loss, dehydration is from loss of body fluid through vomiting, diarrhea, and sweating. Abnormal blood flow of kidney is caused by obstruction of the renal artery or vein.[6]

The damages directly to the kidney itself are called Renal Causes. Renal causes are caused by sepsis, medications, rhabdomyolysis, and acute glomerulonephritis. Sepsis causes inflammation and shutdown of the kidney, and medications of it are toxic to the kidney. Usually medications include antibiotics, such as aminoglycosides, lithium, and iodine-containing. Rhabdomyolysis is caused when there is significant muscle breakdown in the body, and it damages the kidney. This is caused from trauma, crush injuries, burns, and even some medications that are used to treat high cholesterol. Acute glomerulonephritis, or inflammation of the glomeruli, filters system of the kidney. This may cause systemic lupus erythematosus, Wegener's granulmatosis, and Goodpasture syndrome.[6]

Factors that affect outflow of the urine are called Post Renal Causes. Post renal causes are caused by obstruction of the kidney, and kidney stones. If the kidney continues to produce urine, but the obstruction blocks it, the urine goes back up into the kidney. Finally, obstruction of the bladder or the ureters will cause back pressure. The kidney will be damaged and shut down when the pressure is high enough to cause damage. Kidney stone affects only on kidney and it does not cause kidney failure. Chronic renal causes cause poorly controlled diabetes, high blood pressure, and chronic glomerulonephritis. It, also, may cause polycystic kidney disease, relux nephropathy, kidney stones, and prostate disease.[6]


Symptoms of kidney failure are varied. General symptoms of kidney failure would be nausea, vomiting, confusion and the worst, coma. A person with malfunctioning kidneys may feel difficulty in breathing and gets easily tired and weak. A decrease in urine output actually indicates kidney failure. Physical symptoms that happen in our body are inability to control water and to stabilize the balance of electrolyte. The body also can fail to clear waste products and to produce red cells. One should pay attention to his feet or ankles because swelling of those parts obviously informs that his kidneys malfunction. Not only these direct symptoms but indirect symptoms can also occur. For example the acidity of the body increases because the body cannot produce bicarbonate and ultimately it harms organs. Also an increase in the level of urea in the blood affects the brain actually the way of thinking and makes muscles in heart slow down its function.[7]


  1. Causes of kidney failures and treatment. Unknown, © 2010 Farlex, Inc.,
  2. Types of Kidney Disease, Daniel Yan, © 2010
  3. Treatment for kidney disease, Unknown, © 2010 Farlex, Inc.
  4. How to use a dialysis unknown, © 2010
  5. How to use a dialysis unknown, National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Claringhouse (NKUDIC)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Kidney Failure Benjamin C. Wedro, MD, FAAEM, ©1996-2010 MedicineNet, Inc.
  7. Symptoms of Kidney failure, Unknown, © 2010 Health Grades Inc.