How COVID-19 Affects the Kidneys

COVID-19 is well-documented as having a severe impact as a  respiratory illness, but doctors and researchers have also been studying the severe and lasting harm the virus has on other organs such as the kidneys. 

According to WebMD, researchers have warned doctors to “prepare for a significant rise in chronic kidney disease cases due to the pandemic.” If the case is severe enough, it could also potentially increase patients’ risk of needing kidney dialysis. The effects of COVID-19 on the kidneys are still being researched, and there are some effects that doctors and researchers are continuing to analyze and test. Here are some of the items John Hopkins Medicine has been looking into.

1. Coronavirus Might Target Kidney Cells

When someone gets the virus, it may be infecting the cells of the kidney. Kidney cells have receptors that enable the virus to attach to them, invade, and make copies of itself, which could cause damage to those tissues.

2. Lack of Oxygen Can Cause Kidneys to Malfunction

Some COVID-19 patients may develop kidney problems due to abnormally low levels of oxygen in the blood. This could be a result of pneumonia that is commonly seen in severe cases of the disease.

3. Cytokine Storms Can Destroy Kidney Tissue

A cytokine storm is an immune response that may happen when the immune system sends a rush of cytokines (small proteins that send messages) throughout your body to help the immune system fight off the infection. A large influx of cytokines can cause severe inflammation. As your body tries to kill the invading virus, it could result in this inflammatory reaction destroying healthy tissue, such as the tissue in the kidneys.

4. Blood Clots Caused By COVID-19 May Clog the Kidneys

The kidneys filter waste, toxins, and extra water from the body. However, COVID-19 can impair the kidneys from doing their job by forming tiny clots in the bloodstream, which can clog the smallest blood vessels in the kidney and impair its function.

Contact South Coast Medical if You’re Feeling Sick

We want to make sure your health is optimized at all times.  We also want to be mindful that COVID-19 still has a presence here in Southern California.

If you are not feeling well and would like to get the Sofia 2 Rapid COVID-19 test, please call us at (949) 360-1069 to schedule an appointment. 

If you would like to set up an in-person or telemedicine visit, our hours of operation are: 

Monday-Friday: 8:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m.

Saturday: 9:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.

Sunday: 10:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.

The safety of our patients and staff is our top priority. We are located in Aliso Viejo, California, and we offer a wide range of services such as urgent and primary care, sports medicine, and x-rays. If you need help with any of these services, please contact us at (949) 389- 8968. We appreciate the trust our patients have in us and look forward to being of service to you.