Kidney Failure and Dialysis in Men

Kidney failure is one of the most common fatal organ disorders where a man’s kidneys might stop functioning suddenly, leading to an avalanche of deadly symptoms and effects if left untreated. Kidney failure affects 1 in 10 adult males and has been found to be affecting even younger men in modern times.

Although kidney failures have several treatments, their approach is at most times, expensive and exhausting. Kidney dialysis is one of the most common treatments for a patient who has undergone renal failure that we discuss below.

What are kidney failures?

Kidneys are small, bean shaped organs found in the rear of the abdomen cavity lying side by side at oblique angles. Each of the kidney weighs 125 to 170 grams in men and performs the primary tasks of purifying the blood, regulating blood pressure, electrolyte balance of the whole body and producing red blood cells.

As can well be thought out, a renal failure will thus affect all the four functions listed above. Generally, functioning below 10 – 15 percent of their normal capacity leads to a renal failure that affects both the kidneys. In men, as already pointed out, such failures increase with age and lifestyle patterns with 1 in 10 adult men said to be suffering from it.

What causes such a failure?

Kidney failure is a result of prolonged negligence on the part of the individual’s health, food intake and lifestyle patterns, like so:

  • Poor intake of fluids.
  • Intake of bad fluids that can damage renal functioning.
  • Some medications that cause excessive water loss.
  • Obstruction of blood flow from the renal artery due to fat deposits.
  • Recurring pattern of junk food consumption.
  • Hypovolemia, that is low blood volume.
  • Several antibiotic medications like tobramycin, aminoglycosides gentamicin.
  • Lithium.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, naproxen.
  • Multiple myeloma.
  • Poor control over diabetes.
  • kidney stones.
  • Uremic syndromes.
  • Tumours that obstruct ureters.

What are the symptoms of kidney failure?

  • Rising urea levels.
  • Fatigue.
  • Lethargy.
  • Weakness.
  • Generalized swelling.
  • Disturbances in heart rhythms and blood pressure.
  • Loss of appetite and high potassium concentration in blood.

How are kidney failures treated?

There are primarily three ways to treat a kidney failure:

1. Haemodialysis.

2. Peritoneal dialysis.

Haemodialysis is done through a ‘machine kidney’ or a dialyzer that purifies the blood of all its contaminants. It’s performed by first inserting a fistula (a connection between the veins) in the fist and letting it mature enough to thicken the walls of the connected vein so that it can tolerate the dialyzer’s pressure and needle. Haemodialysis thus uses a filter, connected to a tubing through a filter membrane that cleanses the blood and pumps it back into the body. This process is recurring and is usually repeated several times in a week.

Peritoneal dialysis uses the lining of the abdominal cavity as the filter. A catheter is placed by a surgeon inside the abdominal cavity and a dialysis solution is used to filter out the waste which is leeched out slowly from the blood stream.

Each dialysis has its own pluses and minus points and depends on the patient’s renal and health history.