Acute Renal Failure

A diagnosis of acute renal failure means that one or both kidneys are no longer functioning properly. This is frightening news to hear because these small organs, weighing about one-third of a pound each, perform important physiological functions. The body has two kidneys that are located beneath the rib cage, one on each side of the spinal column. The bean-shaped organs cleanse wastes from the blood and regulate an individual's blood pressure. It even plays a part in the manufacturing of red blood cells in bone marrow. Additionally, they control the absorption and excretion of water, salt, calcium, and phosphorous. They work to balance the water content in the blood with the salt and other minerals. A person can live with just one kidney so it's not uncommon to hear of individuals donating one of their healthy kidneys to save a loved one's life. In these types of organ transplants, tests are first conducted to ensure compatibility between the donor and the one receiving this life-saving donation. While suffering from acute renal failure is scary, it's not necessarily life-threatening. Someone who receives such a diagnosis, or whose loved one does, will want to find out as much about the condition as possible and ask the medical professional a lot of questions about treatment options.

There are several symptoms that indicate your filtration system may not be functioning properly. A person may experience swelling in her ankles, legs, and feet. She may find herself frequently getting up in the night to use the restroom or may realize a noticeable decrease in urine output. Fatigue, hand tremors, seizures, dehydration, and abdominal pain are other symptoms. In addition to these physical problems, there may be mental or emotional ones. For example, the individual may feel lethargic or agitated. Even people without much medical experience can usually see that these same symptoms can be caused by many other ailments besides acute renal failure. A proper diagnosis will include a medical history, lab tests such as a urinalysis and blood work. If filtration problems are suspected, the physician will almost assuredly want the individual to undergo abdominal imaging tests, such as an ultrasound, x-rays, or even a CT scan or an MRI. When possible, the results of all the tests will compare changes in the levels of certain minerals in the blood with the patient's baseline information. Changes in urinary output may also be considered in making a diagnosis.

The organ may succumb to acute renal failure for a variety of reasons. The individual may have a severe illness that affects the organ. For example, people with diabetes often experience problems with their renal function. The organs may experience trauma due to an injury or an infection (sepsis). Many prescription medications for other conditions list adverse effects on them as a possible side effect. Even aspirin can cause damage. Sometimes the lowering of someone's blood pressure during surgery can harm the organ. The prognosis depends on the amount of damage. If the condition is caught before reaching end failure, then the functions may be restored with proper healing. The patient will receive appropriate antibiotics and perhaps intravenous fluids. A strict diet may be prescribed that even specifies a certain quantity of liquids to drink. This is so that the patient receives just enough fluid to keep the body dehydrated, but not so much that the system is overwhelmed and not given a chance to heal. For severe and chronic (ongoing) cases, individuals may have to undergo periodic dialysis treatments. In dialysis, the patient is hooked up to a special machine that cleanses the blood and performs the other related functions.

Receiving bad news about one's health is frightening. Many people become depressed which can sometimes worsen the condition. But it's hard to be optimistic about a future of ongoing tests and such things as dialysis treatments. Those individuals who place their faith in God may question His plan. But given time, many faithful people, even those with acute renal failure accept God's will. Along with Job, the man from the Old Testament who suffered emotional anguish and physical catastrophes, they can say: "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. He also shall be my salvation" (Job 13:15-16a). The faithful may also echo Job's prayer: "Only do not two things unto me: then will I not hide myself from thee. Withdraw thine hand far from me: and let not thy dread make me afraid" (Job 13:20-21).

Of course, the news of organ stress may come as a tremendous shock and patients need help to accept this threat to their very lives. Support groups help both patients and their families cope with this tragic diagnosis. These groups provide a safe outlet for patients and family members to discuss their fears and emotions. Support groups may also provide resource information regarding new research and treatment options. Social service assistance may also be available to help with the costs of medications and treatments or to assist the patient and family in filling out required paperwork. During tough times, patients and families need to reach out to others instead of hiding away. Friends and neighbors can provide assistance with childcare, transportation, and other needs. Perhaps most important of all, this is a time for prayer. Even if the body isn't healed, prayer does wonders for a person's emotional and mental well-being. When acute renal failure disrupts a family, the patient and her loved ones need all the support that's available to them.

Diabetes Kidney Infection

Symptoms of kidney damage with diabetes includes swelling of hands and feet, blood in the urine, weight gain, itchy skin, drowsiness, and twitching muscles. Some people with final stages may experience heart palpitations. Untreated diabetes can cause high blood pressure and damage to vital organs. A diabetes kidney infection may be largely due to excess protein in the urine caused by high blood sugar. High blood sugar can cause the organs to work harder and over time their filtering ability will decrease. The best way to prevent organ damage is to keep blood sugar levels and hypertension under control. High blood sugar is not something to be complacent about. The patient will need to be under a doctor's care and should purchase a blood glucose monitor along with eating healthy and exercising. Another important thing to do is take any medications prescribed faithfully and work with the doctor to find the ones that work the best with the least side effects.

Seeing a doctor and having a urine test every year is very important for a patient with high blood sugar. The detection of protein in the urine is an indication of organ failure. Having the symptoms are additional reasons to get medical attention immediately. Some indications that a trip to the doctor is needed includes but is not limited to swelling of the face, hands, and feet, blood in the urine, and extreme drowsiness to the point that it is difficult to stay awake during the daytime. Nephropathy or kidney disease caused by insulin problems is one of the main causes of organ failure. The longer a person suffers with untreated hypertension and high blood sugar the more damage to the body.

Some people have high blood sugar for years before they are ever diagnosed. By the time the diagnosis happens there may already be signs of an infection. There are many reasons why a person should have a yearly checkup. Some of these include being overweight, having a family history, a sedentary lifestyle, and eating a diet of foods high in sugar and fat. A yearly exam with laboratory tests can reveal high blood sugar in time to prevent damage to arteries and organs. A fasting blood glucose level over 120 mg/dL is an indication that the patient may have diabetes. In addition, a doctor may want to take a glucose tolerance test to see how well the body's insulin is affecting blood sugar levels. Within two hours of eating a meal glucose levels should be back in the normal range.

Patients who are diagnosed with Type 2 high blood sugar should have additional tests to rule out complications that can be brought on by untreated high glucose levels. Most likely a doctor will ask the patient of any symptoms that have been occurring. Symptoms of damage from diabetes are crucial to tell the doctor about so that tests can be done to rule out infection and other problems that can arise. The doctor will normally check for hypertension, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and heart rate. Some other conditions that can be caused from prolonged high glucose levels include atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries, nerve damage, sores that are slow to heal, bladder infections, and nerve pain. Nerve pain can be very hard to manage but there are medications that may help. Help can also come through having faith in God and trusting in Him for answers to medical problems. "And they that know Thy name will put their trust in Thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek Thee." (Psalm 9:10)

The best way to eat to help the function of these body parts includes eating smaller portions of protein; eat less meat, limit dairy products, limit cheese, and avoid foods high in phosphorus. Some food and drinks high in phosphorus include colas, chocolate, beer, peanut butter, beans, bran cereal, and nuts. When the kidneys are not functioning well there is a build up of protein and phosphorus in the body. An increase in phosphorus can cause a decrease in calcium resulting in bone loss. Eating healthy by limiting protein and phosphorus can help a patient to avoid a diabetes kidney infection as well. Some of the symptoms associated with a urinary tract infection include constant urge to urinate, burning during urination, blood in the urine, back pain, chills, fever, nausea, and vomiting.

Hypertension in patients with high blood sugar will often include a prescription for ACE inhibitors. ACE inhibitors can actually help to prevent the symptoms of kidney damage with diabetes by relaxing the blood vessels and blocking a hormone that can cause the arteries to narrow. A physician will probably prescribe a diuretic that will help the body to remove excess water and sodium lowering blood pressure even further. High blood pressure if often diagnosed because the patient has a consistently high reading of 140/90. When this happens, lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise should also be incorporated into the patient's life. Losing weight is important as is limiting alcohol intake and the cessation of smoking. Exercise should be done moderately and regularly for about 30 minutes at a time.

One of the most important things to remember when eating healthy is to limit sodium intake. Excessive sodium can increase blood pressure as well as making it harder on the body to function properly. Drinking lots of water will help a patient avoid a diabetes kidney infection and will help the organs to function better. Some of the health problems that go hand-in-hand with high blood sugar and kidney damage include heart failure, stroke, and nerve damage. Seeking medical care for symptoms bodily damage is crucial to help prevent more serious health conditions and complications.

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