Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a condition where the kidneys lose their function over a period of time. This disease is also known as chronic renal disease. If it develops and takes place in a host's body, it may result to kidney failure due to no treatment, which later would need immediate dialysis or a transplant, as the kidney will not allow the blood to be filtered. It is called “chronic” as it develops in the host’s body over a long period of time, damaging their kidneys and its functions.
Our kidneys help maintain and filter our blood and body every day. The kidneys help stabilize salts and minerals that run in our blood, such as potassium, sodium, calcium and a few more. Another function that the kidney serves for the body, is the hormones. Kidneys help develop and make hormones in the body that help maintain blood pressure.
How is Chronic Kidney Disease Diagnosed and Developed in a Human Body?
CKD has many causes, the top 2 being diabetes and high blood pressure. If a human body is diagnosed with diabetes, the bodies can result to high blood sugar which later leads to damaged organs, 1 of them being the kidneys and its blood vessels. Almost 23% which is 1 out of every 3 people who have diabetes suffer from CKD.
High blood pressure, if caused can damage blood vessels around the body. If not treated and continued, it can reduce the blood supply given to organs such as the kidneys. High blood pressure also damages the kidney’s small filtering units which later develops CKD. 1 in every 5 people with high blood pressure, are diagnosed with CKD.
Chronic kidney disease can also be caused and developed depending on the history of CKD in your family, drug intake of the host and many different syndromes such as hemolytic uremic syndrome (low in red blood cells and platelets, leading to kidney failure). Almost 661,000 Americans suffer from kidney failure. And out of these individuals, 468,000 people are put on dialysis and around 193,00 live with the help of kidney transplants.
Chronic kidney disease is fatal (deadly) if not treated with a transplant or proper dialysis or treatment. Not treating this disease can progress to end stage kidney failure. Without proper dialysis, treatment or transplant, the patient can only survive only days to weeks. Since CKD is common, over the past years and decades new treatments and procedures have been developed to help cure the patient.
Chronic Kidney Disease and the Human Body
Kidney diseases, CKD specifically has many complications and effects on the body. Due to the waste products and fluid that build up in your body can leave the patient with nausea, lack of sleep, short breaths, swellness on the ankles and so on. CKD also attacks and damages the systems inside the body. Because of the kidney losing its function of filtering waste, dangerous and toxic levels of waste can be mixed and connected that causes the blood's chemicals going out of balance. CKD also weakens the immune system, due to the buildup of waste causing the patient to catch an infection easily and quickly.
Chronic kidney disease affects two main parts of the kidney, the glomerulus and tubules. The kidneys have millions of glomeruli, these are tiny blood vessels through which blood is pumped. The glomeruli helps pump out unneeded substances such as wastes that are not needed by the body, this fluid is then collected in the tubules. The tubules help filter the fluid more keeping the substances the body needs and disposing of what's not needed. “In CKD, this filtration process breaks down and so the glomeruli and tubules do not work as well. Toxins (such as urea) can start to build up and cause problems, and the kidneys can start to ‘leak’ protein into the urine” ('Chronic Renal Failure (Kidney Failure) Information | Myvmc').
Stem Cells and Chronic Kidney Disease
A new treatment and cure is being developed to help patients with chronic kidney disease. Stem cell treatment is a new type of therapy being investigated to reduce the need of dialysis and transplantation. Today, mostly many universities around the world are finding out if stem cells can be used to improve the critical condition. These investigations and trials are taking place around the world, mostly the United States. Mesenchymal a type of stem cell, found in the bone marrow is said to be used for this treatment due to its characteristics and features.
How Stems Cells will be used to treat Chronic Kidney Disease
Based on Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI), during their investigation, they found out that Mesenchymal stem cells are right stem cells for the treatment as they act as a natural and healthy protection from kidney damage. HSCI have found out that Mesenchymal stem cells contain “protein candidates secreted from mesenchymal stem cells that may be administered independently to aid in kidney repair. Mesenchymal stem cells are being incorporated into miniature dialysis machines that expose the patient’s blood to these cells, allowing pro-repair proteins to be delivered directly to the kidneys” ('Kidney Disease').
Since this is a new treatment, still being developed and investigated, there have been no surgeries for mesenchymal stem cells being removed and transportation to the kidneys to help cure chronic kidney disease. So far there have been only clinical trials that have been allowed and done. For the treatment to take place, first the mesenchymal stem cells are extracted and collected from the bone marrow spaces or from the pelvic bones to later be prepared for injecting. Many punctures are made along the bone, which helps the blunt send needle to collect the cells. The procedure is called bone marrow harvesting and takes 2 to 3 hours at 1 sitting. After the stem cells are extracted, it is later taken to the laboratory to get separated from the blood. The blood is either separated in a laboratory and later injected back into the patient or the blood is directly separated by a machine, while the doctors are performing the bone marrow harvesting. The machine that is used to separate the stem cells from the blood is called an apheresis machine. Finally, the implantation procedure is completed when the collected stem cells are injected into the kidneys, which after days or weeks will help repair damaged nephrons and regain the kidneys functions.
No Stem Cells, Dialysis
Since the treatment of mesenchymal stem cells for CKD has not been tested on an actual human patient, it is an ongoing investigation and a solution, a treatment and a cure for the future. This technology is a future treatment which is still being tested. So far only clinical trials and tests have occurred, where the tests and treatment are used animals. A clinical practice that took place in Villanueva (Philippines) stated that 6 patients offered to perform the investigation and treatment on them. They injected a certain dose to each of these patients who had CKD. This amount of dose was used in previous studies which turned out to have an impact on the subjects. These patients had different causes of CKD, which was used to predict and find out if the therapy could work on any type of patient. A website states that “All patients were medicated, including administering of renin-angiotensin blockade, before enrollment and during the study.” (“Use of Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Chronic Kidney Disease”). As an end result of the study there was no end result, no unpropitious seen in any of the patients, and this continued over a period of 1 year. The doctors later found out that there were specific improvements seen in the urinary protein excretion.
Until the stems cells is further developed and can be trusted, the only alternative treatment is dialysis. Dialysis is needed when a patient is in a critical condition due to his/ her kidney. This treatment is done using a machine called the dialysis machine or an apheresis machine. This machine helps filter the patients’ blood by itself as the body cannot. This machine helps remove waste, salt and extra water from the body to prevent the waste filling the body. It also helps maintain a certain level of chemicals in your blood and helps control blood pressure. Dialysis can be done at the hospital, clinic home, all based on the doctors and patient’s needs.
Technology’s Potential Global, Economic and Social life, Effect
This new developing technology helps and effects globally, economically and socially both negatively and positively. Dialysis and transplantation take up both time and money. This new technology has helped the patient’s social life as it prevents them from driving to the hospital or clinic to continue their dialysis. The cost of these types of treatments are $80,000 per patient. Dialysis takes up both the patient’s social life and their money, when the new technology will reduce that. A kidney transplant costs the same as 2 dialysis treatments and also takes up 2 - 3 years approximately for the patient to find an available donor. A transplantation can also result to a back clash, when the body reacts to a new and unknown organ. Kidney transplant too, take up the patients economic and social life. The treatment of mesenchymal stem cells for CKD will in the future help maintain all this. Although the price is not verified, it is said to take up only a few days to weeks of the patient's life, later resulting an improvement. Chronic kidney disease has impacted globally but this new treatment will prevent this. This treatment will affect the patient's life a bit negatively at first due to the new cells and the bone marrow harvest process.
Technology and the Body Systems
The technology, mesenchymal stem cells for CKD will help cure and treat the kidney, affecting the urinary system. Mesenchymal stem cells will help stop the buildup of waste and fluid in the bladder. I will help regain the kidneys function of filtering and remove the remaining waste through the urethra. If mesenchymal stem cells or any stem cells found good for the treatment is injected it will help cure the kidneys and help fight further diseases and infections.
Stems Cells and Other Implications
Today, in the 21st century, stem cells are 1 of the newest and most profited treatment. Studies over the past decades have found that the cells located in the bone marrow can be used and studied for many other implications and diseases. Stem cell therapy has been used to:
- Treat certain blood groups, who have a lack of red blood cells and etc.
- Help treat immune system disorders
- Rebuild the red blood cells if needed
- Help treat and fight some cancers
- They mainly help regrow and replace damaged or lost cells into the circulatory system and around the body.
- And finally, they are used to treat common diseases such as leukemia, lymphoma and so on.
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