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Treatment of Chronic Kidney Failure

In this article, I will talk about treatment options for chronic kidney failure. Usually the treatment to kidney failure is of ameliorative type and it often progresses to end stage renal disease in which eventually the individual may require to perform kidney transplant or rely on dialysis fo the rest of his life.

Treatment options for kidney failure depends on the symptoms that the affected person has. The kidney has many functions that its dysfunction can be of various symptoms. For example the kidney is the site of the synthesis of the hormone erythropoietin which is important due to its role in stimulating red blood cells formation in the red bone marrow from precursor cells.

Its deficiency as occurs in chronic renal failure can cause impaired red blood cells synthesis with subsequent development of anemia. This anemia in chronic kidney failure can be corrected by the administration of erythropoietin analogue which is called recombinant erythropoietin.

Administration of this hormone has shown imporvement in the anemia of affected individuals especially those on dialysis. Erythropoietin synthesis in normal kidney functioning is stimulated by hypoxic conditions such as at high altitude in the mountain area or due to obstructive pulmonary disease.

Also since the kidney performs function on electrolytes balance in the blood, dysfunction of the kidney is manifested by disturbances in the electrolytes balance in the blood and in the extra cellular space. Especially notable are the ions hydrogen and potassium. Retention of hydrogen ions by the dysfunctional kidney can cause metabolic acidosis which can be corrected by the administration of a suitable base such as sodium bicarbonate.

The improvement of acidosis is temporary only since the source of acid formation has not been removed which is the kidney failure. In addition sodium bicarbonate can also cause hypertension due to the sodium content of the base. In addition, the retentin of potassium ions by the kidney can cause elevated level of this ion in the blood which is called hyperkalemia.

Hyperkalemia is usually more important in acute renal failure thatn in the chronic form of the disease due to its slow progression in chronic kidney failure. Hyperkalemia can be corrected in the body by taking ion exchange resin which can contain either calcium ions or sodium ions.

Also manifested in chronic kidney failure is hyperphosphatemia which can be corrected by taking calcium carbonate which can bind phosphate ions and excrete it in the urine. Also calcium carbonate can function as a base that can neutralize the acid content of the blood. Thus making a dual function of correcting the phosphatemia and the metabolic acidosis.

In addition, the kidney is a site for vitamin D synthesis in addition to the skin. In chronic renal failure the synthesis of this vitamin is impaired or stopped completely. Therefore, one of the manifestations of chronic kidney failure is bone problems that are manifested as hypocalcemia and osteomalacia.

The hypocalcemia can be corrected partially by increasing of the parathyroid gland its secretion of the parathyroid hormone which can affect resorption of calcium ions from the bone tissue. However, clinically speaking this condition can be corrected by administration of vitamin D supplements in the diet. Care must be taken not to exceed the dose since it can predispose to hypercalcemia.

Finally, the last symptom of chronic kidney failure and which is discussed here is hypertension which is caused due to retention of sodium ions and water in the kidney tubules. Treatment to this type of hypertension includes administration of diuretics as well as administration of ACE inhibitors which can lower the blood pressure by preventing the blood arteries constriction.