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Categories Kidney Disease, Kundan Kidney Care Centre, Risk Factors

Fathers and Their Children With Kidney Disease

Father’s Day isn’t just a time when  fathers are acknowledged and appreciated for their paternal roles. As a dad, you can use this special day not just to evaluate your accomplishments but to reflect on your responsibilities. And if your child has been diagnosed with kidney disease, you know you’ll have a few more of those than some other fathers might. But it’s part of being a dad, to help your son or daughter face the disease as well as possible.

One thing you’ll learn quickly is that most things go better when you treat your child with respect, and let them understand and participate in their own care as much as you can. Give them matter-of-fact explanations about the disease, the instruments used in the hospital and doctor’s office, and about what the treatments actually do. This helps remove fear of the unknown. They may still not like the discomforts of the treatments, but their fear will be considerably diminished.

You should naturally learn as much as possible about your child’s disease and condition, and participate in the care as knowledgeably as you can. But there are ways to allow the child to participate too. For example, encourage them to ask any questions that occur to them, and answer clearly, with as much information as they can handle and understand. Give them a chance to ask the doctor about foods they can and can’t eat, or about the best ways to take their medicine. The more in control they feel, the more able they’ll be to deal head-on with their illness and treatments.

Developing a regular routine and sticking to it as much as possible is another way you can help your child deal with kidney disease and its treatments. Even unpleasant moments, like taking medicine, can seem less fearsome if the child knows it will happen at this time of day, matter-of-factly, and then they’ll move on.

You yourself will need to project confidence, so your child has a rock to stand on. If you are constantly worried or project fear, the child will sense it, and their own fear will be magnified. That’s probably your biggest responsibility: to let your son or daughter sense that they can feel safe even when dealing with illness. If you can help your child face kidney disease directly and confidently, you won’t merely deserve one special day of acknowledgement a year, as a father. You’ll deserve a medal of honor.

 

Categories Kidney Disease, Kundan Kidney Care Centre, Risk Factors

Detecting Kidney Disease – Stage Three

Blood pressure measurement
High blood pressure and kidney disease make each other worse
We’ve discussed Stages One and Two of kidney disease, and what to look for, to get one’s condition diagnosed as quickly as possible. But as many people learn to their distress, the first two stages of this disease are not easily detected unless one looks and watches very carefully. The first clearly noticeable symptoms finally reveal themselves as the disease reaches Stage Three, when already the person has less than 60% kidney function remaining, and may have as little as 30%. Yet even then, the symptoms can often be mistaken for something else.

 

People can go on for a long time with such reduced kidney function, because some of the initial symptoms — tiredness and changes of appetite —  are so vague that they could be caused by many other things. But when they are combined with other symptoms like itching, water retention, and anemia, this is when the pieces slowly fall into place. As the kidneys become less able to filter fluids and remove them from the body, more fluids are retained, and the person may experience swelling and puffiness. Even their urine may become more clear, because fewer impurities are being excreted.
Naturally this contributes to higher blood pressure. But the blood itself becomes more anemic, because it’s when the kidney releases the hormone erythropoietin (EPO) that red blood cells can be created. When the kidney can’t release as much EPO as it’s supposed to, the blood cell count goes lower and the patient becomes more anemic. In turn, the blood carries less oxygen and the body has to work harder in order to function. As a result, the person experiences greater and greater fatigue.

At this stage, the patient absolutely must take steps to reduce sodium in the diet and bring the blood pressure down. The higher the pressure, the more damage to vein walls, and the more damage to veins in the kidneys, the worse kidney function becomes. Adjustments must also be made to other elements of diet: protein will need to be reduced, though the patient can’t live completely without it. Patients may also need to take a phosphorus binder and vitamins that help boost kidney function. Working on these things with a knowledgeable dietitian is essential.

Even if earlier stages have been missed and the person has advanced well into Stage Three, it’s vital to get diagnosed as early as possible, to preserve what kidney function is left and prevent the disease from progressing any further.

 

Categories Kidney Disease, Kundan Kidney Care Centre, Risk Factors

Detecting Kidney Disease – Stages One and Two

SEM blood cells
Checking the blood content levels to detect kidney disease
Chronic Kidney Disease appears in five stages, ranging from an early stage with little obvious effect to a final stage where the patient is on life-saving dialysis or awaiting a transplant. Each stage has certain characteristics and means of detection. The more that people know the various signs and effects of being in each stage, the sooner they may get a proper diagnosis from their doctor. Early detection is the best key to effective treatment.

Stage One leaves the patient with 90% kidney function. The person can survive at this level, but it’s still necessary to detect the problem so causes and treatments can be addressed. If they don’t take steps at this point, the disease is very likely to progress to the next level. Stage Two leaves only 60-89% kidney function, as the damage to these organs has increased.

The difficulty is that there are no obvious symptoms of kidney dysfunction at either stage. This may lead to a lack of detection at a crucial time when the disease could have been nipped in the bud, or curtailed before it got much worse. So it’s essential that the person have their regular yearly physical checkups, including urine tests and extensive blood work. Even with no other physical symptoms, these tests can detect:

  1. elevated creatinine levels (which indicate how well the kidneys are filtering out wastes)
  2. elevated protein levels (another indication of inefficiency in filtering wastes)
  3. elevated blood urea nitrogen levels (kidneys take urea from the blood and expel it in the urine, but if the blood levels are high, this is another hint of failing kidneys)

In addition to the potential for early detection with blood and urine tests, high blood pressure is a well known hint of problems with kidney function. The most often mentioned symptom is high blood pressure, which can either cause kidney disease, or be caused by it. So if a person’s blood pressure rises, this can be a spur to doing the urine and blood tests, either to detect kidney disease or rule it out. And all steps (medication, exercise, alterations in diet) must be taken to bring the blood pressure down.

If blood and urine tests indicate a possible problem, doctors can go further and take a kidney biopsy, do a CT scan, or perform an MRI. So even at these early stages, while it’s more difficult, it’s still possible to detect incipient kidney disease. What it takes is vigilance, and thorough, regular checkups.

 

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