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Kidney Disease: Causes

-Your kidneys may be small, but they perform many vital functions that help maintain your overall health, including filtering waste and excess fluids from your blood. Serious kidney disease may lead to complete kidney failure and the need for dialysis treatments or a kidney transplant to stay alive

-When diabetics have associated high blood pressure, special drugs called angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors may help to protect their kidney function.

-Some of the other diseases that may affect the kidneys include infections, kidney stones and inherited diseases such as polycystic kidney disease. The kidneys can also be damaged by overuse of some over-the-counter pain killers and by taking illegal drugs such as heroin.

-kidney disease occurs when about 90 percent of kidney function has been lost. People with kidney failure may experience nausea, vomiting, weakness, fatigue, confusion, difficulty concentrating and loss of appetite. It can be diagnosed by blood and urine tests

-Is a kidney transplant right for me?
There are many things to consider before deciding to get a kidney transplant. Some of these include: the risks and benefits of transplant, medications and their side effects, financial coverage and your ability to continue necessary follow-up care and to follow directions. The final decision is up to you, so you will need to ask questions at your evaluation in order to be comfortable with your final choice

-Getting Ready for a Transplant

Kidney transplantation is accepted as the preferred treatment for many people with kidney failure. Transplantation has many advantages, such as a lifestyle free from dialysis and fewer fluid and dietary restrictions. Kidney transplant, when successful, usually provides a better quality of life for most people and is less expensive than dialysis in the long run.

-What type of kidney transplant is available for me?
There are two sources of kidney donations: living donor (usually a close relative) or a non-living donor (someone who dies and donates their organs). Living donation is usually preferred because the success rate is higher (better than 90% for the first year), the recipient requires less anti-rejection medication, and it is possible to plan when the transplant will take place. Those who do not have a living donor (most cases) can be placed on a transplant waiting list. The waiting time will vary depending on when a non-living donor kidney becomes available. The success rate for non-living donor transplantation is about 80% for the first year

-Which patients are candidates for transplant?
Many people with kidney failure are suitable candidates for transplant. To get a kidney transplant, you must be healthy enough to have the surgery and be free from cancer and infection. You must also be able to comply with the medications and follow-up treatment.