Millions of people around with an increasing number of Nigerians have chronic kidney disease, and most don’t even know it. Millions more are at increased risk.
Chronic kidney disease usually leads to kidney failure, a stage where your kidneys fail to do their basic function which is to eliminate waste products via urine.
The most common causes leading to kidney failure are less expensive to treat than the end result of chronic kidney failure which requires renal replacement therapies of Dialysis and Kidney transplant.
Q: What are the kidneys?
A: Each person is normally born with two kidneys, located in the lower back. The kidneys are shaped like beans and are the size of the fist. Each kidney contains normally about one million little filters called nephrons.
Q: What do the kidneys do?
A: The kidneys have many functions. Their basic job is to clean the blood through the little filters in them by removing waste products and to regulate the body fluid. They perform this by producing urine where what is not needed in the body is eliminated. They also assist in the production of vitamin D and erythropoietin, a protein necessary to produce hemoglobin for red blood cells.
Q: What is Kidney Failure?
A: Kidney failure occurs when both kidneys are so damaged that they no longer can clean waste products from the blood. When only one kidney is lost, the other one is usually strong enough to do the job.
Q: What are the types of Kidney Failure?
A: There are 2 types of kidney failure:
1. Acute Kidney Failure and
2. Chronic Kidney Failure.
Q: What is Acute Kidney Failure?
A: Acute Kidney (Renal) Failure is a sudden decrease in kidney function. It can happen for example with severe infections, severe vomiting and diarrhea with dehydration, intoxications or allergic reactions. With treatment in the hospital, usually dialysis, there is almost always return to normal kidney function.
Q: What is Chronic Kidney Failure?
A: Chronic Kidney (Renal) Failure is the gradual loss of kidney function because of kidney damage. Often people are unaware that their kidneys are not functioning properly, as they are highly adaptable organs. Even when most of a kidney is not functioning, the remaining portion will increase its activity to compensate for the loss.
Q: What are the symptoms of kidney failure
A: If you experience any of the following symptoms, at the end of the report I will explain how Trevo can support and help restore your Kidney
• Nocturia (getting up at night to pass urine)
• Tiredness / lethargy
• Loss of appetite & nausea
• Increased or decreased urine volume
• Discomfort over the bladder / lower abdomen area
• High blood pressure.
• Swelling in your hands, feet or face, particularly around your eyes
• A metallic or foreign taste in your mouth
• Shortness of breath
• Leg cramps
Q: What are the causes of kidney failure?
A: The leading causes of kidney failure in Nigeria are:
1. Hypertension (High blood pressure)
2. Chronic Glomerulonephritis
3. Diabetes Mellitus
1. Chronic pyelonephritis
2. Sickle cell disease
3. Analgesic abuse
4. Obstructive uropathy
5. Polycystic kidney disease
6. Congenital anomalies (In children )
7. HIV nephropathy
8. SLE (Systemic lupus erythematosus)
9. Kidney stone disease
10. Herbal medication use and abuse
11. Bleaching creams containing mercury
12. For some people, the cause is unknown
Q: What happens when the kidneys fail?
A: Harmful waste products and excess fluid accumulate in the body. The individual will have a poor appetite, will get tired more easily, will look pale because of anemia (low number of red blood cells), and performance may be affected.
Q: Can I die from kidneys failure?
A: In the long run, if there is no treatment with either dialysis or a transplant, kidney failure is fatal. This is due to the buildup of waste products, accumulation of fluid in the body and affectation of its other functions.
Q: What are the risk factors of kidney failure?
A: Those most at risk of chronic kidney failure include people who:
• have diabetes
• have high blood pressure
• are obese
• are over 50 years old
• use traditional medication frequently
• use bleaching creams/soaps
• smoke cigarettes
• have a family history of kidney disease
Q: Does kidney failure run in families?
A: Although it is unusual, some forms of chronic renal failure run in families. Inherited disease like polycystic kidney disease can lead to chronic renal failure.
Q: Will kidney failure affect my sexuality and fertility?
A: Decreased libido can occur and loss of fertility during renal failure and dialysis can be distressful to patients. It is often restored after a kidney transplant and many patients have successful pregnancies
Q: What is dialysis?
A: Dialysis is a method of removing waste products and excess fluids from your body after your kidneys have failed. Kidney dialysis is an artificial process that performs the two main functions of the kidneys:
1. Filtering waste from the blood; and
2. Balancing the body’s fluid levels.
Q: What are the types of dialysis available?
A: There are two types of dialysis:
1. Peritoneal dialysis (PD) and
2. Haemodialysis (HD)
Q: What is Haemodialysis (HD)?
A: Haemodialysis (HD) is a machine-assisted blood filtration method which removes waste and excess fluid from your blood in a dialyser (or artificial kidney) outside your body. It usually requires a doctor to surgically create permanent access to your blood stream, via your arm or thigh, allowing blood to be diverted from your body, through the dialyser and back into your blood stream.
Q: What is peritoneal dialysis (PD)?
A: Peritoneal dialysis (PD) uses the peritoneum, a natural membrane lining the cavity of your abdomen. The membrane has tiny holes that allow waste products and fluid to filter from your blood. The process of waste removal, as in haemodialysis, is called diffusion. The removal of excess water, osmosis, is aided by another substance within the dialysis fluid, usually glucose.
Q: How many types of peritoneal dialysis are there?
A: There are two types of PD:
1. Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD)
2. Automated peritoneal dialysis (APD).
Both types of PD allow you to be relatively independent and manage your own care at home. For now, PD is
Q: How does dialysis filter waste from the blood?
A: • During dialysis, waste and excess water pass from the blood into a liquid called dialysate for removal from the body by a process called diffusion.
• A thin layer of natural tissue (in peritoneal dialysis) or of synthetic plastic (in haemodialysis), known as the dialysis membrane, keeps the blood separate from the dialysis fluid.
• Blood cells are too large to pass through the dialysis membrane, though waste and water can diffuse into the dialysis fluid.
• Wastes are then removed from the body by extracting the dialysis fluid.
Q: How does dialysis balance the body’s fluid levels?
• In both Haemodialysis and Peritoneal dialysis, a process called ultrafiltration removes excess fluid.
• In haemodialysis, the fluid is simply drawn from the blood by the dialysis machine. The amount of water to be removed can be varied by changing the dialyser’s settings.
• In peritoneal dialysis a substance (most commonly glucose) is added to the blood to draw water out in a process called osmosis.
• Peritoneal dialysis solution containing a lot of glucose will draw out more fluid than a weaker solution.
Q: Will dialysis cure me?
• Hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis are treatments that help replace the work your kidneys did.
• These treatments help you feel better and live longer, but they don’t cure kidney failure.
Q: How long can I be on dialysis?
A: You can be on dialysis for as long as it takes to get a kidney transplant or for the rest of your life.not widely available in Nigeria.
Q: Can I change to a different form of treatment once I’ve started dialysis?
A: Yes. It is quite common for people to change treatments as their health and lifestyle needs change. You may have several methods of dialysis treatment throughout your life.
Q: Is it dangerous to skip dialysis?
A: Yes, this can lead to fluid overload and accumulation of waste products in the body. It can also lead to breathing problems due to a serious condition called pulmonary edema where fluid gets accumulated in the lungs.
Q: What is the cost of dialysis?
A: A session of haemodialysis costs on average N25,000 (Twenty Five Thousand Naira). For it to be effective, a patient should have 3 sessions per week, this will come to about N75, 000 a week! Which ordinary Nigerian can afford it?
Q: How long can patients live with a kidney transplant?
A: The donor kidney lasts up to 10 to 12 years on average for Deceased kidney source, but 18 to 22 years for live donor source. However, the longest surviving transplanted kidney is about 45 years and this was performed between identical twins.
Q: What happens if the new kidney is rejected?
A: If the transplant fails the patient can be put on dialysis again until a new donor kidney is found.
Q: What are Some Possible Post-transplant complications?
2. Delayed kidney function
3. High blood pressure
4. Weight gain
Q: What can I do to reduce damage to my kidney?
A: • Keep fit with regular exercise to help blood pressure and weight control.
• Eat healthy and maintain a good body weight – which reduces blood pressure stress of being overweight and diabetes mellitus.
• Keep regular control of your blood sugar level
• Monitor your blood pressure
• Moderate alcohol consumption
• Do not smoke
• Do not take over-the-counter-pills on a regular basis
• Do not use bleaching creams and/or soaps
• Avoid herbal preparations
• Drinking adequate quantities ( 2 to 3 Litres ) of water daily
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