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What You Need to Know About Kidney Failure

What is Kidney Failure?

Failure of kidney is known to mostly occur due to an acute situation which can lead to injuring of the kidneys or due to the individual suffering from a chronic medical condition which slowly and gradually lead to the kidneys to stop functioning. In case of acute renal failure, the functioning of the kidney is lost rapidly and it can also occur from multiple insults caused to the body.

Humans have two kidneys and both the kidneys must be damaged for complete kidney failure to occur. In case if there is failure of just one kidney then the disease can be removed and the remaining kidney can be kept to continue with the normal kidney or renal function. In case if the patient’s kidneys become damaged or injured then there would be a need for donor’s kidney to be transplanted.  There are various causes of kidney failure.

suPAR blood test:

Detecting kidney failure on an early basis is very much crucial and now it has been made easier by carrying out a simple blood test. Many a times, patients do not realise that they are suffering from kidney failure until it is too late and they have to go in for the route of dialysis. But now there is a simple blood test called as the suPAR (Soluble urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor) which can help to identify those risk factors in case of a kidney disease.

This blood test is known to measure the volume marker in the blood thereby identifying the address for those kidney disease. If you are at risk of a kidney disease, then it becomes important to regularly speak to the doctor or your health care provider to ensure that routine testing as well as screening is carried out on an annual basis. As per one of the study it has been shown that suPAR which is a circulating protein which can be measured by carrying out a simple blood test.

This test is known to help in predicting the chances of the individual of developing chronic condition of kidney disorder as much as it can be five years before this condition can actually start to damage the part. There is a comparison said wherein it says that suPAR promises to do for the kidney what the cholesterol has done for the cardiovascular disease. In the near future it is said that a rise in the level of suPAR would probably be able to help the doctor in identifying about any incoming kidney issues thereby preventing those issues before it turns out to be worsening that part of the body.

It is very much similar to the way cholesterol works wherein high levels of cholesterol in the body is a signal that there has to be a change in the lifestyle of the individual as well to start on medications such as protective drugs for avoiding any possibility of heart attacks or strokes. There is still additional research still needed in this field but the new kind of results are said to indicate a broader role for the suPAR across all the kidney conditions.

Apart from cleaning the blood of any excess toxins as well as waste, the kidneys are said to help in controlling the blood pressure thereby making the red blood cells and the bones to be kept strong. When the kidneys do not function as they are supposed to or stop functioning entirely over the series of months or years then it is known to be called as chronic kidney disease.

Few of the most common causes of kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure. There are more than 50,000 deaths every year due to chronic condition of kidney disease hence it has been termed as a silent killer since the symptoms are not easily identified. Many a times people do not realise that they are suffering from kidney disease until it reaches the advanced stage. In case if it turns out to be chronic kidney disease then it can lead to severe damage to the organ before the symptoms arise which can include blood traces found in urine, swelling of the hands as well as the feet and there is excessive thirst. 

During the advanced phases the individual would start to develop serious kind of complications which can also include high blood pressure and then lastly the kidneys would fail. But it is said that the heart also works very closely with the kidneys most of the individuals who suffer from chronic kidney disease also die due to heart issues even before their kidneys start to fail or give away. Currently there are two markers which the doctors rely on for detecting as well as managing the chronic kidney disease. Those two markers are:

  • Proteinuria or high levels of protein found in urine
  • eGFR or estimated glomerular filtration rate which is mostly based on to measure the creatinine present in the blood and it also indicates how well the kidney is said to filter out the waste from the body.

These kind of disease indicator are useful in monitoring of the existing kidney disease but again they are not sensitive to catch out the disease in the early stages or for predicting the individual’s risk of developing any kidney disease. The shortcoming is something which has been pointed out in the NEJM study.

It has found out that high suPAR levels is termed to be an excellent predictor of any kind of future kidney issues. suPAR is also known to predict eGFR decline in certain patients who have already an established earlier issues of kidney. The normal suPAR is less than 2,373 picograms per millimetre. The above normal range is between 2,373 and 3030 pg/mL. high levels would indicate between 3040 to 4020 pg/mL and very high levels would be above 4,020 pg/mL.

High suPAR are considered to be bad news for a patient hence it is also termed to be a powerful predictor of chronic kidney conditions.