Healthy Living

Why Some Lupus Patients Need Kidney Transplants

Why Some Lupus Patients Need Kidney Transplants

Lupus, an autoimmune disease that affects millions every year, has been known to harm the kidneys and other tissues, resulting in severe damage to the body. The variation of lupus that affects the kidney is called lupus nephritis. This type of disease inflames the kidneys and causes them to not filter blood properly. When lupus causes the body to attack itself, it sends cells to the kidneys to be filtered, but since the kidneys are not functioning properly, it can result in serious damage. This can often lead to permanent kidney damage and even death in some lupus nephritis patients. 

Millions every year are affected by lupus that harms the kidney and other tissues. This can damage the body severely. Lupus nephritis is the variation of the lupus that affects the kidneys. The kidneys become inflamed and hence the blood cannot be filtered properly. Serious damage can be caused since the kidneys are not functioning properly and the cells to be filtered are sent to the kidney. This can causepermanent kidney damage and in some it may even cause death.

The cause of this is still unknown. Family history and particles in the environments such as pollutants or viruses may be a cause according to researchers. Men and women both are at risk and lupus has occurred more in women.

Lupus nephritis causes the following:

Fatigue- feeling or tiredness

Weight gain- kidneys are not able to remove waste effectively from the bloodstream since they are damaged. Weight gain may occur due to build up of waste.

Blood in urine- frank blood or visible blood in the urine may appear due to the damage to the kidneys.

Frequent urination- urinary symptoms such as frequent urination during day time may occur.

Joint pain- in the bloodstream, waste products may build up. Thus within the joints, the amount of waste products increases. This causes joint pain.

Edema- if the waste products build up in the bloodstream then swelling may be caused due to fluid retention.

Typically medications that can prevent symptoms are given to manage lupus nephritis but the actual treatment is kidney transplant. Patients receiving kidney transplant may also take medications, these medications are to prevent the symptoms of lupus. This allows the body to accept the new kidney since the immune system is suppressed by the medication. A better life has been experienced by those patients who had a kidney transplant. Nationwide for organ transplant over 100,000 people have been listed. To receive a transplant many have to wait for years.

Therapy is one option in managing lupus nephritis. The main aim is that the renal function should be normalized or reconditioned so that progressive loss of renal function is prevented. If clinically the renal disease is significant for people with lupus nephritis then corticosteroid therapy is an option.

Lupus is a condition in which the body attacks its own healthy cells. The healthy tissues are seen as invaders and thus they are tried to be eliminated. In women lupus is common and the effect of lupus on them can be more. Usually kidney, pancreas, liver, brain is affected.  Some sort of kidney involvement is experienced in almost 60-90 percent of people with lupus. The most common affected area is the kidney. It can either be damaged completely or it may not function properly. Every day the kidney filters 100 drops of blood hence in relation to lupus it is an affected organ.  For patients with lupus it is unusual to receive a kidney transplant but this procedure is life saving for those with lupus nephritis. In order to slow the decay of the kidney and halt its failure, recently medications have been developed.