The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that extract waste from blood, balance body fluids, from urine, and aid in other important functions of the body.
Some of the core actions of the kidneys include:
- Waste excretion: There are many things your body doesn’t want inside of it. The kidneys filter out toxins, excess salts, and urea, a nitrogen-based waste created by cell metabolism.
- Water level balancing: As the kidneys are key components in the chemical breakdown of urine, they react to changes in the body’s water level throughout the day. As water intake decreases, the kidneys adjust accordingly and leave water in the body instead of helping excrete it.
- Blood pressure regulation: The kidneys need constant pressure to filter the blood. When it drops too low, the pressure on the kidneys will be increased.
- Red blood cell regulation: When the kidneys don’t get enough oxygen, they send out a distress call in the form of erythropoietin, a hormone that stimulates the bone marrow to produce more oxygen-carrying red blood cells.
- Acid regulation: As cells metabolize, they produce acids. Foods we eat can either increase the acid in our body or neutralize it. If the body is to function properly, it needs to keep a healthy balance of these chemicals.
Because of all of these vital functions, the kidneys perform and the toxins they encounter, the kidneys are susceptible to various problems. When your kidneys aren’t working properly, you may be developing kidney failure. When this happens, harmful wastes and fluids can build up in your body, your blood pressure may rise, and your body may not be able to make enough red blood cells
Types of kidney disease:
• Chronic kidney failure: – A gradual loss of kidney function that results from a long-term disease. This is the more common type of kidney failure and, although it cannot be reversed conventionally, it can be treated either with surgeries, transplants or with alternative treatment options, such as stem cells therapy.
• Acute kidney failure: – It may be referred to as a sudden loss of kidney functions resulting from an injury or poison. Acute kidney failure can usually be reversed within a few weeks if treated quickly.
• End-stage renal disease (ESRD): -This is noted as a condition, wherein the kidneys do not work at all or may work at a lesser extent.
|1||Normal kidney function but urine findings or structural abnormalities or genetic trait point to kidney disease||Observation, control of blood pressure.|
|2||Mildly reduced kidney function, and other findings (as for stage 1) point to kidney disease||Observation, control of blood pressure and risk factors|
|3||Moderately reduced kidney function||Diet, addressing and treating the cause to reduce further progression.|
|4||Severely reduced kidney function||Choices of treatments such as transplant, surgery, etc.|
|5||Very severe, or end stage kidney failure (sometimes referred as established renal failure)||Treatment choices.|
Depending on the underlying causes, some types of kidney disease can be treated. Often, though, chronic kidney disease has no cure, but the treatment that is being offered conventionally will help control signs and symptoms, reduce complications, and slow progression of the disease. If your kidneys become severely damaged, you may need treatment for end-stage kidney diseases.
The conventional treatment for kidney disorders involves some oral steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. In critical conditions, patients can be advised to be on dialysis frequently. However, these can be taken as only supplementary treatments; however, it should as well be noted that lifelong supplementation may result in unwanted complications and hence should be avoided. Otherwise in order to regain back the normal kidney function, kidney transplant is the only available option; but again that possibly is not a good idea because, either it may be difficult to get a matched organ or even if you get a matched donor, possibly your body can suffer with other opportunistic infections, during or after transplant due to compromised immunity.
Thus, medical fraternity had been always in search of some alternative treatment options to avoid steroids and kidney transplantation. Stem cell treatment can be the best choice for all the nephrological issues. Stem cells are the naive cells of the body, which can be differentiated into many cells upon proper activation. This remarkable property of stem cells can be exploited to treat a variety of medical problems. From the loads of data, available from various clinical trials; it has been observed that stem cells once injected into the body, can release some proteins, growth factors and cytokines, to promote the growth of kidney cells and proximal tubular epithelial cells.
Although a lot of research is still under way, stem cells can definitely stop the progression of the disease and thus is a viable alternative with minimum complications and cost.
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