How Does Chronic Kidney Disease Affect the Level of Organization?

Topics: Kidney, Nephrology, Chronic kidney disease Pages: 6 (1755 words) Published: August 25, 2013

There are two kidneys, each about the size of a fist, located on either side of the spine at the lowest level of the rib cage. Each kidney contains up to a million functioning units called nephrons. A nephron consists of a filtering unit of tiny blood vessels called a glomerulus attached to a tubule. When blood enters the glomerulus, it is filtered and the remaining fluid then passes along the tubule. In the tubule, chemicals and water are either added to or removed from this filtered fluid according to the body's needs, the final product being the urine we excrete.

The kidneys perform their life-sustaining job of filtering and returning to the bloodstream about 200 quarts of fluid every 24 hours. About two quarts are removed from the body in the form of urine, and about 198 quarts are recovered. The urine we excrete has been stored in the bladder for anywhere from 1 to 8 hours.

Chronic kidney disease is defined as having some type of kidney abnormality, or "marker", such as protein in the urine and having decreased kidney function for three months or longer. Chronic kidney disease is the slow loss of kidney function over time. In the early stages, there may be no symptoms. The loss of function usually takes months or years to occur. It may be so slow that symptoms do not appear until kidney function is less than one-tenth of normal.

* How does CKD affects the organism?
Most people with chronic kidney disease do not have symptoms until the kidney function is severely impaired. The problem is often discovered when blood or urine tests, done for other reasons, show one or more of the abnormalities.

Even when kidney failure is advanced, most people still make a normal or near-normal amount of urine; this is sometimes confusing. Urine is being formed but it does not contain sufficient amounts of the body's waste products.

There are many causes of chronic kidney disease. The kidneys may be affected by diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Some kidney conditions are inherited (run in families). Others are congenital; that is, individuals may be born with an abnormality that can affect their kidneys. The following are some of the most common types and causes of kidney damage.

The early symptoms of chronic kidney disease are also symptoms of other illnesses. These symptoms may be the only signs of kidney disease until the condition is more advanced. Symptoms may include:

* Appetite loss
* General ill feeling and fatigue
* Headaches
* Itching (pruritus) and dry skin
* Nausea
* Weight loss without trying to lose weight
Other symptoms that may develop, especially when kidney function has gotten worse, include: * Abnormally dark or light skin
* Bone pain
* Brain and nervous system symptoms:
* Drowsiness and confusion
* Problems concentrating or thinking
* Numbness in the hands, feet, or other areas
* Muscle twitching or cramps
* Breath odor
* Easy bruising, bleeding, or blood in the stool
* Excessive thirst
* Frequent hiccups
* Low level of sexual interest and impotence
* Menstrual periods stop (amenorrhea)
* Shortness of breath
* Sleep problems, such as insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and obstructive sleep apnea * Swelling of the feet and hands (edema)
* Vomiting, typically in the morning

A person with chronic kidney disease are 10 to 20 times more likely to have a heart attack and cardiovascular disease also and remains the leading cause of death for people on dialysis and those who have a transplanted kidney. People at every stage of chronic kidney disease are at more risk of cardiovascular disease, although those in the later stages have the highest risk.

Chronic kidney failure can affect almost every part of your body. Potential complications may...
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