What is Chronic Kidney Disease?
Millions of Americans are living with chronic kidney disease (CKD). CKD refers to a long-term condition where you have lasting damage to your kidneys that may worsen with time. Depending on how bad your kidney damage is, your kidneys will not work as well as they should, and may stop working completely. If your kidneys fail, or you reach end-stage renal disease, you will need to have a kidney transplant or dialysis to live.
The kidneys are important for removing waste from your body. They balance your bodily fluids, produce urine, and help with other bodily functions. When they are unable to perform these functions, your body will be affected by all the waste that accumulates.
The End-Stages of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
End-stage renal disease (ESRD) also known as kidney failure is the last stage of CKD. At this stage, you won’t survive without dialysis or a kidney transplant.
With CKP, symptoms may not appear until the later stages of the disease. As you are approaching ESRD, you may see systems that your kidney isn’t working. These include:
- Muscle cramps
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Trouble sleeping
- Problems breathing
What are the Causes of Kidney Failure?
Kidney failure can be caused by other health problems that have contributed to permanent damage to your kidneys. You are at risk of kidney disease if you have:
- Hypertension/high blood pressure: this condition damages the blood vessels in your kidneys.
- Diabetes: high blood sugar will damage the blood vessels in your kidneys.
- Heart disease: persons with heart disease face a higher risk of developing kidney disease and vice versa.
- Family history: if family members such as parents or siblings have kidney disease, then you are also at risk and should be tested quickly.
Autoimmune diseases such as lupus, and genetic disease and urinary tract problems can also lead to kidney disease.
Acute Renal Failure | Acute Kidney Injury
You can develop acute renal failure which is often temporary. Those with an acute kidney injury can recover fully, if they do not have any other serious health issues. Some common causes of acute renal failure are:
- Not enough blood flow
- Heart attack
- Urinary tract issues
Treating and Managing Kidney Disease
Outside of a kidney transplant, dialysis is the next best way to treat CKD. Dialysis replaces the functions of the kidney. Dialysis purifies your blood by removing the waste and excess fluid from your body, just as a working kidney does.
Managing CKD requires you to control your blood pressure and blood sugar. You must take all medicines as they are prescribed. In addition, you should consume a healthy diet and exercise regularly to keep your weight in check.
Staying healthy and having regular check-ups with your doctor, you can control any pre-conditions you have to limit developing kidney disease.
Keep Healthy. Protect Yourself to Prevent Kidney Disease.