Acute & Chronic Kidney Disease
Our kidneys perform several functions in order to maintain balance in our bodies. They filter waste products and excrete them in the urine. They adjust the amounts of water and electrolytes like sodium, potassium and calcium in the body. They also help excrete excess acid or alkali, maintaining acid base balance. A reduction in their ability to perform these tasks is called kidney/renal failure.
Hypertension affects approximately 86 million adults (≥20 years) in the United States; it is a major risk factor for stroke, myocardial infarction, vascular disease, and chronic kidney disease. Hypertension is defined as a systolic blood pressure (SBP) of 140 mm Hg or more, or a diastolic blood pressure (DBP) of 90 mm Hg or more, or taking antihypertensive medication. Hypertension may be primary, which may develop as a result of environmental or genetic causes, or secondary, which has multiple etiologies, including renal, vascular, and endocrine causes. Primary or essential hypertension accounts for 90-95% of adult cases, and secondary hypertension accounts for
2-10% of cases.
When the kidney function is reduced to less than 15%, waste products and fluids build up in the body. The accumulation of toxins such as creatinine and other nitrogenous waste products leads to symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, fatigue, swelling and breathlessness. These are collectively termed as uremia. At this point, medical management becomes inadequate and the patient will need to start dialysis.
Dialysis is a procedure by which waste products and excess water that accumulate in renal failure are removed from the body artificially. It is a life-saving technique for patients with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) or Acute Kidney Injury.