An Overview of Common Causes for Kidney Failure

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Kidney failure has become a common condition in the United States over the past several years. The majority of kidney failure cases can be linked to preventable illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. The widespread consumption of high fat foods and high sodium diets along with a decrease in daily exercise has led to many chronic health conditions. In an effort to reverse the trend towards chronic illness, many health professionals have been trying to increase public awareness.

It is widely believed that an effective strategy for reducing chronic disease in the United States is to educate both healthcare professionals and the general public about the types of diseases that result from poor diet and a lack of exercise. Individuals need to be aware of the actions that they can take to reduce their risk of developing end stage renal disease. This is one of the major reasons why the government and health insurance companies have begun developing preventative health campaigns.

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The first step towards developing effective public awareness initiatives is to have a basic understanding of what the kidneys are and how they function. The kidneys are small structures that are located in the lower part of the abdomen. These organs have a very important role in maintaining the proper balance of water and nutrients in the bloodstream. When the kidneys become damaged, they can no longer get rid of excess water and waste. The accumulation of water and waste in the body can lead to a number of different health problems.

Individuals who suffer from kidney failure often experience symptoms such as swelling of the ankles and feet, weight gain, itching, nausea, dizziness, tiredness, and others. If the kidneys have been damaged beyond repair, the patient will usually become dependent on dialysis, a kidney transplant, or both in order to survive. Unfortunately, both of these medical treatments require long-term care and can have a dramatic impact on the way individuals live their lives. In addition, both procedures create a tremendous amount of expense for the healthcare system.

The process of dialysis involves the use of a machine that performs the filtration function that would otherwise be carried out by healthy kidneys. This procedure usually requires multiple trips to a dialysis clinic each week. Because dialysis requires numerous hours of treatment each week, patients can become extremely depressed and even suicidal. For this reason, it is important for healthcare professionals to recognize the signs of emotional distress and be able to communicate their concerns to other members of the dialysis team.

Over 80% of kidney failure results from diabetes and high blood pressure. These two diseases are closely linked to poor diet and lack of exercise which means that there is tremendous potential for dramatic reductions in the number of people who develop kidney failure. There are many other diseases that can result in end stage renal failure, but understanding the basics of these two will allow healthcare professionals to handle the majority of patients. Preventive health initiatives will also be most successful if they focus the majority of their time on these two diseases.

Diabetes can be classified as either type 1 or type 2 depending on the cause of the disease. Type 1 diabetes generally occurs early in life and results from an inappropriate immune system response to the insulin secreting cells in the pancreas. When this happens, the pancreas is unable to produce the insulin that the body requires in order to transport sugar from the blood to the cells. Type 2 diabetes develops later in life and is believed to be a form of cellular desensitization to blood sugar. In both cases, high levels of sugar circulate through the bloodstream causing damage to nearly every organ system.

High blood pressure is the second most common cause of kidney failure. This condition is commonly linked to high sodium diets and arterial disease that results from high fat foods. While there are many conditions that have been linked to high blood pressure, poor diet and lack of exercise is the most common cause. Abnormally high blood pressure most often damages the blood vessels leading to the kidneys and may have a negative effect on the filtration mechanism contained within the kidneys. Individuals who suffer from high blood pressure are generally advised to improve their diet, adopt a daily exercise routine, and take blood pressure lowering medications.

There are many other conditions that can cause kidney failure. While these conditions often lead to dialysis, they represent a very small portion of the overall demand for dialysis treatment in the United States. Healthcare professionals and the general public have an opportunity to dramatically reduce the prevalence of kidney failure through education about the negative health effects of diabetes and high blood pressure. Consistent efforts to increase public awareness can influence people to change their eating habits and adopt a regular exercise routine.

A dialysis technician is an important part of the dialysis treatment team and they are responsible for much of the patient education that occurs in dialysis facilities. Because technicians spend so much time with patients, it is critical that they have a firm understanding of both diabetes and high blood pressure. A proactive approach to learning about common causes of kidney failure will have the most impact on reversing the trend towards chronic disease in the United States. Individuals who think they might want to become a dialysis technician are encouraged to check out where they will find information about how dialysis works as well as many other important industry topics.

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