What Is Renal Failure
Renal failure sounds scary, but what does it really mean? Simply explained, renal failure means that your kidneys have failed. Your kidneys fail when they can no longer work as filters to remove the impurities, toxins, heavy metals, and other waste products deposited by blood cells into the bloodstream for elimination.
Kidney failure happens when the kidneys enter the final end-stage, called chronic kidney disease or ‘end-stage kidney disease’.
End-stage kidney failure occurs when around 90% of the kidney function has been lost.
In end-stage renal disease, your kidneys are no longer able to filter your blood causing toxicity levels to build and the systemic failure of other vital organs when they are forced to shut down because they can’t function in the toxic environment of your heavily polluted circulatory system.
Acute kidney failure is a sudden drop in kidney function that can develop quickly over a few hours or days and occurs in people who are predominantly already critically ill or have other vital organs systemically shutting down for different reasons. In this case, the kidney failure is a secondary or subsequent step in the chain reaction taking place inside the body.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Renal Failure
If you have two or more of the following warning signs, you should consult your doctor immediately for tests to rule out renal failure. That does not mean you will have renal failure, only that your body has something big that requires urgent investigation, identification, and treatment.
Acute kidney failure can include:
- decreased amount of urine exiting the body
- fluid retention and oedema causing swelling all over the body
- confusion, nausea, and kidney pain or pain in the lower back region
Chronic kidney failure may include:
- tiredness, weakness, nausea, vomiting
- itching, restless legs
- breathlessness at rest
- high blood pressure that can’t be controlled
- night-time urination and bed wetting
- Any or all the symptoms of acute kidney failure
Diabetes onset can share several signs and symptoms with failing kidneys, and both conditions require correct diagnoses and treatment as both have the potential to be deadly and take life suddenly if ignored or left untreated.
What Causes Renal Failure
Acute renal failure routinely affects hospitalised patients who are already gravely ill and have other organ system complications that mean all the body’s vital systems have been compromised.
Renal failure can unexpectedly become a life and death situation for a perfectly healthy person on certain medications for:
- Blood pressure
- Undergoing chemotherapy
- Imaging dyes
- Taking antibiotics
The most common causes of chronic kidney disease in Australia are:
- Hypertension (High blood pressure)
- Inflammation of the kidneys
Some genetic factors may play a small part in kidney failure. Living a lifestyle and consuming a diet that forces the kidneys to overwork can lead to them simply wearing out faster than they can be repaired.
How Is Renal Failure Treated
Options for kidney failure treatment will depend on the stage of kidney disease at the time of diagnosis. There is no ‘cure’ for kidney disease per se, but there are three common treatment options available at present, with work in the genetic and robotic fields flying along at an accelerated pace, lending some hope to future patients:
- A kidney transplant: The diseased kidney is surgically removed and replaced with a healthy kidney from a donor who is a suitable tissue-type match.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as one donated kidney fitting everyone waiting to receive a donor’s kidney. Finding the right kidney donor for a recipient can be exceptionally difficult in the amount of time the person in acute renal failure has to live.
A healthy kidney is valued at around $30,000 – $50,000 US on the black market. Humans are born with two (2) kidneys but only require one functioning kidney to live a happy, healthy lifestyle. Family members are often unsuitable donor matches due to differences in blood and tissue type.
The dwindling number of organ donors is also of concern. Organs from one healthy, recently deceased organ donor can save up to 13 lives! Instead, they are cut up in the autopsy and returned to the chest cavity in a bag for either burial or cremation.
When you understand the post-mortem procedure, it makes sense to become an organ donor. While your spirit will move on, your physical body parts can allow others to continue living their lives, carrying a part of you with them until it is their turn to become the donor.
- Dialysis: Uses a machine to remove the extra fluid from your blood and filter out the waste products. Dialysis is only a short-term measure while a donor’s kidney is searched for.
People needing transplant organs are placed on an organ donor list and go through hell in the hopes that someone who lost their life is the perfect match to donate the vital organ that will allow them to continue living.
Sadly, the reality is that very few people receive a donor organ in time. However, where their other organs are healthy, they may decide to become organ donors themselves and go on to save many other people waiting on multiple donor lists for vital organs and body parts across the globe they match with.
- Palliative care: This means providing all the health care, pain relief, and support possible but not attempting to cure kidney failure by letting things run their natural course.
In this option, the person with kidney failure has chosen to end life the way nature intended without any intervention from external sources.
It is important to note that no two people are the same, no two cases are the same, and not everyone can be saved, even if they go to the expense of fighting the disease with a donor’s kidney.
Sometimes kidney transplants will fail, or the body will reject the donated kidney, and no amount of medication will correct the situation. In some cases, it is the anti-rejection medication itself that the person rejects, meaning the donated kidney is not compatible within their body, and the immune system will destroy it as a foreign body, leading to their death.
As hard as it is to accept, death is the end result for every living thing on Earth in the endless cycle of life, but it doesn’t have to be for nothing. One healthy organ and tissue donor can help save and transform the lives of more than ten (10) people. When you add blood and plasma donation to that list, you can potentially save up to 13 individual people. That is one selfless and heroic way to exit this life!
First Aid Skills Save Lives
The good news is that you don’t have to be on your deathbed to save lives!
You can actively gain nationally recognised First Aid certification and, with that knowledge, potentially save a life or administer First Aid that prevents a situation from deteriorating into the fatal realm.
We are all guilty of taking life for granted, and as part of that, we live in a country where most of us have easy access to multiple doctors or nurse practitioners when something goes wrong. But how do we know something is wrong, and could we have worked it out sooner if we knew the signs and symptoms to recognise a problem before it becomes a problem? The answer is yes!
Taking an accredited First Aid and CPR course with First Aid Course Experts is easy. For less than $100.00 and from the comfort of your own home, you can undertake your chosen First Aid course by means that best suit your needs and schedule.
Visit our website to view the next available course at a location near you. Learn from our amazing Blog page as we teach you the skills and knowledge to save a life, treat emergencies, and use around the home and office where a visit to the doctor isn’t necessary but First Aid treatment is required.