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When Does One Need A Kidney Transplant? All About Kidney Disease

Sometimes, the kidneys can become irreversibly damaged and it's functioning can below 10-15%. This is when a patient may need a kidney transplant.

When Does One Need A Kidney Transplant? All About Kidney Disease

Due to some health conditions, the kidneys can become irreversibly damaged


  1. Diabetes is the one of the most important causes of kidney failure
  2. Arun Jaitley tweeted about his kidney disease
  3. Reports suggest that he shall go through a kidney transplant this weekend

Little do we realize how important it is for us to take care of our kidneys. They are responsible for filtering and removing harmful products from our body. Every day, the kidneys filter 45 gallons of blood. Imagine the amount of waste it eliminates from your body! Now think what will happen if it stops filtering the waste? Your body will store all the chemicals which can lead to problems like high blood pressure, and in extreme cases, kidney failure. And when your kidney stops functioning, there are two options left with you, dialysis or kidney transplant. 

Also read: How can chronic kidney disease be managed?

Recently, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Lalu Yadav, underwent a kidney transplant surgery and is currently recovering at hospital in Singapore.

Nephrologist Dr. Vijay Kher says, "Due to some health conditions, the kidneys can become irreversibly damaged and it's functioning goes below 10-15%. By irreversibly damaged we mean a condition where there is no method for treatment. This is known as end-stage kidney disease. When the same kidney cannot be repaired, it is termed irreversibly damaged. When a kidney disease patient experiences symptoms like loss of appetite, nausea, fatigue, vomiting, it usually points towards kidney failure."
Also read: Here's How Tomatoes Can Affect Your Kidneys

Causes of end-stage kidney failure disease include the following:

1. Diabetes

Diabetes is one of the most important causes of kidney failure. 40% of the world's diabetes cases take place due to diabetes, and our finance minister to is a known case of diabetes. Constant high blood sugar levels damage the kidney filters. Over time, this leads to long-term kidney damage and kidney failure.

Also read: How Does Diabetes Affect Your Kidneys?

2. High blood pressure

High blood pressure or hypertension is also an important cause of kidney failure. When the blood pressure in tiny blood vessels increases, it can prevent the kidney filters from working properly, thereby leading to kidney damage.

Also read: Do I need to undergo kidney transplantation?

3. Polycystic kidney disease

This condition is genetic. It can be inherited from your elders. In this condition, small holes from within the kidney and prevent it from functioning properly.

4. Congenital problems

Sometimes, kidney development problems occur at the time of birth. It starts at birth but it does not manifest itself until 90% of the kidney is already damaged.

Also read: Top Nephrologist Gives 5 Tips To Protect Your Kidneys For Life

5. End-stage renal disease

Sometimes, there are certain blockages in the arteries which prevent proper blood circulation to the kidneys.

Treatment options for kidney failure 

Dr. Kher said that when the kidney is damaged to an extent where there is no scope for medical repair, it needs two types of treatments. They include:

1. Dialysis

Dr. Kher explained that dialysis is one of the treatment options for kidney failure. He says, "Now once your kidney stops functioning, your body can go through a lot of disturbance. Kidney failure treatments are of two types, one is dialysis and the other is a kidney transplant. Dialysis involves the clarification of the blood and removal of wastes and fluids from the body. This process is used to replace the kidneys functions. Now it can be done three times a week which is blood dialysis or it can be done four times a day. Dialysis happens to be an inconvenient procedure."

Also read: Is kidney transplant a better option than dialysis?

2. Kidney transplant

Dr. Kher says that dialysis is one option but there is another, more convenient option and that is a kidney transplant. He said, "Kidney transplant, on the other hand, is an easier way out here. Patients who do not wish to go through the inconvenience of dialysis can go for a kidney transplant. A kidney transplant is of two types. It includes the living-donor transplant where someone from the patient's own family or relative wishes to donate the kidney. And the second one comes from a patient who is brain dead due to a stroke or died in an accident. The heart and other organs of these patients are still functioning so they can be donated to the one in need."

Also read: What are the latest kidney transplantation techniques?

(Dr Vijay Kher is the Chairman of the Kidney and Urology Institute at the Fortis Escorts Hospital)

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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information. 


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