Kidneys Threatened by COVID-19

We are hearing a lot about the dangers of COVID-19. And we have learned that the virus can be much more severe for people with heart problems, blood sugar concerns and other health conditions. More research is showing the toll COVID-19 has on kidneys. Whether or not you have existing kidney problems, the virus can damage the organs. That can be especially worrying for people with sugar concerns.

Having kidney disease puts you at a higher risk for contracting the virus. People on dialysis and folks who have hard a transplant can have weaker immune systems. This makes them more at risk for becoming ill. But, you should not stop taking medication or following treatment plans set by your doctor. Instead, if you have kidney concerns, reach out to your doctor and discuss what is best for you. And, doctors have been seeing nonelderly adults with COVID-19 who developed an acute kidney injury despite not being at risk in the first place

Some of the earliest reports out of China showed that, among COVID-positive patients admitted to the hospital, as many as 40 or even 50 percent had evidence of some damage in the kidney,” said Dr. Alan Kliger of Yale Univ., who co-chairs the COVID-19 Response Team at the American Society of Nephrology. “They had protein in their urine or blood in their urine. And 10 percent of them even had some decrease in kidney function… If you look specifically at patients sick enough to be in the intensive care unit from COVID-19, it looks, in centers like New York that have a lot of disease, that 30 percent or 40 percent of those patients may have evidence of kidney failure.”

Hospitals have seen patients who appeared to be getting better from COVID-19 and then experience kidney failure and die. They are concerned that potentially preventable deaths could happen because of dialysis equipment Twenty to 40 percent of people who are severely ill with COVID-19 need dialysis. But, 500,000 people in the U.S. with kidney disease already need the dialysis machines that the country has. Kidney disease can be exacerbated by the use of a ventilator, making people who already have the disease at a higher risk.

One in nine people in the U.S. has kidney disease and are unaware of it. As COVID-19 causes kidney damage, and people with blood-sugar concerns are already at high risk, that is genuinely alarming. ”At this time, there are a whole group of people with no history of kidney disease and no risk factors… who are facing kidney injury as a result of Covid-19,” said Michelle Dicken, Executive Director at the National Kidney Foundation.

While all this information can be scary, what it does is remind us of why we should all be sheltering at home. Essential businesses are open, but you should limit your trips out where you are likely to be close to people. Wearing masks, washing your hands and not touching your face can all protect you from the virus. Everyone in America is sick and tired of being cooped up at home. However, it’s better than being sick and tired in the hospital. The weather is getting sunny and pleasant, and many of us need haircuts. Still, upon weighing the risks, the Neuliven Health team is going to limit our contact with people to the absolute minimum.
April 27, 2020
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