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Does Kidney Disease Cause Hair Loss

What Can I Do To Prevent Lupus Flare

Your Kidneys Could Be Causing Your Hair Loss

While lupus itself cant be prevented, you can make changes to your daily life to help avoid flare-ups of your symptoms. A few things to try can include:

  • Avoiding sun exposure: For many with lupus, sun exposure can be an issue. Try avoiding going outside during peak hours when the sun is out, wearing protective clothing and wearing sunscreen.
  • Staying in motion: Joint pain can make you want to sit down and rest, but doing low-impact exercises can actually help.
  • Maintaining healthy habits: A few habits to keep in mind include making healthy choices when it comes to your food, getting plenty of sleep and cutting back on the stress in your life. There is also a strong link between lupus and heart disease. Make sure you are working with your healthcare team to reduce your risk of heart issues.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

If you are experiencing the symptoms of lupus, reach out to your healthcare provider. Lupus can take a long time to diagnose because of the wide range of symptoms and the way symptoms slowly build over time. Getting diagnosed is the first step to managing the condition and improving your quality of life.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/19/2021.


Symptoms Of Kidney Disease

In the early stages of kidney disease, people can have no symptoms. In fact, some people have no symptoms until over 90 per cent of their kidney function has gone. This is unfortunate because early detection of kidney disease and treatment is the key to preventing kidney failure.

Symptoms of kidney disease can include:

  • tiredness
  • bad breath an
  • a metallic taste in the mouth.

These symptoms can be caused by other conditions, but if you are in a high-risk group for kidney disease, speak with your doctor.

Hair Nails And Chronic Kidney Disease

When you look your best, you will likely feel your best. But sometimes conditions such as chronic kidney disease can get in the way of that feeling. Changes to your body, such as hair loss or nail discoloration, may happen when you have CKD and are on dialysis.

Others can notice theses change, too, which can affect some people’s self esteem when their outward appearance is affected. But there are steps people with CKD can take to help keep their hair and nails healthy.

Hair and CKD

Like a person’s skin, hair can become visibly abnormal when you develop a disease. Some people experience hair breakage or find that their hair falls out, or sometimes both. For some patients, hair problems can occur before starting dialysis or after being on dialysis. In contrast, for people who don’t have CKD and lose their hair, it’s usually due to aging, stress or heredity.

Nails and CKD

Both fingernails and toenails can be affected by kidney disease. Nail changes patients may experience include abnormal:

  • Color
  • Texture
  • Thickness

Nitrogen waste products build up in people with CKD, which can lead to damaged fingernails and toenails. Show your doctor if you have any abnormal change in your nails such as:

  • Yellow or opaque coloring
  • Pitted nails
  • Linear depressions across the fingernail
  • Ridge-shaped nails
  • Raised ridges, thin and concave shaped
  • White streaks, spots on the nails

Why hair and nails change for people with CKD

Switching your dialysis modality can also cause changes in your hair.

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Is Hair Loss Due To Kidney Failure

In kidney failure, nearly all of kidney function has lost and then patients are more likely to suffer a wide variety of hair, skin and nail problems. Some patients with kidney failure have heavy loss of hair. Is their hair loss due to kidney failure? How does this occur? Here, you can get the information that you want to make clear.

When does hair loss occur on people with kidney failure?

When the person develops kidney failure, his hair will become visibly abnormal, because his hair may be very dry and brittle. For some kidney patients, their hair loss can occur before beginning dialysis or after undergoing dialysis, while the hair loss on the healthy people is usually contributed to aging, stress or gene.

The cause of hair loss due to kidney failure?

Knowing the causes is a preparation for the following treatment. In most cases, three factors can lead to kidney patients hair loss.

Poor nutritionAs we know, hair is made up of protein. However, for people with kidney failure, they are commonly recommended for a low-protein diet, because excessive protein can increase the workload on the kidney and cause further kidney damage. This makes some patients nearly avoid all of protein that can easily cause hair loss. In fact, correct amount of protein intake is good for these patients.

Lack of waterIn kidney failure, patients urine usually becomes less than before, so most of them limit their intake of water. As a result, dry or itchy skin, or hair problems occur easily.

What Lifestyle Changes Can I Make

Kidney Symptoms Hair Loss

Chronic kidney disease will gradually get worse, but there is plenty you can do to slow the progression and improve your quality of life. Changes you should make include:

  • stop smoking
  • eat a healthy diet. That means eating a variety of vegetables, fruits, wholegrain cereals, lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, legumes and beans, and low-fat dairy products. Make sure you limit salt to less than 6g a day and limit your intake of saturated and trans fats. In the later stages of chronic kidney disease, you may need to follow specific instructions from your doctor on what you can eat or drink
  • maintaining ahealthy weight. If you have chronic kidney disease, you should ideally have a BMI of 25 or less
  • limit alcohol to less than 2 standard drinks a day
  • be physically active on most, preferably all, days of the week. Aim for 150 to 300 minutes of moderate or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous physical activity each week, and make sure you do some muscle strengthening exercises
  • take medicines to treat high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol or other underlying conditions

If you are being treated for chronic kidney disease, your doctors may need to change other medicines you are on, since many medicines can affect the kidneys, such as blood pressure drugs and anti-inflammatories. Some medicines which leave the body through the kidneys may need to have their dose adjusted.

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Symptoms Of Kidney Disease In Dogs

Though your pet may not present with all of these symptoms, kidney failure may be indicated by the list below:

  • Vomiting
  • Physical weakness due to low red blood count and low blood potassium
  • Itchy skin because of deposits of phosphorous and calcium in the skin
  • Lack of appetite that has the opportunity to lead to weight loss
  • Increased thirst
  • Large volume of urine being produced
  • Blood in urine
  • Incontinence or leaking of urine
  • Acute blindness due to high blood pressure
  • Dehydration
  • Anemia which may show as pale gums
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Acute
    • This is sudden onset renal failure
    • With prompt treatment, the failure can sometimes be resolved before it becomes long term
    • Recovery depends upon how much damage was done to the kidneys
    • If left untreated, acute kidney disease can quickly become fatal
  • Chronic
    • This is the most common disease in older dogs
    • Unfortunately, it is often irreversible
    • Early management can help slow the progression
    • Upon diagnosis, chronic kidney disease will be classified as stage I through IV

Vascular Disorders And Connective Tissue Disease

Vascular disorders commonly play a role in the development of renal failure. Vascular damage may result from infection, rheumatologic disease, tumors, emboli, medication, and multiple other causes.

Systemic lupus erythematosis was the most commonly reported rheumatologic cause of ESRD in the United States in 2015 . Renal failure most commonly occurs in patients with anti-double stranded DNA noted on antibody testing. Multiple cutaneous markers for systemic lupus erythematosis may be seen including a butterfly eruption consisting of facial erythema over the malar region of the face, photosensitivity, hypopigmentation or purplish discoloration of digits with Reynauds phenomenon, alopecia , and mucosal ulceration.

Another rheumatologic disorder that may result in renal failure is systemic sclerosis. Acute or chronic renal disease occurs in fewer than 20% of these patients but is often precipitous and associated with malignant hypertension. Renal involvement may be preceded by rapidly progressive fibrotic skin change, seen as a thickening of the skin on examination . Other skin signs of systemic sclerosis include cutaneous calcinosis, pigmentary disorders, Reynauds phenomenon, telangiectasia, and sclerodactyly .

Table 1.

For additional information:

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Determining The Cause Of Nephrotic Syndrome

The doctor investigates possible causes of nephrotic syndrome, including drugs.

Analysis of the urine and blood may reveal an underlying disorder. For example, the blood is tested for evidence of previous infections that could cause nephrotic syndrome and for antibodies directed against the body’s own tissues that indicate an autoimmune disorder.

An imaging test of the kidneys, such as ultrasonography or computed tomography , may be done. If the person has lost weight or is older, a search for cancer is undertaken. A kidney biopsy is especially useful in determining the cause and extent of kidney damage.

Blood Urea Nitrogen Test

Creatine Side Effects | Hair Loss Kidney Damage

Blood urea nitrogen can become elevated when your kidneys start to fail. Normally, your kidneys clear the products of protein breakdown from your blood. After kidney damage, these byproducts build up. Urea is one byproduct of protein breakdown and is what gives urine its odor. Your doctor may check for buildup.

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Obstruction Of Urinary Tract

Prolonged blockage of the urinary tract or tubes can result in damage to the kidney tissue. If you have had prolonged issues with kidney stones or an enlarged prostate, the chances of developing CKD rise. Conditions like cancers of the kidneys can also cause Chronic Kidney Disease due to their obstructive nature.

Dialysis For Kidney Failure

Dialysis artificially removes waste from your blood. There are two forms of dialysis haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Peritoneal dialysis is further broken down into two main types, continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis and automated peritoneal dialysis .The choice of dialysis method depends of factors such as your age, health and lifestyle. Over 2,000 Australian adults start renal replacement therapy each year.

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What Is Renal Failure In Dogs

Renal failure can be caused by many conditions that negatively affect the health and functioning of the kidneys and its related organs.

A healthy dogs kidneys work to regulate hydration, release hormones required to produce red blood cells, remove toxins and maintain a normal balance of electrolytes. If a dog experiences kidney failure, the kidneys no longer perform these functions efficiently.

While kidney problems can be concerning for any pet owner, dont lose hope if your veterinarian has diagnosed your pup with a kidney issue that may lead to kidney failure. Depending on the circumstances, there may be measures you and your veterinarian can take to prolong your pets life. Heres what you should know.

There are two types of renal failure in dogs:

Acute Renal Failure

Most commonly associated with toxins or infections, acute renal failure causes kidney function to suddenly decline .

Chronic Renal Failure

This type of kidney failure involves more gradual loss of kidney function . Degeneration associated with geriatric decline is often to blame. While all kidneys have a natural lifespan, some dogs kidneys will, unfortunately, deteriorate more quickly than others.

Causes Of Kidney Disease In Dogs

Kidney Symptoms Hair Loss

Whether of an acute nature, or a chronic problem, kidney disease occurs for many reasons:

  • Acute
    • Poisons like toxic plants, antifreeze or human medications that have been ingested accidentally
    • Toxicity from ingestion of foods such as grapes or raisins
    • Bacterial infection
    • Trauma to the organ from being struck by a car, for example
    • Dehydration
    • Old age deterioration of organ function
    • Genetic e.g. PKD
    • Birth defect in the kidney
    • Incomplete recovery of kidney from a previous injury
    • Leptospirosis
    • Pyelonephritis
    • Glomerulonephritis

Studies have shown that several breeds are found to be prone to inherited chronic kidney disease:

  • Samoyed

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An All Encompassing Hypothesis

Stress and anxiety cause spikes in adrenaline and androgen hormones. Processed foods cause spikes in insulin and androgen hormones. On top of this some people have above average testosterone and/or DHT levels . Finally, some people may have genetically inherited weaker or smaller livers or weakened livers due to years of drinking, taking medication or following poor diets. So we have four major contributing factors to hair loss . Its likely that an individual doesnt need problematic levels of all four of these problems, but perhaps just two. For examples:

  • Average Western diet + high stress levels = acne as teenager, hair loss as adult
  • High stress levels + weak liver clean diet = acne as teenager, hair loss as adult

You can see how scenarios like these examples could develop through your life. For example you might eat terrible junk food and consume lots of alcohol in your late teens and early twenties. You may not experience much acne, but the toxic build-up would weaken your liver. Then when you reach your late twenties early thirties, the androgen component of the equation would kick-in combining with the already weakened liver component to result in hair loss. So what can you do about all of this?

Why Is This The Case

There is some debate and discussion about this particular issue. Since hair is primarily comprised of protein, there are some kidney specialists who believe that this kind of hair loss and associated problems with hair quality are related to the reduced amount of protein in the body. Kidney diseases tend to cause protein in the body to be lost in the persons urine rather than retained in the system, which causes deficiency in the hair.

Kidney disease and poor kidney health arent the only causes of hair loss, however.

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Signs And Symptoms Of Kidney Failure In Dogs

As stated, your dog can suffer from acute renal failure or chronic renal failure. Some symptoms for acute renal failure are:

  • Fluid retention in the abdomen and legs
  • Painful kidneys
  • Smaller or larger than normal kidneys

Sometimes your dog may even show slight changes in their bone structure by developing a swelling along the upper jaw which is due to imbalances in their bodies.

Unlike acute kidney failure, chronic renal failure happens much more slowly, occurring over the course of months and sometimes years. This condition is typically seen in older dogs, and usually by the time the symptoms have become obvious the condition is much harder to treat.

During chronic kidney failure, your dogs organs stop functioning optimally, leading to slow degeneration. Other signs and symptoms of kidney failure in dogs are sudden changes in your dogs health and well-being. If your dog begins to act sick very suddenly, this could be related to kidney failure and you should see your vet immediately.


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