If you want to know if kidney failure and problems can lead to digestive problems, and if you want to know if kidney failure can be associated with changes in bowel function and intestinal problems, we recommend that you read on.
Doctors believe that people with end-stage renal disease are more likely to develop gastrointestinal signs and symptoms, such as changes in bowel movements.
People with kidney failure, during which kidney function is lost due to damage to the system, are prone to many digestive problems along the entire length of the gastrointestinal tract. Among the digestive problems, we can mention the changes in the movements in the intestines of these people. Doctors say decreased kidney function could be accompanied by manifestations such as constipation and diarrhea. People with original insufficiency will also suffer from stomach aches, bloating, gas accumulation and nausea, and indigestion.
If you or your loved ones have kidney failure and have recently had severe bowel problems, it is best to consult with your medical team and physician, who will probably give you some very helpful advice to change your annoying digestive problems.
We recommend learning more about digestive problems that can be associated with kidney failure.
Read the following article.
What is kidney failure?
The kidneys are located on both sides of our left and right sides. Each kidney is located on one side of your spine. The kidneys purify the blood and thus remove toxins from the body. If the kidneys are damaged for any reason and they cannot perform their functions properly, toxins will accumulate in your body. In fact, this process is called kidney failure. Kidney failure can lead to death if left untreated
Why do kidneys fail?
You may be wondering what factors may interfere with your kidney health and normal functioning.
In this section, we want to answer your question. We said that kidney failure occurs when the kidneys lose the ability to filter and purify toxins. Things that can affect the function and health of your kidneys are:
- Kidney trauma
- Severe dehydration
- Infection of some underlying diseases
- Excessive exposure to environmental pollutants or certain drugs that are actually toxic to the kidneys.
How many types of kidney failure are there?
In general, doctors say that there are two general types of kidney failure, which we will mention below and explain a little about each of them.
- Acute renal failure
- Chronic renal failure
Doctors say that acute failure of all the underlying factors can be pre-renal or renal causes. Also, chronic renal failure can be due to pre-renal causes, renal causes and post-renal causes. In the following, we will briefly explain each of them.
1) Acute renal failure caused by prerenal:
If not enough blood reaches the kidneys for any reason, it can lead to acute kidney failure. Without adequate blood flow, the kidneys will not be able to function properly.
2) Acute renal failure due to renal causes:
Direct damage to the kidneys, for example direct trauma and accidents can cause acute kidney failure due to damage to the kidney tissue itself. Also, one of the other causes is overload of toxins and lack of oxygen supply to the kidneys, which causes the kidney tissue to die and kidney failure to occur. The factors that can cause ischemia of the kidneys are the following:
- Severe bleeding
- Obstruction of blood vessels supplying the kidneys
- Inflammation of the glomeruli
3) Acute renal failure due to adrenal causes:
If the urethra stays blocked for a long time and thus prevents urination, it can put pressure on the kidneys and eventually damage them, and doctors say that in these cases, often by inserting a catheter and establishing the flow of urine and removing the obstruction of the urethra, if this is done at the right time, the progression of kidney failure can be prevented.
What are the stages of kidney failure?
Doctors say that kidney failure has five stages. The first stage, which is very mild, and complete kidney failure, which is stage five, fall into one category. In the following, we will pay attention to a brief description of each step.
Kidney failure first stage:
The symptoms are very mild at this stage. Even the affected person may have no signs or symptoms. A small amount of kidneys is damaged and kidney failure is well managed and the person can see a doctor and follow a healthy lifestyle to slow it down. These are the things to look for when selecting yours:
- Regular exercise
- Adhere to a balanced diet
- Quit Smoking
- Maintain fitness
- blood sugar management in diabetics
Kidney failure stage II:
This stage will also be considered a mild form of kidney failure, but the difference is that recognizable symptoms appear in the affected person. For example, an infected person excretes protein in his urine or physical damage to the kidneys
It may be more obvious that the same things we said in the first stage of kidney failure to improve lifestyle should be observed in this stage. Also in this stage, risk factors such as heart problems, blood problems, inflammation and chronic diseases that can cause faster progression of kidney failure. Thoroughly examined, diagnosed and treated by the medical team.
Kidney failure stage III:
At this stage, the kidneys will not work as they should. In some medical sources, the third stage is divided into two stages, A and B. The symptoms become more apparent during these stages. Swelling of the arms and legs, changes in the frequency of urination, back pain, etc. are also added to the symptoms of the second stage. At this stage, medication for treatment begins, and in addition to medication, adherence to lifestyle modification approaches must be done.
Kidney failure stage four:
The fourth stage of kidney failure will be considered moderate and severe. The kidneys are no longer working well in this stage, but have not yet reached the stage of complete kidney failure. The added symptoms in this stage are:
- High blood pressure
- Bone problems
- Medication, healthy lifestyle to slow the progression of kidney failure must be considered at this stage
Kidney failure stage five:
In the fifth stage, the kidneys are close to complete failure or have already failed completely. In this stage, the manifestations of the loss of normal kidney activity are more obvious.
Vomiting, nausea, breathing problems, itchy skin and other annoying conditions are also added to the symptoms and manifestations of the person. At this stage, the patient will definitely need regular dialysis or a kidney transplant.
What causes kidney failure?
Other causes that can be associated with kidney failure include the following:
- Drug and alcohol use
- Inflammation of blood vessels or vasculitis
- Autoimmune diseases such as lupus
- Heavy metal overload imposed on the kidneys
- Infections and inflammation of the small blood vessels of the kidneys
- Inflammation of the glomeruli
- Multiple sclerosis
- Chemotherapy drugs
- Drugs used to suppress the immune system are used in many autoimmune diseases
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Contrasts used in some imaging
- Some antibiotics, such as gentamicin and its family members
Diagnosis of kidney failure
After taking a history and systematic examinations to confirm the diagnosis of general failure, the following tests are necessary in many cases. The tests are as follows:
- Urine test for any abnormalities such as excretion of abnormal proteins and sugars in the urine
- The amount of white and red cells
- The surface of bacteria and tube-like particles is called a cell cast
- Twenty-four-hour urine volume measurement:
- Measuring the volume of urine output overnight is one of the simplest methods that can lead to the diagnosis of kidney failure.
- Blood test to measure substances that need to be filtered and excreted by the kidneys and are now not excreted due to insufficiency and their amount in the blood increases. For example, if the BUN and creatinine in the blood are increased, it can be due to acute kidney failure, provided that the person has drunk enough water.
- The next paraclinical case used is imaging such as ultrasound, CT scan, and MRI, in which doctors examine obstructions and abnormalities in the kidneys and executive system.
- The last and most accurate diagnostic method is kidney tissue biopsy which can lead the doctor to diagnose kidney failure. Tissue samples are taken to check for abnormal deposits, scars, inflammation, and changes caused by autoimmune diseases that occur in the kidney.
Kidney problems Kidney failure and its association with intestinal problems and gastrointestinal problems
Now that you are somewhat familiar with kidney failure and its symptoms and stages, as well as its diagnosis, we want to say whether a person with kidney problems can also experience intestinal and gastrointestinal problems at the same time.
The answer to the above question is yes. Doctors say that a person whose kidney function is reduced may experience digestive problems such as changes in bowel habits, such as constipation and diarrhea. Also, due to impaired kidney function, indigestion, discomfort and feeling of vague pain in the stomach, gas accumulation, bloating and nausea will constantly bother the person with kidney failure.
One of the most common complaints in people with end-stage kidney disease is diarrhea. Diarrhea in these patients can drastically alter the quality of life of a person with kidney failure. In some cases, diarrhea can be related to a bacterium called Clostridium difficile. These people can also develop annoying diarrhea due to ischemic colitis.
The point to be made here is that doctors say that having persistent nausea or annoying diarrhea that disrupts a person’s life is usually unusual until the third stage of kidney failure. In fact, this statement means that these gastrointestinal symptoms are usually more pronounced after the third stage and more in stages four and five, when the rate and severity of renal failure and decline in renal function increases.
According to studies, there is a very diverse range of clinical manifestations in the gastrointestinal tract that can be observed in people with kidney disease and insufficiency.
Many of these manifestations are said to be completely individual and are not a reason for all people with chronic kidney failure and disease to experience them.
As we have said, in people who have more severe kidney failure, that is, scientifically, they are after stage three kidney failure. Gastrointestinal symptoms are more common.
For example, doctors say that in patients undergoing dialysis, the symptoms of the gastrointestinal tract and intestines are such that 80% of these patients will have such manifestations, and gastrointestinal manifestations in dialysis patients include both the upper gastrointestinal tract and the lower part. These digestive problems in dialysis patients can be mentioned as follows:
This manifestation occurs frequently in patients with advanced renal failure.
- Peptic ulcers
Gastrin levels are elevated in patients with chronic renal failure. Gastrin levels are associated with renal failure. Because gastrin must be excreted by the kidneys, it is said that there is probably no link between gastrin levels and upper gastrointestinal lesions, and in addition, the incidence of gastritis will decrease with increasing duration of dialysis.
- Gastroparesis movement disorder
Increased urea or uremia leads to movement disorders such as Delayed gastric emptying and this can lead to anorexia, nausea and vomiting. This condition is said to be one of the reasons for starting dialysis, which is relieved by starting dialysis or a kidney transplant. After these cases, we go to the lower gastrointestinal problems in dialysis patients, which are:
- Ischemic colitis
Usually, people who are in the final stages of kidney failure and disease and are older and have very extensive peripheral vascular disease and may have experienced long periods of hypotension, these people can develop ischemic colitis or intestinal infarction. In some cases, the problem is asymptomatic. Usually, a lesion in the right side of the colon is more common in dialysis patients and has a worse prognosis. Doctors usually diagnose it with arthrography. Ischemic colitis can change bowel habits and cause diarrhea.
- Spontaneous perforation of large intestines
The diagnosis should be considered in patients with severe abdominal pain and renal insufficiency at the same time. It is said that if people with advanced kidney failure, called uremic patients, develop this problem, their mortality rate will be very high.
- Fecal Impact
This problem usually occurs as a side effect of some medications in people with kidney failure, including phosphates, painkillers, and iron-containing compounds. This complication usually occurs due to underlying movement disorder as well as immobility of the affected person. Stool impaction can be associated with mucosal ulcers, perforation, bleeding, and then chronic diarrhea.
- Angio dysplasia
If lower gastrointestinal bleeding occurs in elderly people with renal insufficiency who have lower gastrointestinal bleeding and are undergoing hemodialysis, it is due to angiodysplasia.
- Diverticular diseases
These intestinal diseases are said to increase in dialysis patients only in the group with polycystic kidney disease. The above diseases are more common in dialysis patients on the right side. Patients with end-stage renal disease are more likely to develop diverticular bowel disease more frequently and more frequently than younger patients without kidney failure. If a person experiences a recurrent episode of diverticulitis, dialysis is relatively prohibited.
Following dialysis, the accumulation of a protein called amyloid in the gastrointestinal tract is common in people who have been on dialysis for a long time and can lead to very serious digestive problems such as decreased bowel movements, perforation of the end part of the colon or necrosis and death of the intestine.
Of course, following these injuries to the large intestine, there is also a change in bowel movements in the form of diarrhea or intermittent and chronic constipation .