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Digestive Problems in Chronic Kidney Disease(CKD)


2012-11-26 16:03

Digestive problem is commonly seen in chronic kidney disease(CKD). It can affect the patients' appetite to cause other problems which can aggravate the kidney disorder. In severe case, it may even interrupt their activities and even threaten the life significantly.

CKD patients with digestive problems mainly present with nausea, vomiting, gastrointestinal bleeding etc. These digestive problems are mainly due to high levels of BUN.

Urea is the byproduct of proteins. Normally, the extra metabolic wastes can be filtered out of body by kidneys. Therefore, it can remain constant level in blood. However, in CKD, the kidneys are damaged so they fail to finish its job, thus elevating BUN level. If concentration of urea in blood is too high, it can be decomposed into ammonia with the help of urease. Then the ammonia can irritate the intestinal tract, resulting in digestive problems.

Additionally, the diseased kidneys can cause a large amount of uremic toxins to build up in gastrointestinal tract. As a result, the toxins can irritate gastrointestinal tract to cause gastrointestinal.

As digestive problems in CKD mainly result from high accumulation of urea in blood, the patients should limit the intake of foods high in proteins strictly.

If the patients’ kidneys have been damaged severely,dialysis can relieve the mentioned digestive problems. It can help filter extra fluids and metabolic wastes from body. However, dialysis alone is not enough to manage all the complications of CKD at all. That is because dialysis only removes the macromolecular toxins like creatinine, BUN, but the remaining toxins like PTH, IL 6, etc still remain in body which can do further damage to kidneys and other organs. Therefore, dialysis can not control digestive problems and other complications completely at all.

As digestive problems in CKD are related to impaired kidneys and declined renal function, the primary treatment goal is to restore the impaired kidney structure and restore renal function.


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