PATIENTS & FAMILIES

WHAT IS A KIDNEY?

Humans have two kidneys bean shaped and concavely curved in the center. Each kidney weighs approx. 120-300 gr, has an average size of 11 cm height, 9 cm width, and 4 cm depth.

They are positioned on both sides of the spine behind the abdominal cavity, which is enclosed by the peritoneum.

Kidney functions:

Endocrine: urine production (primary and final urine)

Regulatory: fluid reabsorption and exchange of substances between renal tubuli and the blood (not only water but as well uremic toxins)

Excretory: hormone production (erythropoietin, Vit D, and parathormone

PATIENTS & FAMILIES

WHY DO WE NEED KIDNEYS?

Kidneys are complex organs. They could be described as the workaholic ones among the human organs. Top 5 works kidneys do:

• Remove waste and extra fluid (act like a filter, prevents buildup of waste and fluid)

• Control blood pressure (by controlling fluid levels)

• Make red blood cells (erythropoietin tells bone marrow to make red blood cells)

• Keep bones healthy (Vit D to absorb calcium and phosphorous)

• Control pH level (acid and base balance)

WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF

CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE (CKD)?

Kidney failure is the last (most severe) stage of CKD. For that reason, kidney failure is also called End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). There are 5 stages of chronic kidney disease according to the percentage of remaining working capacity.

Top causes of CKD:

• Diabetes and high blood pressure (ca. 65% of the cases)

• Glomerulonephritis

• Polycystic kidney diseases

• Malformations

• Autoimmune diseases

• Infections

• Obstructive cause

KIDNEY DISEASE

HOW TO RECOGNIZE?

Most people will not display symptoms until their kidneys are in the advanced stage of failure. Nonetheless, common symptoms are the following:

• Tiredness and less energy

• Concentration troubles

• Loss of appetite

• Nausea and vomiting

• Sleeping troubles

• Muscle cramps at night

• Swollen feet and ankles

• Dry and itchy skin

• Puffiness around eyes, especially in the morning

FEW ADVICES TO IMPROVE

YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE!

• Keep regulated your sugar level

• Monitor your blood pressure in allowed ranges

• Reduce the salt intake

• Stay hydrated

• Keep balanced food intake

• Regulate your body weight

• Quit smoking

• Keep fit and active