Tag Archives: kidney disease

Categories Kidney Disease, Kundan Kidney Care Centre, Risk Factors

What Teenagers with Kidney Diseases Should Know about Lipids

Being a teenager is not easy. Teenagers deal with peer pressure, an increasing need for more independence, changes in the body, relationship issues (with parents, teachers and friends), among others. Teenagers are more worried about what to wear in the school dance than they would be about lipids! However, teenagers with Chronic Kidney Diseases have a higher risk of developing lipid and heart problems and should be aware of them to remain healthy and continue with activities they enjoy. It is important for teenagers to know about lipids!

So what are lipids? They are simply the fats in the bloodstream of your body. The common type is called cholesterol which the body makes and comes from foods like meats, poultry (eggs and chicken), and dairy (milk, cheeses, ice cream). Fruits, vegetables and grains are cholesterol free. Teenagers should keep in mind that there are good and bad cholesterols.

There are three major types of lipids: Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL), High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) and the triglycerides. LDL is considered the bad cholesterol and is most likely to clog blood vessels and prevent the smooth blood flow in the system. HDL, on the other hand, is the good type of cholesterol which transports cholesterol away from the heart and blood and then back to the liver. From there, the cholesterol breaks down and sent to different parts of the body. Meanwhile, triglycerides are the stored fat in the body. High triglycerides do not clog blood vessels but may lead to diabetes or high blood sugar and can cause pancreas disorder.

LDL builds up in the blood results to the formation of plaque (fatty deposits) in the walls of the arteries. Plaque makes the arteries thicker, harder and narrower which decreases blood flow. Hardening of arteries in the heart leads to a heart attack or stroke.

People should always maintain a healthy level of cholesterol to prevent hardening of the arteries, high blood sugar or disorder of the pancreas. For teenagers the healthy levels of lipids are the following: total cholesterol is less than 200, LDL is less than 130, HDL is above 40, triglycerides are less than 150.  Doctors measure blood lipids through tests.  Haemodialysis patients are advised to have the lipid tests before dialysis while peritoneal dialysis patients are advised to
have the test in the morning. Another way to checks for healthy lipids is through the non-HDL test where the doctor subtracts the HDL from the total cholesterol. Lipids should be checked yearly or about 2 -3 months after a change in treatment.

Unhealthy lipids are caused by obesity, history of cholesterol problems or heart disease, diet high in saturated fats and cholesterol, not having enough exercise and excessive alcohol. To improve unhealthy levels just do the opposite of everything that’s causing it! Lose excess weight, follow a low-fat and low cholesterol diet, exercise regularly and minimize alcohol intake.

Teenagers will find it helpful to discuss what they have learned about lipids with their parents, and keep the communication line open especially with CKD issues. It is never easy living with a disease, and it complicates matters when hormones are changing. But awareness is key to remain healthy and continue with activities you enjoy as a teenager.*

Categories Kidney Disease

The Role of Oxygen in Kidney Disease Symptoms

Thinking of the internal organs in isolation, one may not suspect loss of oxygen to be one a major factor in kidney disease. But the interconnection of bodily systems means that a problem starting in one organ can have far-reaching and surprising effects in others. A lack of oxygen is one problem that can begin with the kidneys, but go on to affect the lungs and brain as well.

Kidneys produce a hormone called erythropoietin that signals the production of red blood cells. If the kidneys are failing, they create less of this hormone, meaning the body produces lower numbers of these cells. And since those cells carry oxygen, the body eventually suffers from anemia, a lack of oxygen.

One sign of oxygen starvation may be weary muscles. These rely on the oxygen carried by red blood cells, so if they get less of this vital fuel, they work less efficiently. A person may experience increased fatigue long before he has any idea he has kidney disease. The lungs are another area that might be affected. If the body is starved of oxygen, this can lead to shortness of breath. The lungs can’t take enough oxygen into the cells reaching the lungs, nor can those cells expel enough carbon dioxide. Eventually, as well as causing shortness of breath, this builds up acidity in the system.

The most surprising symptoms of kidney disease and oxygen starvation, though, may appear in the brain. Without enough oxygen, a person’s concentration can be affected. She may become dizzy. There could even be difficulty in remembering things.

People associate kidney disease with more obvious signs: back ache or a change in urine frequency and color. But because of the interconnected bodily systems, kidney disease may be signalled as much by dizziness or fatigue from a lack of oxygen as by painful urination. Keeping an eye on the body’s complete general health is essential to the early detection of kidney disease.

Categories Kidney Disease, Kundan Kidney Care Centre, Risk Factors

Detecting Kidney Disease – Stage Five

Tacky Lab Equipment
Get those tests done — early!

Why is it so important to detect kidney disease in its early stages, even if it’s rather hard to diagnose? Because when you reach Stage 4, you are likely past the point of living without serious medical intervention or even a transplant. And by the time you arrive at Stage 5, you have virtually no other option. There is nothing else to do but plan for a transplant.

In Stage 5, the kidneys have only about 15% of function left – or less. At this point, if left on their own, they would be completely unable to keep the patient alive. Dialysis now becomes very important to filter the blood of impurities the kidneys can’t remove.

Most symptoms are the same as for Stage 4 or earlier, but multiplied considerably. The person experiences the same tendency to hypertension (high blood pressure) because of the inability to expel fluids. And because the heart is working that much harder as a result, the person may suffer pericarditis, which is an inflammation of the lining around that organ. There would now be very high levels of creatinine and urea, which the kidneys can’t filter out. And susceptibility to infections would also increase.

The inability to absorb calcium or for the kidneys to produce the chemical that stimulates production of red blood cells worsens. And therefore the reduction in bone density and the tendency toward anemia would continue to be a problem. Added to these symptoms would come others that might seem comparatively “minor,” but which could be aggravating. These include difficulty sleeping, shortness of breath, increased itching, or frequent vomiting.

Certain treatments can attempt to bring down blood pressure or reduce anemia, while dietary adjustments may allow more absorption of calcium. But now with such reduced filtering capacity, dialysis is usually the only way to cleanse the bloodstream of impurities. Some patients can survive for a long time with dialysis treatments, though the most common form of dialysis takes several hours, three days a week, and therefore restricts their lifestyle. But for others, dialysis may lose its effectiveness relatively quickly. And the best hope in both cases is for a kidney transplant.

There are usually signs of kidney disease well before things reach Stage 5. To maintain good health and never allow themselves to arrive at this stage, the wisest course for everyone is to have yearly, thorough checkups with detailed blood work, and to investigate even the most nebulous symptoms that might indicate kidney disease.


Categories Kidney Disease

Link Between Kidney Disease and Hearing Loss

A study just released in the October 1, 2010 issue of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases has demonstrated an interesting correlation between kidney disease and hearing loss, particularly in people aged fifty and older.

This Reuters article, Moderate kidney disease linked to hearing loss, describes the findings:

In the study, of adults aged 50 years and older, 54 percent of people with moderate kidney disease had some extent of hearing loss, while 30 percent of those with the disease suffered severe hearing loss.

One reason this is significant is that for the general population in the same age range, the rate of hearing loss is only 18 percent. But even recognizing some kind of connection between this disease and the loss of one’s hearing, the next question is whether this link is causal, or merely coincidental.

According to the Australian authors of the study, the connection is not, in fact, a causal one. Kidney disease doesn’t cause the hearing loss, or vice versa. So what explains the correlation between them? Dr. David Harris, of the University of Sydney, is one of the study authors. He explains that there are “structural and functional similarities” between tissues in the kidney and the inner ear. So the same physical pressures, toxins, and risk factors that affect kidneys may also affect the inner ear.

Does this connection actually matter, then, if one problem doesn’t cause the other? Yes it does. If you experience some degree of hearing loss, you may be prompted to have your doctor check your kidney function, and detect potential disease much earlier. And if you have the disease, it may be useful to have your ears checked, to take much earlier steps to preserve your hearing.

Because of how the bodily systems interact, problems in one area can provide hints that there may be problems in others.

(Other source: Chronic Kidney Disease Might Affect Hearing, Bloomberg Businessweek, October 6, 2010)

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