The kidneys are small but they are powerful. These two bean-shaped organs that nest comfortably in your lower back on both sides of your spine are responsible for filtering toxins and excess fluid from your body. If the kidneys are not working properly, the rest of the body will become sick.
There are basically two types of kidney disease. One type is known as kidney failure. Kidney failure is an acute kidney problem in which the function of the kidneys become impaired or shut down completely. Kidney failure can be the result of severe bleeding, severe dehydration, heart attack or infections. Kidney failure sounds like a death sentence and in some cases it may be. But if caught early enough, kidney failure can be treated and reversed without permanent damage to the kidneys.
Kidney disease is a condition of the kidneys that develops over time. The kidney function can be affected by various underlying conditions. These underlying conditions will include, diabetes, high blood pressure, hereditary conditions and other disease that may affect the kidneys. Chronic kidney disease will do irreparable damage to the kidneys over a period of time.
Kidney disease is categorized by stages. The stages of kidney disease go from stage one to stage five. Stage five is the last stage of kidney disease. This is often called end stage renal disease.
The fourth stage of kidney disease is when the kidneys are now severely impaired. In stage four kidney disease, the kidneys are only functioning at fifteen to thirty percent. In this stage of kidney disease, the patient may be getting prepared to discuss treatment options such as dialysis.
The fourth stage of kidney disease will put the patient at high risk for other health problems. A patient that is diagnosed with fourth stage kidney disease will be at a very high risk for a heart attack that results in death.
When a patient is diagnosed with fourth stage kidney disease, it is important that they follow up with their physicians on a regular basis. Blood pressure must be kept under strict control. Lab work must be carefully monitored because it will be easy for the patient to now retain too much potassium or other types of electrolytes that could lead to complications.
In stage four kidney disease, the patient is now being prepared to start dialysis treatment or to be put on a waiting list for a kidney transplant. Stage four kidney disease can still be managed with close supervision from your doctor.
The patient that has fourth stage kidney disease needs to realize that all is not lost. There is still some hope for a normal productive life. This normal life may be achieved through dialysis or a kidney transplant. It is extremely important that someone who is in fourth stage kidney disease take good care of themselves and get rid of all of the bad habits that can affect the kidneys.
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