Kidneys are fist sized organs that are located just below the rib cage near the back’s middle area. Simply put, they are the body’s sophisticated trashcans. Every day, kidneys sift out waste products and extra water from about 200 quarts of blood. These waste products and excess water flow out of the body through the bladder to the urethra. The bladder is simply a urine collector; it holds the liquid until it’s enough to be passed out in the bathroom.
Sometimes the kidney may not function as expected, leading to problems. Majority of those suffering from kidney related diseases are not aware of the kidney function until the ailments are advanced to the latter stages. It is for this reason that medical experts recommend occasional kidney function tests even if you feel well health wise. It is also advisable to seek help if you experience unexplained fatigue, appetite loss, short breathes and having to pass urine less or more often than usual.
The kidney is a vital organ in the human body and its failure could lead to or be accelerated by diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, protein in your blood among other conditions. We all tend to relate kidney failure to diabetes but did you know that some of the skin conditions actually narrow down to the same.
The Connection between Kidneys and the Skin
Kidney failure can manifest in so many ways, your skin is one of them. Most people confuse dermatological issues with allergies. The truth is there are some skin disorders like rashes and itching which are caused by renal failure. Some of these disorders are benign while others are severe.
One of the core functions of the skin is to remove waste, both toxic and non-toxic from the bloodstream. This prevents build up which could cause severe itching on one’s skin. Most kidney patients will complain of itchy spells especially around the chest, back and limbs. This normally happens even after dialysis treatment since the waste products that are not removed during the procedure.
The Renal System
This is also known as the urinary system and works with the skin to maintain equilibrium of water and chemicals in the body. Its primary organs are the kidneys. The kidneys excrete urea which is a waste product formed after the disintegration of proteins.
Renal dysfunction is a kidney condition that could lead to dermatological disorders such as;
This affects an average of 60% of all dialysis patients. It is characterized by dry rough skin. It exposes the patients to infections as it also causes delayed wound healing.
This is another symptom of end stage renal system disease. It manifests itself by itching which causes secondary skin effects.
Pruritus and xerosis are curable through transplantation. The sweat glands improve overwhelmingly bouncing back to normal. Only a small percentage of Pruritis do not change after a transplant.
Break Down Cholesterol
This is a toxic waste product that blocks up the pores of one’s skin. The kidney works to break it down and release it as a waste product. Should you have kidneys that aren’t functioning properly, this break down may be hindered and this build up may affect your skin causing rashes and pimples affecting its appearance.
Excess Water Loss
Excess water released by the kidneys combines with the urea and gets released in the form of urine. This prevents scenarios where the eyes would appear puffy or swollen hands and legs.
Regulate Substances In The Blood
Kidneys regulate minerals such as sodium, potassium and calcium in the blood. This prevents the precipitation of these minerals in normal tissue, a process that could affect other organs such as lungs and other blood vessels. The buildup of minerals such as phosphorus on the blood can cause itching.
Low calcium can also cause parathyroid glands; these are pea size swellings that appear on the side of the neck.
Other major functions of the kidney include;
Kidneys help in the production of red blood cells
Regulate blood pressure
Regulate blood acidity
Besides skin disorders, kidney failure could lead to other diseases. These include
Chronic Kidney Disease
This is caused by high blood pressure which affects the glomeruli, organs vital for cleaning blood. The high pressure exerted on them damages them which in turn affect the performance of the kidney. The non-performance requires the use of dialysis machines to help aide the production of urine.
These occur when minerals clump together in the kidneys due to disintegration failure. They can be passed out during voiding but can be painful.
Urinary Tract Infections
If left untreated, these bacterial infections could go up to the kidney affecting its performance.
It is worth noting that some kidney diseases are inherited.
Tips on Reducing Chances of Kidney Failure
Put a limit on foods that contain sodium and potassium. Water is essential in washing away the unwanted waste products in the body, so it is advisable to take in plenty. Avoid over the counter drugs and reduce your alcohol intake. It is also advisable to take kidney tests as often as possible.