11 Mar
2009

The kidneys are responsible for filtering the blood, removing excess water and waste products. Badly diseased kidneys can’t do this properly: they can’t concentrate the urine, and they can’t excrete waste products properly and the condition called uraemia results.

Uraemia comes on slowly and is accompanied by a large number of other symptoms – protein in the urine, weakness, high blood pressure, anaemia, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea, itching, hiccups, and sometimes confusion. Headaches are common – both from the uraemia (and all the other changes) and also because of the rise of blood pressure.

Severe kidney failure is not necessarily a disease of older people; it does occur in younger people. Sadly, in uraemia there is little that can be done to improve the kidney’s function. Sometimes low protein diets reduce the amount of urea that is formed; in the later stages careful control of the amount of fluid that you drink can also help; but, if you’re getting a headache from uraemia then there are only three things that are likely to cure you: dialysis using an artificial kidney or a technique called peritoneal dialysis (whereby fluid is pumped in and out of artificial holes in the abdominal wall) or else a kidney transplant.

Long-term untreated urinary infections can damage the kidneys and cause them to fail, so it is important to make sure that infections in children and young people particularly are fully treated, and that the infection is completely gone from the urinary system. Otherwise, if the infection is left to grumble on for month after month, and year after year, it may damage the kidneys progressively.

However, don’t get too alarmed about this. Intermittent attacks of cystitis or other urinary tract infections will not produce this sort of damage to the kidneys. It is not the frequent infections that do the damage, it is the continuous, unremitting infections, present for months and years that damage the kidney in this way.

Therefore, as far as prevention is concerned, if you are prone to infections in the bladder make sure that you go to your doctor to get appropriate antibiotic treatment. This will remove the infection and stop any possibility of damaging the kidneys.

Complementary treatment

Constitutional homoeopathy can be helpful for both preventative measures and treatment of existing uraemia

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