Facts of kid­ney fail­ure

Auckland City Harbour News - - News -

WHAT CAN GOWRONG WITH KID­NEYS?

A com­plex dis­ease called glomeru­lonephri­tis dam­ages and may de­stroy nephrons in the kid­neys. Nephrons act as the fil­ters for the blood. This is the big­gest cause of kid­ney fail­ure.

Di­a­betes is a dis­or­der where the pan­creas does not make enough in­sulin or the in­sulin is not ef­fec­tive. This im­bal­ance causes a high blood su­gar level and even­tu­ally many un­healthy changes can oc­cur in dif­fer­ent body or­gans, in­clud­ing the kid­neys.

Back­flow of urine from the blad­der up to the kid­neys is the main cause of ir­re­versible kid­ney fail­ure, par­tic­u­larly in young peo­ple. It is called re­flux nephropa­thy. There is also an in­her­ited dis­ease, poly­cys­tic kid­ney dis­ease, which causes cysts to grow within the kid­neys.

High blood pres­sure can also dam­age the kid­neys’ tiny blood ves­sels. Once kid­neys are dam­aged the high blood pres­sure which may be pro­voked by the dam­age will it­self worsen the kid­ney scar­ring, mak­ing a vi­cious cy­cle.

WHAT KIND OF TREAT­MENT IS NEEDED?

Dial­y­sis – ar­ti­fi­cial clean­ing of the blood – is one treat­ment. A tube runs blood out of the body and through a ma­chine which cleans it and then pumps the clean blood back into the body.

Dial­y­sis helps to al­le­vi­ate some of the symp­toms of se­vere kid­ney fail­ure. • For in­for­ma­tion visit www.kid­neykids.org.nz.

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