Saturday, 24 March 2018

Everything You Need To Know About Being A Live Kidney Donor

It's not normal for a blog like this to post a link to a womans/fashion magazine, but today, that's exactly what I am doing. Yes, seriously.

The article in this week's Elle looks into how singer Selena Gomez received a kidney from best friend Francia Raisa. It takes a clear plain language approach to discussing a variety of things about kidney failure and what's involved in being a live donor.

I feel we should thank them for opening up the topic such wide audience of people.

So have a read of Elle's article (I'm linking to the UK edition, it might also be in the editions for other countries, I'm not fully up to date on my  fashion magazines...)

To quote from the article:
"There is a common misconception, among people who have not had a lot of experience with kidney disease, that cadaver donation is the only pathway back to health.

Living donation isn't widely discussed in the mainstream enough for people to truly understand the ins and outs of giving someone a kidney while you're still living and breathing.

But, in fact, live kidney donation is a lot more common than you likely know, with about a third of all kidney transplants carried out in the UK coming from living donors. And you don't have to be a family member to offer someone an organ - plenty of kidney donations come from friends or non-directed altruistic kidney donations (anonymously)."

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Kidneys Infected with Hepatitis C Safe for Dialysis Patients

Researchers at Johns Hopkins report their use of a drug that cures the infection, leaving the kidneys suitable for use by dialysis patients desperate for a transplant.

They carried out a small study (only ten very sick patients were involved), where patients were given a transplant with an infected kidney, then treated with a drug prevents hepatitis C from replicating in the body. In each test, the patient had been waiting for quite some time for a donor but no suitable living donor was available. This was a very risky experiment for these patients. But it was worth it - all 10 patients were found to be clear of the virus after their 12-week course of medication using Zepatier, donated by Merck which funded the study, was complete.

Normally kidneys infected with hepatitis would be rejected as an option for transplants. Will this research doesn't mean there will be a flood of new potential donors, it will increase the pool of available organs, and should enable more transplants to take place.

You can read more about this in the research article here from the Johns Hopkins researchers, and also in an earlier report here, and on NBC NEWS, which includes an interview with one of the team.

There are several other articles on this type of treatment if you just google on  "hepatitis c kidneys used in transplants".

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Patient Voices - Hear Real People's Experiences

Ever wondered what it's like for people on dialysis or with impending renal failure? Well, the New York Times wondered as well, and produced this article to let you hear how it's been for real people, how it's affected their lives.

Patient Voices: Kidney Disease.

Usually all we read are the words of medicals and experts, researchers and drug companies. But this set of comentaries is from the patients themselves. There's some text, and an audio track with each individual patient's story. With nearly 30 million people in the United States alone affected by chronic kidney disease, this is of importance to a very large number of people.

It's an article from several years ago, but it's as relevant today as when it was first put on line.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Air Pollution Linked to Kidney Disease

Air pollution is well known to be a health hazard, hence the drive in many countries to switch to lead free petrol and improve the way deisel engines work to reduce dangerous exhaust fumes. And of course fuel efficient cars giving higher miles per gallon means less fuel being burnt, which automatically reduces your car's contribution to pollution. So don't drive around in large engined gas guzzlers!

And, unfortunately, now we can add kidney disease to the problems caused by pollution.

A recent article published in the Journal of the American Society of Neprology followed 2,482,737 veterans for an average of 8 and a half years (so quite a big long-term study, which increases the accuracy of the results).

Combining data from NASA and the Environmental Protection Agency, their detailed analyses showed a linear relationship between PM2.5 (a class of partical size) concentrations and risk of kidney outcomes. Exposure estimates derived from National Aeronautics and Space Administration satellite data yielded consistent results. Our findings demonstrate a significant association between exposure to PM2.5 and risk of incident CKD, eGFR decline, and ESRD.

Experimental laboratory evidence suggests that exposure to deep exhaust particles leads to disturbances in renal hemodynamics, promotes oxidative stress, inflammation, and DNA damage in renal tissue, exacerbates AKI, and further promulgates chronic renal injury in murine models. And now they've shown the risk to humans is just as real. They calculated that pollution was resulting in an annual increase of 44,793 cases of CKD, with 2,438 cases requring dialysis.

It's great to see the work of NASA and the Environmental Protection Agency being put to such good use, to increase public awareness of the health risks of airborne pollution.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Cooking for kidney dialysis patients during the holidays

With Christmas rapidly approaching, I  thought you might be interested in this news item.

 Kidney disease affects a surprisingly high number of adults; 30 million Americans.

Because of this, DaVita Dialysis recently launched a Game Day Cookbook, which includes a number of healthy options for football fans.

They even some great Thanksgiving recommendations.

Each recipe is tailored to those coping with chronic kidney disease, but it also great for all to munch on.

There's an interesting video on this subject here has a selection of books on diets for dialysis patients - take a look.