The Kidney Disease Aid and Research Fund is a non-profit organization established to aid in the effort to combat kidney disease. We provide educational information and work with other organizations to aid in the kidney disease research effort. Our main focus is to provide information to those suffering from End-Stage Renal Disease. The information we provide aids in the detection of kidney disease, and helps guide patients through the lifestyle changes required by hemodialysis. The assistance we provide to hospitals and clinics aids in the diagnosis of kidney disease by medical professionals for patients who are at risk or show symptoms of the disease. The work we do with other organizations helps improve the detection, treatment, and prevention of kidney disease. Provides medical supplies, equipment and humanitarian aid to programs that treat Kidney Disease and degenerative diseases. Nutritious food disbursed that strengthens immune systems and helps prevent disease.
The kidneys are two organs located on either side of your spine just above the waist. They perform several vital life-sustaining roles. They cleanse your blood by removing waste and excess fluids, maintain the balance of salt and minerals in your blood, and help regulate blood pressure.
Healthy kidneys handle several specific roles:
Nephropathy: A general term used to describe any of the various diseases, dysfunctions, or abnormalities of the kidneys.
Acute Renal Failure (ARF): A rapid loss of kidney function due to damage to the kidneys, resulting in retention of waste products that are normally excreted by the kidney. ARF is potentially reversible depending upon the type and cause of the failure. ARF can lead to more serious conditions which are not reversible.
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD): Gradual decreased function of the kidneys lasting longer than 3 months. CKD is dangerous because it can progress slowly at first, and you may not have any symptoms until serious, often irreparable, damage to the kidneys has been done.
End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD): The final stage of Chronic Kidney Disease occurring when the kidneys permanently fail to work. Permanent renal replacement therapy is required. This therapy can be a form of dialysis, or surgical kidney transplant from a donor with healthy kidneys.
Dialysis: Provides an artificial replacement for lost kidney function (renal replacement therapy) due to renal failure. There are two primary types of dialysis, hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Dialysis in any form is an imperfect treatment to replace kidney function because it does not correct the endocrine functions of the kidney.
Hemodialysis: A form of dialysis where the patient's blood is pumped out of the body and through a machine which acts as a filter removing excess fluid, minerals, and other bodily waste products. The cleansed blood is then returned to the patient's body. Typically hemodialysis is carried out at a properly equipped medical facility 3 times per week, lasting on average 3-5 hours per treatment.
Peritoneal Dialysis: A form of dialysis where a dialysis fluid is entered into the patient’s abdominal cavity. The abdominal cavity is naturally covered by a thin membrane called the peritoneum which contains many small blood vessels. The dialysis fluid will cause water, salts, and the waste products to move from the blood vessels in the peritoneum into the dialysis fluid; effectively turning the peritoneum into a dialysis filter. As the dialysis fluid gets saturated with excess fluid, minerals, and other bodily waste products, the fluid must be exchanged. This exchange is normally performed at home by the patient 4-5 times per day every day.
The advantage to Peritoneal Dialysis is that it is a form of dialysis that can be performed at home by the patient. The disadvantages are that it is a less effective means of ridding the body of waste than Hemodialysis, and it requires an extreme amount of self-discipline on the part of the patient to perform this ritual exchange of dialysis fluid with such frequency.
Kidneys remove waste from the blood and produce urine. When the kidneys are failing, the urine may change.
Failing kidneys don't remove extra fluid, which builds up in your body causing swelling in the legs, ankles, feet, face, and/or hands.
Kidney disease can cause a condition called anemia which leads to fatigue. Kidneys make a hormone called erythropoietin that tells your body to make oxygen-carrying red blood cells. When kidneys begin to fail fail, they make less erythropoietin. With fewer red blood cells to carry oxygen, your muscles and brain become tired very quickly. This is a treatable condition.
Kidneys remove wastes from the bloodstream. When the kidneys fail, the buildup of wastes in your blood can cause severe itching.
A buildup of wastes in the blood (called uremia) can make food taste different and cause bad breath.
A severe buildup of wastes in the blood (uremia) can also cause nausea and vomiting. You may also notice a change in eating habits; for example, you may stop liking to eat meat, or you may be losing weight because you just don't feel like eating. Loss of appetite can lead to weight loss.
Trouble catching your breath can be related to the kidneys in two ways. First, extra fluid in the body can build up in the lungs. Second, anemia (a shortage of red blood cells) can leave your body oxygen-starved and short of breath.
Anemia can make you feel cold all the time, even in a warm room.
Anemia related to kidney failure means that your brain is not getting enough oxygen. This can lead to memory problems, trouble with concentration, and dizziness.
Some people with kidney problems may have pain in the back or side related to the affected kidney.