What Is Kidney Failure
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs. In an adult, these are each about the size of a fist. Each is about 12 centimeters (4 inches) long. The kidneys are located on either side of the backbone just above the small of the back.
"I was really worried I was wasting my doctor's time, but I just didn't feel right. I couldn't believe it when I found out I had Kidney failure-but at least we caught it early." - Kidney patient
There are many possible causes of kidney failure. For some people, the cause is unknown. However, conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure are known to increase the likelihood of kidney failure.
Kidney failure can also lead to complications such as anemia and renal bone disease, and many kidney failure patients also develop heart disease.
When kidneys begin to fail the symptoms are often mild and ignored, and it is likely to take a long period of time for the problem to be detected and treatment started.
- Stop smoking.
- Eat a healthy diet. Eat food that is fresh and low in salt. Avoid fatty foods and ask your dietitian for advice.
- Monitor cholesterol. If the level of cholesterol (fat) in your blood is too high despite a good diet, you may need to take extra drugs to lower the level.
- Exercise regularly and moderately. This keeps your heart and muscles strong and healthy. Discuss your exercise program with your doctor first.
- Check your blood pressure regularly. High blood pressure will continue to damage your kidneys and put strain on the heart and other blood vessels. Your doctor may prescribe drugs to bring it down.
May 1, 2006