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Acute Kidney Injury – The Little Known Killer

You don’t need to go to medical school to understand the basics of the human anatomy. While it’s true, our bodies are complicated ‘machines,’ with many working parts that are interconnected and help us to work as a whole. However, by keeping the analogy going that we are the sum of all out parts; just like a weak link in a chain can use it do break, so can I weak part of our bodies cause us to falter.

When a person has a broken leg they have a hard time walking, and when a person has a problem with their lung, then they will probably have difficulty breathing. The list and it’s evident associations, go on, and very often the symptoms are reflective of the ailment. Sadly, as is the case often, many symptoms can get attributed to a much less serious point of origin, which can cause misdiagnosis and serious problems.

Acute kidney injury (also known as acute renal failure) might not sound familiar to you, but it is one of the most sudden, serious and life threatening occurrences that can happen to a person, and doctors across the globe are trying to bring this fact to light.

This condition refers to an event that causes the kidneys to suddenly stop working. While it’s true, you probably don’t think about your kidneys often, the fact remains that they are incredibly important to sustaining life as they remove waste products and help balance water and salt and other minerals (like electrolytes) in your blood stream. When you kidney suddenly stops working though, waste products, fluids and electrolytes build up, which can cause problems and even be fatal.

What causes this sudden malfunction in the kidneys?

There are many causes for acute kidney injury including a sudden drop in blood flow caused by injury, an infection known as sepsis, dehydration, medicines, poisons, and blockages can all cause this potential deadly event, which only leads to beg the other question – how do we know you have it?

It is in here that the problem lies, as the symptoms of a fast acting acute kidney disease are very common among other ailments. Symptoms include problems urinating; swelling, mostly in the legs and feet; loss of appetite; nausea and vomiting; feelings of confusion, anxiety, restlessness or lethargy; and pain in the lower back, just below the rib cage.

With these being the typical symptoms, it is no wonder this devastating condition goes often undiagnosed, which can often prove to be a fatal mistake.

In England for example, there are more than 40,000 deaths annually as a result of acute kidney injury, however doctors believe that 13,000 of those deaths could have been prevented if properly diagnosed.

So what will it take to get doctors to open their eyes to this killer? Awareness, that’s what! And by reading this and spreading the word, you are doing just that.

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