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Kidney Disease

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Swelling and Kidney Disease

Swelling occurs when tiny blood vessels in the body leak fluid and the fluid deposits in the surrounding tissues. In clinic, swelling, also called edema, is one typical symptom of kidney disease. Many patients with kidney disorder often find swelling in their lower legs, hands, face and around the eyelids.

What causes swelling in kidney disease?

Healthy kidneys can remove excessive fluid from the body and keep electrolyte balance. When kidney diseases, two conditions can lead to swelling directly.

1. The glomerular rate declines but the renal tubular reabsorption is still good. This can cause fluid and sodium retention. In this condition, the permeability of blood capillaries throughout the body increase and is seen commonly in glomerulonephritis.

2. The decline of plasma osmotic pressure is another cause swelling for kidney disease patients. When a large amount of protein leaks from kidney into urine, the concentration of plasma protein will become low. Then, swelling occurs easily along with.

How to treat swelling in kidney disease?

Since swelling may be due to different causes, the effective treatment should start from dealing with the direct cause.

● Restrict the fluid and sodium intake: When the kidneys are damaged severely, they can’t keep the fluid and sodium balance normally. If the patient takes excess sodium or drink too much water, it will worsen their swelling or even cause life-threatening complications.

● Diuretic: Through increasing kidney output, diuretics can help excrete excess fluid out of the body. Besides western drugs, some Chinese herbs also have such an effect such as dandelion root, saliva, nettle leaf and so on. These medicines are able to help alleviate swelling effectively with fewer side effects.

● Dialysis: When diet modifications and medications can’t work, people who have swelling may need to consider dialysis. It is one common blood purification technique that can replace impaired kidney to filter out excess fluid and waste products, so it can be used to treat swelling.

Even though the above treatment options can help ease swelling, they can’t do anything for damaged kidney cells. Only if kidney function is improved successfully can swelling be treated thoroughly.