Radiation Therapy Frequently asked Questions
1. How do kidney diseases manifest?
Kidney disease manifest in various symptoms such as,
• Swelling over face, legs or entire body
• Urinary abnormalities like red coloured urine, burning while passing urine, decreased urine output, increased frequency of urine
especially at bedtime
• Shortness of breath
• Pain in flanks or in the groin
• Unexplained loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting
• Weakness, fatigue, bone pains
2. Are kidney diseases curable?
Yes, many of the kidney disease are curable. They are:
• Acute renal failure: kidney failure appearing over hours to days, if managed in time can be completely cured.
• Chronic renal failure: some of the common causes for chronic kidney disease in India are glumerulonephrites, diabetes,
and hypertension. If the involvement of the kidney is managed appropriately, advanced failure can be avoided or delayed.
• Nephrotic/Nephritic Syndromes: many of which can be cured.
• UTI's and UT stone can be treated and recurrence avoided.
3. Does initiation of dialysis mean lifelong treatment?
No, it does not mean lifelong treatment. If the kidney failure is irreversible (chronic), then and only then is the treatment lifelong in nature. Some acute renal failure patients may require dialysis for short time, once the kidney recovers then the dialysis is ended.
4. What does dialysis do?
Dialysis removes the toxins and excess water accumulated in the body as a result of kidney failure. These toxins, if not removed can cause end organ damage and even death.
5. What is Peritoneal dialysis?
It is an alternative form of dialysis where patients fill their bellies with a special solution through a tube in their bellies and empties it after some time. They do this three to four times a day. Each cycle takes about 30-45minutes.
6. Which dialysis is better, Peritoneal or Haemodialysis?
Some patients are more suited for haemodialysis and some for peritoneal. A Nephrologist can help in this regard. Most of the patients are fit for either and have a choice between the two.
7. Does a patient on dialysis have dietary prohibitions?
General dialysis patients are advised low potassium and low phosphates containing diet with adequate proteins. Fluid (water) restrictions are based on individual urine output and many patients may not require them.
8. Which form of treatment is best for End-stage Renal Disease (ESRD)?
The best treatment for patents having ESRD is a kidney transplant. It provides a better rate of survival and a good quality of life. If this is not possible for whatever reason, then dialysis is the next best solution.
9. What is the requirement for kidney transplant?
The primary requirement for a transplant is a fit and willing donor to an ESRD patient. Financial support and an experienced team of doctors will take away emotional tension and enable smooth transplant for a healthier life.
10. What are the risks that the donor faces?
Donors are usually selected after a battery of tests to rule out disease. In fact healthy persons have been proven to live longer however; they carry the risk of anesthesia.
11. How long does a transplant patient have to use drugs?
12. Are there restrictions for transplant patent, can they work?
Initially there are a few restrictions to avoid getting infections but after three to six months the risks of infections are low and patients can continue with their day to day activities, even resuming a healthy work life.
A partial or complete loss of kidney function or acute failure causes reduced urine output and blood chemical imbalance, including uremia. This could result from diabetes mellitus, hypertension, urinary tract blockage, urinary tract stones, different types of 'glomerulonephritis', certain genetic diseases, and also from unrelated causes like drugs or chemical exposure, major blood loss, crush injury, severe burns, severe infections including kidney infections, renal artery or venous blockage, and diseases of other organs predominantly heart and liver diseases.
Complications arising from kidney diseases include heart failure, pulmonary edema, and high potassium levels. Chronic failure usually results from long-term kidney diseases. The blood becomes too acidic, bones can lose calcium, and nerves can degenerate. The kidneys can sustain life until they lose about 90% of their function. Failure of both usually requires dialysis or kidney transplant.