“People with severe COVID-19 are at high risk for kidney failure. This is because the virus can directly infect kidney cells or cause effects that can reduce the function of this important organ.”
Hellodoc, Jakarta – The COVID-19 pandemic is still not over and we still need to be aware of it. This is because the virus can cause serious complications. One of them is kidney failure.
Yes, it doesn’t only attack the respiratory tract, this latest type of corona virus can also cause bad effects on other organs of the body, including the kidneys. And if a person already has kidney disease, there is a possibility that the virus can make the disease worse.
Reasons COVID-19 Can Cause Kidney Failure
Some people with severe COVID-19 show signs of kidney damage, even in those without previous kidney problems. Signs of kidney damage include high levels of protein or blood in the urine and abnormal blood performance.
Research shows that up to half of people hospitalized with COVID-19 develop an acute kidney injury. It is a case of sudden kidney damage, and in some severe cases, kidney failure can occur within hours or days. This condition causes waste to build up in the blood and can be fatal.
The impact of COVID-19 on the kidneys is complex. Well, here are some possible reasons that doctors and researchers are studying:
1. Virus attacks the kidneys
One of the reasons COVID-19 can cause kidney failure is because the virus can infect kidney cells. These cells have receptors that allow the new coronavirus to attach to them, invade and multiply, thereby eventually damaging the tissue.
The same receptors were also found on lung and heart cells, sites where the new coronavirus has been shown to cause damage.
2. Lack of oxygen causes the kidneys to not function
In severe levels, COVID-19 can cause pneumonia which will lower oxygen levels in the blood to abnormal levels.
Well, the kidneys do not get enough oxygen, they cannot function properly, so the function of these organs will decrease.
3. Cytokine storms can damage kidney tissue
The body’s reaction to coronavirus infection may also be responsible for the development of kidney failure. The immune response to COVID-19 can be extreme in some people, leading to a condition called a cytokine storm.
When that happens, the immune system sends a steady stream of cytokines into the body. Cytokines are small proteins that help cells communicate when the immune system fights infection. However, this sudden influx of large amounts of cytokines can cause severe inflammation.
In an attempt to kill the invading virus, this inflammatory reaction can damage healthy tissue, including the kidneys.
4. Blood clots that may block the kidneys
The kidneys are like filters that filter toxins, excess fluids and waste products from the body. COVID-19 can cause small clots to form in the bloodstream, which can block the smallest blood vessels in the kidneys and impair their function.
Beware of Symptoms
Whether you have kidney problems or not, you need to be aware of the risk of kidney failure if you have severe COVID-19. Some people have no symptoms when they have an acute kidney injury, but the disease can cause the following signs:
- Urinate a little.
- Swelling in the ankles, feet, and around the eyes.
- Hard to breathe.
- Feeling confused.
- Seizures or coma.
- Chest pressure or pain.
Even so, it does not mean that cases of acute kidney failure that have killed hundreds of Indonesian children are caused by COVID-19. The cause of the case has been determined, namely drugs containing dangerous chemicals.
However, considering that COVID-19 can cause kidney failure, it is important for you to be very aware of the disease. Getting vaccinated and being disciplined in implementing health protocols is a combination of effective ways to prevent COVID-19.
If you or your family have kidney disease, it is important to take medication and undergo regular treatment.
To check the medicines and vitamins you need, just use the app Hellodoc. No need to leave the house, just order through the application and your order will be delivered within an hour.
Come on, download Hellodoc now also on the Apps Store and Google Play to get the most complete health solution easily.
Johns Hopkins Medicine. Accessed 2022. Coronavirus: Kidney Damage Caused by COVID-19.
WebMD. Accessed 2022. COVID-19 and Your Kidneys: What You Should Know.
CNN. Accessed in 2022. IDAI: Covid-19 Can Also Cause Kidney Failure