Disease & Failure

Kidney disease

Kidney disease may be a direct result of hypertension, polycystic kidneys or exposure to certain toxic chemicals. It often exhibits symptoms that include the need to urinate more or less often.

Those suffering from kidney disease may experience:

• loss of their appetite
• nausea and vomiting
• swelling or numbness of the hands or feet
• abnormal drowsiness
• trouble concentrating
• darkened skin
• muscle cramps
• lumbar pain
• blood in the urine
• change in size of the kidney
• tenderness and swelling in the kidney area

Chronic kidney inflammation, known as glomerulonephritis can also lead to end-stage kidney disease (also known as kidney/renal failure).

Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is an inflammatory condition of the pancreas that is painful and at times deadly. There are three forms of pancreatitis: acute, hereditary and chronic. Sufferers often endure pain and malnutrition, and are most likely left with a higher risk of pancreatic cancer.

Kidney failure

When the kidneys fail, the body generally fills with extra water and waste products. This condition is known as uremia . Untreated uremia may lead to seizures or coma and can ultimately result in death. If the kidneys stop working completely, the patient will need to undergo dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Dialysis will eliminate both waste and excess chemicals from the body.

A kidney transplant helps return the body to its normal function and eliminates the need for dialysis.

Pancreas failure

The pancreas produces enzymes for digestion, as well as insulin to regulate the use of blood sugar throughout the body. If you have diabetes, your pancreas is not producing insulin, and in essence, is only doing half of its job. While the pancreas may still be producing enzymes, its lack of insulin production can make the patient diabetic and can contribute to kidney failure. In fact, the major reason to choose a pancreas transplant is the desire for a better quality of life, which includes a life without insulin as well as the ability to eat a normal diet without additional health problems. It may also help to slow down the complications of diabetes, which include:

  • circulatory problems
  • retinopathy leading to blindness
  • gastropathy
  • neuropathy

For more information on and the complications of diabetes,
visit the American Diabetes Assocation.