Top to Toe

Someone requested that I do a blog of how Kidney Failure effects me Top to Toe, although this is unlikely to be a very happy blog, I hope it will serve some use on how Kidney Failure doesn’t just effect the kidneys and puts into persepective how I feel on a daily basis, symptoms I suffer at the moment and those that are likely to get worse.

*Warning* if you are offended by wee than I guess you should stop reading now! Ha!

Kidney Failure is also known by a few other names.  ESRD/F – End Stage Renal Disease/Failure.  CKD – Chronic Kidney disease.  Kidney Failure is when the kidneys fail to filter waste products from the blood.  The kidneys also removes excess fluid, balances chemicals in the blood, produces hormones to control blood pressure and maintains healthy blood cells and bones.

Kidney Failure is divided into 5 stages 1 being normal and 2 being mild kidney disease and 5 meaning serious medical intervention required to survive (dialysis) so I am currently at the end of Stage 4.  These stages are measured by GFR (Glomerular filtration rate) which is the rate at which the blood is filtured by the Glomulori in the kidney and this result based on the Serum Creatinine level in the blood.

So because the kidneys can’t filter toxins from the blood, levels in the blood are effected such as increased acid levels (acidosis), increased potassium, decreased levels of calcium, increased levels of phosphate.  It also effects the red blood cells and the amount of oxygen in the blood (anaemia – which I am currently suffering from).  Bone and heart health may be effected in long term kidney disease sufferers.

Physical symptoms vary from person to person but here is a list of symptoms that I am experiencing at the moment – top to toe (not necessarily in order)

    • Nausea
    • Hematuria – Blood in urine
    • Proteinurua – Protein in urine
    • Nocturnal Urination
    • Hypertension – high blood pressure
    • Muscle cramps (mainly in toes)
    • Hyperkalemia – high potassium
    • Acidosis
    • Abnormal heart rhythms (I have a heart mummer which is not life threatening)
    • Swelling of the legs and ankles (edema – fluid retention)
    • Swelling of the abdomen (edema- fluid retention)
    • Sometimes difficulty walking long distances due to above fluid in legs.
    • Shortness of breath – due to fluid overload and/or due to anaemia
    • Burning sensations in my hands and feet – due to side effect of immunosuppressant drug tacrolimus
    • Dodgy bowels – due to MMF anti-rejection drug
    • Currently experiencing back pain (not sure what this is due to, but its in the location of my old kidneys rather than my transplanted one)
    • Loss of appetite (ocassionally – for those of you that know me, this is very rare as chocolate solves everything!)
    • Stomach Pains – particularly on eating.
    • Anaemia – low oxygen in the blood and a hole set of symptoms on its own.
    • Feeling tired/weak
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Headaches
    • Difficulty sleeping
    • Dry skin – especially on my face

Look at all those.. I’m such a catch! Lucky A, hey!
The above doesn’t even scrape the surface, it doesn’t talk about the psychological effects, the emotional effects. It doesn’t talk about the strain it puts on your loved ones around you. It doesn’t talk about The effects on your financial life or implications for your employment.

Like I said these are the symptoms I experience on a daily basis and this may not necessarily be the case for other patients.  I hope this gives you an insight into my life at the moment…

To find out more about Kidney Failure, Symptoms and Treatment.  Click Here.


3 thoughts on “Top to Toe

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