Uremia: Symptoms and Treatment
Uremia is the process of poisoning the human body with products of protein metabolism. It develops because of a disturbance in the normal functioning of the kidneys. This condition is sometimes called «self-poisoning by urine». Its name from Latin is translated as «urine» and «blood». The disease is characterized by pathological changes occurring in the system of neuro-humoral regulation of the body. Uremia has a rather complex pathogenesis.
The pathogenesis of the disease is complicated, since the cause of uremia can be any kidney disease that leads to kidney failure. This body starts to work worse and does not fulfill its basic functions. As a consequence, not all the toxins are removed from the human body. Harmful substances accumulate and even more worsen the condition of the kidneys.
The causes of uremia largely depend on the form of the disease. Renal failure may develop due to:
- kidney damage;
- poisons poisoning
- burns and shock
- massive hemolysis with blood transfusion of an unsuitable group or rhesus
- sepsis (the pathogenesis of this disease leads to the rapid development of renal failure).
In this case, they speak of the onset of acute uremia. Irreversible processes of extinction of kidney function lead to chronic uraemia. The pathogenesis of the disease lies in the ailments that previously affected this organ — glomerulonephritis, pyelonephritis, congenital nephritis, kidney cysts.
In medicine, there are two forms of uremia: acute and chronic:
- Acute uremia. It is not only a violation of the kidneys, but also a disorder in the entire body. Gradually, blood increases the concentration of creatinine, urea, ammonia, indicator, and other products of nitrogen metabolism. If the azotemic uremia develops, the content of chlorine, magnesium, and potassium will also change in the blood. In the human body, acid-base balance will gradually be broken. It is important to know the pathogenesis and symptoms of this disease in order to detect it at the initial stage of development and to deliver the patient to a medical institution. The sooner this is done, the less risk of developing various complications.
- Chronic uraemia. This is the final stage in the development of diffuse changes in the kidneys. With this form of the disease, all kidney functions are violated, which leads to the development of conditions that are dangerous to human health. Treatment of chronic uremia is very complex and not always effective.
With uraemia, the symptoms manifest themselves gradually. Over time, they begin to increase and the person’s condition worsens. Such a disease can be detected by its early signs:
- A person is listless, apathetic and drowsy
- the skin becomes dry and flabby;
- hair and nails become dry and brittle;
- The face is pale, with a light yellowish tinge. Gradually it becomes puffy;
- On the skin appears a characteristic white coating, reminiscent of hoarfrost. This is a specific symptom. White crystals on the skin are urea;
- The patient experiences severe itching. If he starts to scratch the skin, then a purulent infection can join;
- hemorrhages appear on the body (the reasons for this phenomenon have been little studied);
- diarrhea with blood
- brain work gets worse
- nausea and vomiting appear
- a characteristic feature is the smell of ammonia from the mouth
- In the muscles of the back, shoulders and pelvis, the patient feels weak.
Soon the patient completely disappears appetite, and he ceases to take any food. As a consequence, hallucinations, convulsions and coma arise.
With uremia, the brain is very affected. The patient has a violation of attention, sleep, memory, concentration. Hallucinations can develop. Gradually, the symptoms of uremia become so strong that uremic encephalopathy develops. Its main manifestations are:
- complete apathy;
- increased anxiety (the patient is in an agitated state)
- Sensitivity impairment
- there is an imbalance while walking;
- speech is broken
- A characteristic symptom is muscle twitching.
The most severe complication of uremia is uremic coma . It develops if the patient has not been provided with timely medical assistance (at the first stages of the development of the disease). Her symptoms can develop gradually, as the tissues of the kidneys die. The patient complains of general weakness, loss of appetite. The amount of excreted urine decreases, and edema increases. To these symptoms, diarrhea and vomiting are added. Quite often patients complain of pain in the heart area. They have shortness of breath, hemorrhages in the skin, mucous membranes and in the brain. One of the main symptoms for diagnosis is the pronounced smell of ammonia from the mouth. If the treatment is not performed in time, then stupor and uremic coma will come.
This condition requires immediate emergency care. The first thing that needs to be done with uremic coma is to remove from the body the substances that the kidneys can not invert. For this purpose, the intestine is washed and injections are administered intravenously.
Uremia can occur absolutely in any person. But the diseases that lead to its development, first of all, threaten:
- Women during menopause
- pregnant. The reason is that the fetus can strongly squeeze the bladder. This action leads to the fact that it is impaired blood circulation;
- people who have a very active sex life
- women suffering from various gynecological diseases
- men with prostate problems
- lying patient.
If you suspect a uremia, you must immediately perform a biochemical blood test to determine the level of creatinine and urea. Also do a general urine test. This analysis helps determine the true causes of uremia (it is important to prescribe the right treatment). For example, if there is an increased amount of salts in the analysis, this makes it possible to assume that the cause was urolithiasis. If bacteria are found in urine, the cause of uremia is a complicated pyelonephritis. An effective method of diagnosing uremia is ultrasound examination of the kidneys.
Treating patients with uremia is a complex and lengthy process that involves several activities:
- Treatment regimen;
- the right diet;
- conservative therapy (use of medicines, setting of droppers, etc.)
- Purification of blood from harmful substances by hemodialysis and plasmapheresis
In complex cases, a surgical method of treatment is used, which involves a kidney transplant.
Medication management includes detoxification and rehydration therapy. To this end, a patient with uraemia is injected intravenously with saline solution and glucose solution. The volume of the infusion liquid directly depends on the severity of the human condition.
These drugs are prescribed for one purpose — to reduce the manifestation of uremia. Such treatment is suitable only at the initial stages of the disease.
A more effective method of treating uremia is hardware therapy. Most often, hemodialysis is used for this purpose. To implement it, a special apparatus has been developed, which is often called an «artificial kidney.» It makes it possible to purify the blood from the toxins that have got into it because of a disruption in the kidneys.
In folk medicine, there are a lot of recipes, the action of which is supposedly directed to the treatment of uremia. But all of them are not effective. Uremia is a very complicated and dangerous condition, the treatment of which is necessary only in a hospital and under the supervision of qualified specialists. Otherwise, a fatal outcome may occur.
Treatment of uremia should be done only against a background of a special diet. Only in this case it will be most effective:
- the patient needs to consume less protein;
- The diet includes juices, vegetables, fruits that help to eliminate water-elite disorders caused by kidney failure
- it is important to correctly prepare the dishes so that they cause the patient to eat them;
- It is useful to drink alkaline water.
To prevent the development of uraemia, it is necessary, first of all, to avoid the causes that cause its occurrence. It is important to monitor the general condition of the body and the state of the kidneys, not to allow their hypothermia. Every six months it is recommended to undergo examination.
In order for the kidneys to function properly, you need to eat right. The most important rule is to consume a lot of fluid. Drinks should only be useful. Prefer mineral non-carbonated waters, juices, green tea, herbal infusions.
Timely visit to a qualified specialist for examination will help not miss the development of diseases leading to uremia. It is recommended to visit the doctor every 6 months. Also it is worth to visit it in the event that there are suspicions of problems with the kidneys. Only a doctor will be able to determine the presence of the disease and prescribe the right treatment.