Thursday, March 8, 2012

World Kidney Day

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By Diane Forrest, RN

My husband was injured on the job with an injury that left him paralyzed.  Because he had no feeling below his chest, he was not aware of when he needed to use the bathroom, and was forced to wear catheters.  He was able to wear a condom catheter, instead of an indwelling catheter.  Indwelling catheter use for long periods of time can cause infections.  Of course wearing a condom catheter can also cause infections because the bladder is not fully emptying.  On his last trip to the hospital, his doctor informed me that he had kidney failure.  I was shocked, confused, and could only think about was dialysis.  He was transferred to another hospital in the state a few days later.  After running blood tests, it was discovered that he did not have kidney failure, and there was no need to worry.

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The kidneys are very important in the mechanics of our bodies.  They filter the blood, around 180 liters a day, then return the cleaned blood and dispose of the waste, through urine.  The kidneys also regulate blood pressure and the acid base balance in our bodies, and they secrete hormones.  Kidney failure is very serious.  Several conditions can cause kidney failure.  They include:
  • Hypervolemia, which is a major blood loss;
  • Dehydration;
  • Poor intake of fluids;
  • Medications, such as diuretics;
  • Obstruction to the blood flow to the kidneys;
  • Sepsis;
  • Diabetes;
  • Poorly controlled hyper-tensions; and
  • Tumors.

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Kidney failure can sometimes be treated with medication, depending on the underlying cause.  Most kidney failure patients must be treated with dialysis and eventually even a transplant.

Today is World Kidney day.  The purpose of this day is to learn about your kidneys, how they function and how to keep them healthy.  Take this quiz while you sip on a large glass of water, to see how much you know about the kidneys

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For more information on how you can help, visit this site:

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