The kidneys has the function of removing waste products from the blood which are then excreted in the urine, it also helps in regulating the water fluid levels. There are many health conditions that can damage your kidneys and lead to CKD. Chronic kidney disease, also called chronic kidney failure, describes the gradual loss of kidney function. Chronic kidney disease otherwise called CKD, simply means that the kidneys are damaged and can no longer filter blood like they should. This damage can cause wastes to build up in the body. It is a progressive disease, that is to say, it can get worse over time. When chronic kidney disease reaches an advanced stage, dangerous levels of fluid, electrolytes and wastes can build up in your body.
Chronic kidney disease may not become seeming until your kidney function is significantly damaged.
Causes of chronic kidney disease
Diseases and conditions that can cause chronic kidney disease include:
- Type 1 or type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Prolonged obstruction of the urinary tract, from conditions such as enlarged prostate, kidney stones and some cancers
- Recurrent kidney infection, also called pyelonephritis
- An inflammation of the kidney’s tubules and surrounding structures
- Polycystic kidney disease
- Reflux, a condition that causes urine to back up into your kidneys(Vesicoureteral )
In so many cases, during the early stages of chronic kidney disease, you may have few signs or symptoms.
Some of the symptoms of chronic kidney disease, may be similar with some other ailments, however, diagnosis, stand to confirm if it is a kidney infection or not. Its signs and symptoms may not appear until irreversible damage has occurred.
Signs and symptoms of chronic kidney disease develop over time if kidney damage progresses slowly. Signs and symptoms of kidney disease may include:
- Loss of appetite
- General weakness of the body
- Chest pain, if fluid builds up around the lining of the heart
- Shortness of breath, if fluid builds up in the lungs
- High blood pressure (hypertension) that’s difficult to control
- Sleep disorder
- Frequent urination
- Muscle twitches and cramps
- Swelling of feet and ankles
- Persistent itching
Factors that may increase your risk of chronic kidney disease include people having:
- High blood pressure
- Heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease
Other people at risk are people who are obesed and those who smoke
Can chronic kidney disease be prevented?
The prevention measures centres more on how you can reduce the risk of developing kidney disease: They may include:
- Avoid self medication and always stick to your doctors prescription: When using nonprescription pain relievers, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, follow the instructions on the package. Taking too many pain relievers could lead to kidney damage and generally should be avoided if you have kidney disease or not. If you have headache or ache in any part of your body, seek the help of a medical expert. Self medication and too much intake of drugs can affect the kidney.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Regular exercising can help burn out excess fats in the body. Also a healthy eating. If you need to lose weight, talk with your doctor about strategies for healthy weight loss.
- Don’t smoke. Cigarette smoking can damage your kidneys and make existing kidney damage worse.
Treatment for chronic kidney disease focuses on slowing the progression of the kidney damage, usually by controlling the underlying cause. Chronic kidney disease can progress to end-stage kidney failure, which is fatal without artificial filtering (dialysis) or a kidney transplant.
Treatment can help, but this condition can’t be cured. Treatment usually consists of measures to help control signs and symptoms, reduce complications, and slow progression of the disease.
Medication helps manage symptoms. In later stages, filtering the blood with a machine (dialysis) or a transplant may be required.