A kidney is a bean-shaped organ that performs many important functions in the body. The kidney's main function is to filter blood and remove toxins from the body. However, it can get damaged due to underlying health issues or a toxic lifestyle. When partially injured or damaged, it can continue functioning with the help of medication. However, if the damage continues, it may stop working completely. The only option for survival after kidney failure is regular dialysis or a kidney transplant. Today, we will discuss kidney failure in detail and assess the importance of
health insurance or
personal accident insurance, and
critical illness health insurance in treating kidney-related conditions.
If someone is suffering from kidney failure, they are likely to exhibit several symptoms. However, in some cases, the individual may not show any symptom during the early stage of the disease. Common symptoms include:
Early signs of kidney failure
The symptoms are often modest and are hard to trace. If you are experiencing early signs of kidney disease, the symptoms may include:
Symptoms when someone's kidneys stop functioning suddenly (acute kidney failure):
Causes of kidney failure
Kidney failure can be caused by a variety of illnesses. The kind of kidney failure is usually determined by its cause. People who are at the greatest risk frequently suffer from one or more of the following conditions:
Loss of blood flow to the kidneys: A decreased flow of blood to the kidneys can cause kidney failure. The following are some of the circumstances that result in loss of blood supply to the kidney:
1. Heart disease or heart attack
2. Liver scarring or liver failure
4. Severe burn
5. Allergic reaction
6. Severe infection
7. Anti-inflammatory medications and high blood pressure
The problems in urine elimination: When the body is unable to remove urine, it will result in increased levels of toxins in the body and cause overload on kidneys. Some cancer such as the cancer of the prostate, colon, the cervical and urinary bladder can block urine passage.
1. Clotting of blood in or around the kidneys
3. Toxin overload due to drug use and alcohol
4. Blood vessel inflammation, known as vasculitis
5.Lupus, an autoimmune illness that can affect many body organs and can result in inflammation
6. Glomerulonephritis, an inflammation of the kidney's tiny blood veins
7.The hemolytic uremic syndrome occurs when red blood cells break down as a result of a bacterial infection, mainly in the intestines
8.Multiple Myeloma, a bone marrow malignancy that affects plasma cells
9.Scleroderma, a type of autoimmune disease that affects the skin
10.Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, a blood clotting condition that affects tiny blood vessels
11. Chemotherapy medicines
12. Dyes used in imaging tests
13. Several antibiotics
Types of Kidney Failure
Acute Prerenal Kidney Failure
Acute prerenal kidney failure can be caused by a lack of blood supply to the kidneys. Without enough blood flow, the kidneys are unable to filter toxins from the blood. Once your doctor determines the source of the decreased blood flow, this form of kidney failure is curable.
Acute Intrinsic Kidney Failure
Direct damage to the kidneys due to an accident or a physical impact can lead to acute intrinsic renal failure. Other factors that contribute to this type of failure include ischemia, overload of toxins or shortage of oxygen supply to the kidneys.
Causes of Ischemia:
- Obstruction of renal blood vessel
Chronic Prerenal Kidney Failure
The kidneys shrink and lose their ability to function when there is not enough blood going to them for a lengthy period.
Chronic Intrinsic Kidney Failure
This occurs when the kidneys have been damaged for a long time as a result of intrinsic kidney disease. Intrinsic kidney disease occurs when the kidneys are directly injured such as by significant bleeding or lack of oxygen supply.
Chronic Post-Renal Kidney Failure
Urine prevention is caused by a long-term obstruction of the urinary tract. This results in increased pressure and eventually, kidney failure.
Treatment of Kidney Failure
Dialysis is required when the patient develops end-stage kidney failure. This is usually required when an individual loses 85% to 90% of their kidney functioning and has a glomerular filtration rate or GFR of less than 15.
Dialysis is a treatment that removes excess water, toxins and solutes from the blood of the patient whose kidneys are unable to do so naturally. The process is also known as renal replacement therapy.
A kidney transplant, also known as a renal transplant, is when a patient with end-stage kidney disease receives an organ transplant. Depending on the source of the donor organ, kidney transplantation is classed as deceased-donor (previously known as cadaveric) or living-donor transplantation.
Kidney Failure Treatment without Health Insurance
Kidney treatment involves huge medical expenditure; without health insurance coverage, one may need to incur lakhs of rupees for the treatment. In India, the cost of kidney dialysis treatment ranges between Rs 12,000 and Rs 20,000 per month. Usually, a patient has to undergo 12 dialysis sessions in a month.
Similarly, an individual is burdened with huge financial costs for kidney transplants. The cost increases when the patient is undergoing treatment in a private hospital. Additional costs could range between Rs 15,000 and Rs 20,000, depending on immunosuppressive medicine costs, aftercare and other factors. It is worth noting that the cost of a kidney transplant varies by city.
Kidney Failure Treatment with Health Insurance
Having health insurance coverage or personal accident insurance in the event of a medical emergency such as kidney failure can help you remain financially secure. If your policy includes dialysis or kidney transplant coverage, you would not have to worry about emptying your bank balance. It is advisable to read the terms and conditions of the policy before purchasing. If your policy does not provide coverage for chronic kidney disease, you may opt for an add-on concerning critical illness health insurance.
How to cover yourself for kidney failure treatment?
To secure yourself from financial difficulties during kidney failure treatment, all you have to do is
buy health insurance that provides coverage for kidney diseases. If the health policy or personal accident insurance does not cover kidney failure, it is advisable to go for critical illness health insurance. Critical illness policy not only covers kidney failure but also many other life-threatening diseases. In this case, you may have to pay a higher policy premium, but it will pay off in the long term. Once you have been diagnosed with kidney disease, your insurer will provide you with a lump sum payment that you can use as per your medical requirements.
In India, the demand for health insurance for renal treatment coverage is gradually increasing. Many people are seeking health insurance for dialysis patients in addition to chronic kidney disease insurance coverage; a costly affair considering it is a lifelong condition. One may also need
critical illness health insurance to tackle the problem of a kidney transplant. Therefore, it is advisable to choose a policy that provides coverage of severe kidney disease.