Renal Failure Overview:
The kidneys are responsible for filtering the blood, and play a major role in regulating blood pressure through the RAAS system. When kidneys fail, toxic metabolites begin to build up in the blood which can affect a wide range of systems throughout the entire body. This is why late stage kidney failure has such a wide range of symptoms.
The kidneys are very good at compensating from damage to maintain homeostasis. Unfortunatly, this means that many of the symptoms of the condition will go unnoticed until the disease has progressed significantly. In order to prevent this, at risk individuals should be tested regularily to determine kidney function.
+ Acute Renal Failure (ARF)
Acute renal failure involves a sudden decline of renal function that is significant enough to produce azotemia and perhaps even oliguria. This normally occurrs over a period of a few days or a few weeks, and is often irreversible.
Diagnosis relies on urea and/or creatinine levels, as well as loin pain and symptoms including azotemia and oliguria.
Acute renal failure can be cause by shock, acute glomerulonephritis, or obstructive disorders that interfere with the elminiation of urine from the kidney.
+ Chronic Renal Failure (CRF/CKD)
Chronic renal failure is much slower progressing than acute kidney failure, and is often reversible if caught early, but can be difficult to catch in time. Chronic renal failure is often asymptomatic in the early stages and therefore hard to catch before more significant implications appear.
Chronic renal fialure presents with raised blood urea and creatinine levels, and may be accompanied by hypertension, proteinuria, and/or anemia.
Chronic vs Acute Renal Failure
|Acute Renal Failure||Chronic Renal Failure|
|Most Common Causes||Sudden loss of blood||Diabetes, hypertension|
|Symptoms||Rapid reduction in urine output||Can be asymptomatic up to 75% loss of function.|
|Prognosis||Reversible if due to pre- renal causes||Not reversible|
|Pathophysiology||Tubular cell death and regeneration||Nephron loss|
Low urine output
Tachypnoea (metabolic acidosis)
Frothy urine (Proteinuria)
Kidney Function Testing Considerations:
|Parameter||Reference Range||Considerations High||Considerations Low|
|Serum Creatinine||0.6–1.1 mg/dL (Women)
0.7–1.3 mg/dL in (Men)
|Creatinine Clearance||88–128 mL/min (Women)
97–137 mL/min (Men)
|Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR)||90-140 mL/min/1.73 m2||insert||Lowered kidney function. Lower than 15 indicates renal failure.|
|Urine Albumin||0-8 mg/dL||Kidney disfunction||insert|
|Urine Microalbumin||<30 mg||30-300 indicates early CKD. Over 300 indicates later stages of CKD||insert|
|Albumin to Creatinine Ratio||< 30 mg/g||insert||insert|
|Blood urea Nitrogen (BUN)||7-20 mg/dL||insert||insert|
1. Seek immediate medical intervention.
Hospitalisation may be required and herbal or nutritional medicine is to be used as a supportive treatment only.
2. Reduce Dysuria
- Urinary Demulcents (Eltrygia repens, Zea mays, Althaea officinalis)
3. Prevent & Treat Opportunistic Urinary Tract Infections
- Inhibit Bacteria Adhesion (Vaccinum macrocarpon)
- Chronic kidney disease (CKD)
- Acute renal failure (ARF)
- Chronic renal failure (CRF)
Both chronic and acute renal failure demand immediate medical attention. Risk of cardiovascular failure is significant. Long term supportive therapies should only be used as an adjunctive treatment to conventional treatment for this condition.
Treatment For Renal Failure
Herbal approaches not recommended. Immediate medical attention necessary.
Herbs For The Renal System:
- Zea mays
- Vaccinium macrocarpon
- Urtica diocea
- Apium graveolens
- Calendula officinalis
The Sunlight Experiment
Updated: July 2018
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