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There are two kidneys, each about the size of a fist, located on either side of the spine at the lowest level of the rib cage. Each kidney contains up to a million functioning units called nephrons. A nephron consists of a filtering unit of tiny blood vessels called a glomerulus attached to a tubule. When blood enters the glomerulus, it is filtered and the remaining fluid then passes along the tubule. In the tubule, chemicals and water are either added to or removed from this filtered fluid according to the body’s needs, the final product being the urine we excrete.

The kidneys perform their life-sustaining job of filtering and returning to the bloodstream about 200 quarts of fluid every 24 hours. About two quarts are removed from the body in the form of urine, and about 198 quarts are recovered. The urine we excrete has been stored in the bladder for anywhere from 1 to 8 hours.

* CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE (CKD) Chronic kidney disease is defined as having some type of kidney abnormality, or “marker”, such as protein in the urine and having decreased kidney function for three months or longer. Chronic kidney disease is the slow loss of kidney function over time.

In the early stages, there may be no symptoms. The loss of function usually takes months or years to occur. It may be so slow that symptoms do not appear until kidney function is less than one-tenth of normal.

* How does CKD affects the organism? Most people with chronic kidney disease do not have symptoms until the kidney function is severely impaired. The problem is often discovered when blood or urine tests, done for other reasons, show one or more of the abnormalities. Even when kidney failure is advanced, most people still make a normal or near-normal amount of urine; this is sometimes confusing.

Urine is being formed but it does not contain sufficient amounts of the body’s waste products. There are many causes of chronic kidney disease. The kidneys may be affected by diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Some kidney conditions are inherited (run in families). Others are congenital; that is, individuals may be born with an abnormality that can affect their kidneys. The following are some of the most common types and causes of kidney damage. Symptoms The early symptoms of chronic kidney disease are also symptoms of other illnesses.

These symptoms may be the only signs of kidney disease until the condition is more advanced. Symptoms may include:

* Appetite loss

* General ill feeling and fatigue

* Headaches

* Itching (pruritus) and dry skin

* Nausea

* Weight loss without trying to lose weight

Other symptoms that may develop, especially when kidney function has gotten worse, include:

  • * Abnormally dark or light skin
  • * Bone pain
  • * Brain and nervous system symptoms:
  • * Drowsiness and confusion *

Problems concentrating or thinking

  1. * Numbness in the hands, feet, or other areas
  2. * Muscle twitching or cramps
  3. * Breath odor Easy bruising, bleeding, or blood in the stool
  4. * Excessive thirst
  5. * Frequent hiccups
  6. * Low level of sexual interest and impotence
  7. * Menstrual periods stop (amenorrhea)
  8. * Shortness of breath
  9. * Sleep problems, such as insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and obstructive sleep apnea
  10. * Swelling of the feet and hands (edema)
  11. * Vomiting, typically in the morning

A person with chronic kidney disease are 10 to 20 times more likely to have a heart attack and cardiovascular disease also and remains the leading cause of death for people on dialysis and those who have a transplanted kidney.

People at every stage of chronic kidney disease are at more risk of cardiovascular disease, although those in the later stages have the highest risk. Complications Chronic kidney failure can affect almost every part of your body. Potential complications may include:

1. Fluid retention, which could lead to swelling in your arms and legs, high blood pressure, or fluid in your lungs (pulmonary edema)

2. A sudden rise in potassium levels in your blood (hyperkalemia), which could impair your heart’s ability to function and may be life-threatening

3. Heart and blood vessel disease (cardiovascular disease)

4.Weak bones and an increased risk of bone fractures

5. Anemia

6. Decreased sex drive or impotence

7. Damage to your central nervous system, which can cause difficulty concentrating, personality changes or seizures

8. Decreased immune response, which makes you more vulnerable to infection

9. Pericarditis, an inflammation of the sac-like membrane that envelops your heart (pericardium)

10. Pregnancy complications that carry risks for the mother and the developing fetus

11. Irreversible damage to your kidneys (end-stage kidney disease), eventually requiring either dialysis or a kidney transplant for survival How does CKD affects the Organ (specifically the Kidney/Urinary System as general)? Kidney Failure patients always experience a series of urine changes like frequent urination at night, decreased urine output, bubbly urine, blood urine and urgent urine and so on. All these symptoms are related with urinary system. Well, how does kidney failure affect the urinary system on earth? Actually, urinary system is not an isolated organ and is composed of kidney, ureter, bladder and urethra. Kidney plays the role of filtering blood, during which blood and wastes are separated.

Filtered blood flow out of kidney through renal vein and wastes flow into bladder through ureter. Finally, waste fluids are discharged out of our body through urethra. Kidney is one of the parts of urinary system, so when kidney failure is formed, urinary system is affected at the same time. Kidney failure occurs as the final consequence of acute kidney problem and chronic kidney problem. Glomerulus and renal tubule are important kidney tissues. Glomerulus has function to filter blood and renal tubules are responsible for reabsorbing most of the nutrition and fluid filtered by glomeruli.

When glomeruli are damaged, wastes can be not discharged and they pile up in the blood. This is the reason why kidney failure patients always have high toxins in blood. Besides, damaged glomeruli fail to protect protein, red blood cells and other nutrition in blood, leading to the occurrence of bubbly urine (proteinuria) and hematuria (blood urine). Decreased urine output occurs when kidneys fail to filter blood and discharge wastes. It always implies serious kidney damages. Frequent urination is closely related with dysfunction of renal tubule. We know renal tubules perform the function of reabsorbing nutrition and fluids.

When renal tubule is damaged, it cannot reabsorb excess fluids filtered by glomeruli, as a result of which, much more urine is generated. Aside from affecting urinary system directly, kidney failure also may affect urinary system by causing urinary tract infection. Compared with healthy people, kidney failure patients suffer from urinary tract infection easily. With urinary tract infection, patients usually have burning and pain feeling when urinating. They may found they have frequent urge to urinate, but every time, there is a small volume of urine.

Also, they can realize the strong smell of urine. Kidney failure is a life-threatening medical condition. Aside from affecting patient’s urinary system, it also can affect patient’s digestive system nerve system, respiratory system and cardiovascular system and so on. Therefore, having an effective prevention for kidney failure means a lot for kidney disease patients.

How does CKD it affects the Cell? Chronic kidney disease leads to a buildup of fluid and waste products in the body.

This condition affects most body systems and functions, including:

  • * Blood pressure control Red blood cell production
  • * Vitamin D and bone health A urine test may also be done to determine if the kidneys are functioning properly.

When kidney function is reduced, certain substances begin to build up in the bloodstream. Blood and urine tests will help the doctor determine how well the kidneys are working. The following are common tests performed to determine how well the kidneys are functioning. Complete Blood Count (CBC): this is a count of all the components of the blood: red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.

When kidney function is reduced, the CBC level may be low. On the other hand, as the chronic kidney disease worsens, it may cause a new disease called anemia. Most people with chronic kidney disease develop anemia. This occurs because the diseased kidneys no longer make enough of a hormone called erythropoietin (ee-rith-row-po-eh-tin), also called EPO for short. This hormone tells your bone marrow to make more red blood cells. Anemia may occur even with moderate loss of kidney function. If you have chronic kidney disease, you should be checked for anemia.

If anemia is found, you should be treated. Studies have shown that chronic kidney disease patients do better overall when anemia is treated.

* How does CKD affects the Tissue? CKD can be roughly categorized as diminished renal reserve, renal insufficiency, or renal failure (end-stage renal disease). Initially, as renal tissue loses function, there are few abnormalities because the remaining tissue increases its performance (renal functional adaptation); a loss of 75% of renal tissue causes a fall in GFR to only 50% of normal.

* How is Kidney Failure (CKD) treated?

Kidney failure may be treated with haemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis or kidney transplantation. Treatment with hemodialysis (the artificial kidney) may be performed at a dialysis unit or at home. Hemodialysis treatments are usually performed three times a week. Peritoneal dialysis is generally done daily at home. Continuous Cycling Peritoneal Dialysis requires the use of a machine while Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis does not. A kidney specialist can explain the different approaches and help individual patients make the best treatment choices for themselves and their families.

Kidney transplant have high success rates. The kidney may come from someone who died or from a living donor who may be a relative, friend or possibly a stranger who donates a kidney to anyone in need of a transplant.

REFERENCES:

  • http://www. kidney. org/kidneydisease/howkidneyswrk. cfm
  • http://www. nlm. nih. gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000471. htm
  • http://www. kidneyfailureweb. com/urine-changes/399. html
  • http://www. uptodate. com/contents/chronic-kidney-disease-beyond-the-basics
  • http://www. healthywomen. rg/condition/urinary-tract-conditions
  • http://www. livescience. com/27012-urinary-system. html
  • http://www. mayoclinic. com/health/kidney-failure/DS00682/DSECTION=complications
  • http://www. davita. com/kidney-disease/overview/assessing-your-risk/anemia-and-chronic-kidney-disease/e/4805