Kidney damage emanating from COVID-19, as illustrated by Gary Saitowitz

March 30, 2021

Coronavirus resulted in a global pandemic in the form of Covid-19. It caused damage to the respiratory organ and lungs in particular. However, it affects the entire system and damages internal organs. Researchers and doctors are trying to find out the causes and severe symptoms of Covid-19. Officially called SARS- CoV-2, Covid-19 has a lasting and severe impact on internal organs, including kidneys and heart. Experts suggest that kidney health and its functioning are affected by this virus. Moreover, individuals who have chronic illnesses are at a higher risk of contemplating the disease.

Gary Saitowitz on possible complications of kidney damage associated with covid-19

People with severe cases of Covid-19 show signs of kidney damage. Even those suffering from kidney problems well before they were infected with coronavirus develop severe symptoms. Initial reports reveal that around 30% of patients hospitalized with this disease develop severe to moderate kidney injury. According to Gary Saitowitz, reports also suggest that these numbers are on the increase. The symptoms of kidney problems in individuals with this disease include abnormal blood work, high protein levels in the urine, and others.

In some cases, kidney damage is so severe that it requires dialysis. Due to the increasing instances of coronavirus, hospitals are running short of sterile fluids and machines for performing kidney procedures.

The interrelation between kidney health and Covid-19

As stated earlier, the impact of Covid-19 on overall health is severe. It is here that researchers and doctors help in exploring the interrelation between Covid-19 and kidney health


  • Covid-19 may target kidney cells: the virus infects the kidney cells, which have receptors that enable the germ to attach to them. Further, it helps them to invade and make multiple copies of themselves. That potentially damages the tissues. You will find receptors in the cells of the heart and lungs. It is here that the virus causes injury.


  • The lower level of oxygen causes malfunctioning of the kidney: kidney issues in individuals with this disease may have a low level of oxygen in their body. It is a common phenomenon in an individual with severe cases of malfunctioning.


  • Cytokine storms destroy kidney tissues: the way the body reacts to the infection has a lot to do with the immune system. In some cases, the immune response may be extreme. It may lead to a cytokine storm. The immune system then sends a rush of cytokines inside the body. These are small proteins that help the cells communicating with the immune system starts fighting the infection. However, the sudden and vast influx of cells may cause severe inflammation.


  • Covid-19 results in blood clots in kidneys: kidneys work as filters that screen out extra water, waste products, and toxins from the body. Covid-19 results in clot formation in the bloodstream. It clocks the blood vessels inside the kidney and impairs functioning.

Individuals with kidney damages and are suffering from Covid-19 must follow-up with their medical practitioners to ensure that the kidney remains healthy. Lastly, kidney issues may require dialysis and other therapies even after you have recovered from Covid-19.


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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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