Rod Steiger health: Legendary actor took his final breath as his kidney failed him

Kidney failure: Expert outlines the symptoms of condition

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The Oscar award-winning actor had starred alongside 50s heartthrob Marlon Brando in the film On The Waterfront; Rod Steiger played a pivotal part in The Pawnbroker, and A Fistful of Dynamite, leaving an impression on Hollywood cinema. In his older age, it was Rod’s organ failure that cut his life short at 77, but his work will continue to live on. Pronounced dead on July 9, 2002, his publicist at the time, Lori De Waal, announced Rod has died from pneumonia and kidney failure.

Pneumonia, the NHS stated, can be fatal in the elderly, as the lungs become swollen and inflamed.

Usually caused from a bacterial or viral infection, pneumonia leads to a cough, difficulty breathing, a rapid heartbeat, and a high temperature.

Kidney failure

The kidneys can begin to malfunction in older age, but do not count on your body revealing to you that is the case, especially in the beginning.

“There are usually no symptoms of kidney disease in the early stages,” the NHS cautioned.

Early indicators of chronic kidney disease are typically picked up when having a blood or urine test for another health condition.

In more advanced stages, however, the signs of chronic kidney disease begin to emerge.

The warning signs might include: tiredness, swollen ankles, feet or hands, shortness of breath, feeling sick, and blood in your urine.

What causes chronic kidney disease?

Other health conditions, namely high blood pressure and diabetes, puts a strain on the kidneys.

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Health conditions such as high cholesterol, polycystic kidney disease, and kidney stones can also contribute to chronic kidney disease in later life.

High blood pressure, for example, puts unnecessary strain on the blood vessels with the kidneys, causing damage.

And high cholesterol can cause a build-up of fatty deposits in the blood vessels suppling the kidneys with much-needed oxygen and nutrients.

Chronic kidney disease has no cure, but treatment can help to relieve symptoms and may slow down the progression of the condition.

One of the first measures to help stop the condition from getting worse involves lifestyle factors.

As with any other health condition, the best way to either reduce your risk or to stop conditions from getting worse is to “remain as healthy as possible”.

Lifestyle measures will include exercising daily, being a non-smoker, abstaining from alcohol, and eating a healthy, well-balanced diet full of vitamins and nutrients.

In severe stages, people who have chronic kidney disease may require dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Around one in 50 people with chronic kidney disease will go on to experience kidney failure, just like Rod did.

The National Kidney Foundation explained that kidney failure occurs when up to 90 percent of the kidney function is gone.

Consequently, the kidneys do not work well enough to sustain life (with high blood pressure and diabetes being the most common causes of kidney failure).

In order to keep on living alongside kidney failure, dialysis or a liver transplant is needed.

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