How Does COVID-19 Affect Your Kidneys

How Does COVID 19 Affect Your Kidneys

Most people who contract COVID-19 recover fully within weeks or sometimes months. However, some people develop long-term complications, including lung, heart, and even kidney problems. Here’s all you need to know about the pandemic’s effects on the kidneys and how you can stay safe.

COVID-19 and the Kidneys

The kidneys are bean-shaped organs below your rib cage, with one on each side of your spine. Their primary role is getting rid of excess fluid and waste from your body. The kidneys also produce hormones that trigger red blood cell production, regulate your blood pressure, and keep your bones strong and healthy.

Some studies estimate that more than 30 percent of people hospitalized with COVID-19 end up with moderate to severe kidney injury, even patients with no underlying kidney disease. Signs of kidney problems in COVID-19 patients include high protein levels in the urine and abnormal blood work. Kidney disease can be so severe that it sometimes requires dialysis.

Some people may not have any symptoms of acute kidney injury. However, some experience reduced urination and swelling in the ankles, legs, and around the eyes. Some patients report tiredness, shortness of breath, confusion, nausea, and chest pain.

How Does COVID-19 Damage the Kidneys?

While researchers continue to learn more about the impacts of COVID-19, here are some possible reasons kidney damage occurs:

The New Coronavirus: Kidney cells have receptors that enable the new coronavirus to attach, invade, and replicate, potentially damaging those tissues. Similar receptors are found on the lung and heart cells, where COVID-19 also causes significant injury.

Lack of Oxygen: Pneumonia often develops in severe COVID-19 cases. It can lead to abnormally low oxygen levels, which may cause the kidneys to malfunction.

Blood Clots: COVID-19 is notorious for causing blood clots, which may clog up the smallest blood vessels in the kidneys and impair their function.

Cytokine Storms: The body’s immune response to the new coronavirus is sometimes so extreme, leading to what is known as a cytokine storm. This severe inflammatory reaction can destroy healthy tissue, including that of the kidneys.

Preventing COVID-19 Kidney Complications

If you already have kidney disease, you’re more likely to have COVID-19 complications. It’s essential to wear a mask when around people outside your immediate family. Make sure to avoid crowds whenever possible, stay away from any sick person, wash your hands frequently, and avoid touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.

Outstanding Kidney Healthcare in McKinney, TX

Contact Texas Advanced Renal Health to learn more about safeguarding your kidney health in light of the present pandemic. From diagnosing a kidney problem to helping you get the treatment you need; you can always expect the highest quality of care. Call us at 972-548-4833 to schedule your appointment today!