Kidney transplant: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

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Kidneys are organs in the body that produce urine and regulate fluid and the levels of electrolytes and other substances in the blood. They also take part in regulating blood pH, and in manufacturing certain hormones. When a person’s kidneys do not function properly, they need to undergo a kidney transplant. This article talks about what causes kidney disease, symptoms, treatment and cost.

What is a Kidney Transplant?

A kidney transplant is a surgical procedure that entails removal of an unhealthy or failing kidney and implantation of a healthy donor kidney. A transplant is the only way to repair irreversible damage caused by chronic diabetes, kidney cancer, or congenital defects.

Causes of Kidney Failure

The kidneys filter fluid and waste products from the blood, producing urine. When too much waste accumulates or; the kidneys fail to work, they may need to be replaced. The kidneys may fail due to:

Symptoms of Kidney Failure

Main symptoms of kidney failure include a loss in quantity and quality of urine. This can be caused by a lack of fluid in the body, an inability to make concentrated urine, or a buildup of waste products not being properly eliminated from the body. Other symptoms include fatigue, vomiting, nausea, high blood pressure, confusion, and cerebral edema. A person with kidney failure may also experience abdominal cramps due to electrolyte imbalance and fluid retention.

Treatment Options

When someone needs a kidney transplant, the only option for receiving one is to find a living donor who will donate one of his or her kidneys. There are four different types of treatment that can be used if no living donor is found: dialysis, kidney exchange, kidney transplant from a deceased donor, and renal cell transplants.

What can I do to prevent kidney failure?

Kidney failure can be prevented by controlling blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. This is especially important because most cases of kidney failure are caused by chronic diseases.

To prevent kidney failure you should avoid smoking, reduce salt intake to no more than 2 grams per day, eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables (5-10 servings per day), drink plenty of water (8 glasses per day), keep alcohol consumption at less than one drink per day or none at all, have your doctor check your urine for protein every year , follow the doctor’s advice about medicines that affect kidney function, don’t take prescription medicines unless they’re approved by your doctor.

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