Know Your Kidney
How kidney works
To understand kidney disease let’s first understand the normal structure and function of the kidneys.
Understanding Kidney & its functions
Every person has 2 kidneys located above the waist. Kidneys are pairs of reddish-brown, bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. Each kidney has a million filtering units called nephrons which help filter the blood .
There are 2 main types of kidney disease
• Chronic ( over time ) Kidney Disease
• Acute ( sudden ) Kidney Disease
Function of Kidneys
Filter about 200 liters of blood every 24 hours to remove waste and excess fluids
Help control blood pressure , red blood cell production and other functions .
Generate about 1-2 liters of urine. But when kidneys are damaged and not functioning normally , it could lead to Kidney disease .
Types of Kidney Diseases
Also called ” Acute Kidney Injury ” ( AKI ) or ” Acute Renal Failure ” .
It occurs when the kidneys suddenly stop working or stop filtering waste products from the blood . AKI could occur due to :
Direct damage to the kidney.
Not enough blood flow to the kidneys.
Urine backed up in the kidneys.
AKI usually has an abrupt onset which is potentially reversible . The kidney often returns to normal or near – normal when the cause such as high or low blood pressure , kidney stone , or high blood sugar is treated . Sometimes one might need dialysis for a short time .
Common symptoms of AKI Include
• Poor appetite
• Severe Vomitting
• Abdominal or back pain
• No urine or high urine output
As the stage of the disease progresses, kidney disease gets worse and kidney function reduces.
The stages range from very mild (stage 1) to kidney failure (stage 5 )
Stage 1 Kidney damage with normal kidney function. eGFR 90 or higher
Stage 2 Kidney damage with mild loss of kidney function. eGFR 60-89
Stage 3 Moderate loss of kidney function. eGFR 30-59
Stage 4 Severe loss of kidney function eGFR 15-29
Stage 5 Kidney failure eGFR less than 15
The majority of the kidney functions are disturbed before you notice any symptoms of kidney disease . At stage 5 , when kidneys fail , a person would require a kidney transplant or dialysis to stay alive .
KIDNEY TRANSPLANT Replaces a failed kidney with a healthy kidney from another person .
DIALYSIS A machine or other equipment is used to filter the blood.
“Early detection can help prevent the kidney disease progression to kidney failure”