National Kidney Month: Age Related Changes

By March 9, 2015Archives

The kidneys are an important organ in the human body. They help filter our blood and remove excess waste. As we age, certain changes can occur in the kidneys that lead to various complications. March is National Kidney Month so make sure your senior loved one has healthy kidneys. Just like most health complications, early detection is key to maintaining one’s health. Here are a few age-related kidney complications you should look out for.

Nephrons Decrease
Nephrons are the filtering units within the kidney. Their main function is to make sure blood gets cleaned and excess fluid gets drained from the body. As these decrease it makes it extra hard to maintain the chemical balance within the body. As a result, numerous medical conditions can occur. These include:

  • Pain in the kidney area
  • Frequent urination
  • Blood in urine
  • High blood pressure

If your senior loved one is complaining about any of these symptoms, it would be best to get them to a doctor where they can have their kidneys looked at for potential age-related problems.

Hardened Blood Vessels
Another problem that occurs in the kidneys of older adults is that the blood vessels surrounding them can harden. This decreases the blood flow that enters the kidneys and can cause more imbalance within their body. It can even lead to something as serious as kidney failure. Unfortunately, there are no specific signs or symptoms that can tell your doctor if hardened blood vessels are the problem. It usually leads to high blood pressure. However, if it is suspected your doctor can run a few tests in order to determine the problem. The tests are:

  • Blood tests
  • Urine Tests
  • Ultrasound of the kidney

Acute Kidney Failure
Acute kidney failure occurs when the kidneys can no longer filter the blood. There are a few causes that create this problem such as direct damage to the kidneys, slowed blood flow to the kidneys, and blockage to the kidneys’ urine drainage tubes (ureters). Kidneys have a very important function within the human body, and the healthier they are, the less you have to fear about the entirety of your senior loved one’s health!

Image Credit – http://i2.cdn.turner.com/money/dam/assets/121231061816-elderly-patient-doctor-tablet-large.jpg

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