November 27, 2015
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Edema (cont.)

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What causes pitting edema in people with impaired kidney (renal) function?

In this situation, people who have kidney diseases that impair renal function develop edema because of a limitation in the kidneys' ability to excrete sodium into the urine. Thus, people with kidney failure from whatever cause will develop edema if their intake of sodium exceeds the ability of their kidneys to excrete the sodium. The more advanced the kidney failure, the greater the problem of salt retention is likely to become. The most severe situation is the patient with end-stage kidney failure who requires dialysis therapy. This patient's salt balance is totally regulated by dialysis, which can remove salt during the treatment. Dialysis is a method of cleansing the body of the impurities that accumulate when the kidneys fail. Dialysis is accomplished by circulating the patient's blood over an artificial membrane (hemodialysis) or by using the patient's own abdominal cavity (peritoneal membrane) as the cleansing surface. Individuals whose kidney function declines to less than 5% to 10% of normal may require dialysis.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/13/2015


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