The kidneys are organs that serve several essential regulatory roles in most animals, including vertebrates and some invertebrates. They are essential in the urinary system and also serve homeostatic functions such as the regulation of electrolytes, maintenance of acid–base balance, and regulation of blood pressure (via maintaining salt and water balance). They serve the body as a natural filter of the blood, and remove wastes which are diverted to the urinary bladder. In producing urine, the kidneys excrete wastes such as urea and ammonium, and they are also responsible for the reabsorption of water, glucose, and amino acids. The kidneys also produce hormones including calcitriol, erythropoietin, and the enzyme renin.
Common clinical conditions involving the kidney include the nephritic and nephrotic syndromes, renal cysts, acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease, urinary tract infection, nephrolithiasis, and urinary tract obstruction. When renal function, measured by glomerular filtration rate, is persistently poor, dialysis and kidney transplantation may be treatment options.
When the kidneys become damaged, waste products and fluid can build up in the body causing swelling in ankles, vomiting, weakness, poor sleep and shortness of breath. Left untreated, diseased kidneys may eventually stop functioning completely. Loss of kidney function is a serious and potentially fatal condition.
The loss of kidney function happens gradually, usually over several months to several years. There are many possible kidney failure symptoms: bloody stools, bruising easily, bad breath, mood changes, reduced appetite, fatigue, hand tremors, decreased sensation, flank pain, high blood pressure, nosebleeds, nausea, vomiting, metallic taste in the mouth, seizures, fluid retention, bleeding longer than usual, persistent hiccups and urination changes.
Stem Cell Therapy holds great promise for the future of the treatment and amelioration of Nephritis, failure and transplantation. Kidney improvement has been documented after the use of stem cell therapy . PRP was added to the stem cell application . However, within existing kidneys where the basic scaffolding is intact, stem cells may contribute to a variety of specialised cell types, either promoting more efficient repair or correcting genetic defects. These would include acute tubular necrosis (ATN) caused by toxins or ischaemia/reperfusion (associated with kidney transplantation); mesangial damage, often associated with immune complex deposition and diabetes; defective podocyte function (Alport’s disease); and vascular endothelial damage (e.g. in glomerulonephritis).
Chronic kidney disease is also referred to as kidney failure, or end-stage renal disease, wherein there is total or near total loss of kidney function. Most individuals in this stage of kidney disease need dialysis or transplantation to stay alive. Stem cell research has been done for decades, moving form animal stem cells to human embryo stem cells, and has now progressed to technology utilizing a patient's own stem cells.