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Chronic Kidney Disease

What is chronic kidney disease?

Chronic Kidney Disease(CKD) is a condition marked by a gradual loss of kidney function. And the kidneys are damaged and lose their ability to keep you healthy by doing the jobs. If your kidneys get some wrong, wastes can accumulate in your body and make you feel sick. They may lose the ability of balancing electrolytes, and you may develop conditions like high blood pressure, bone disease, anemia, poor nutritional health and nerve damage. Also, you may be at a higher risk for heart and blood vessel disease. These problems may present over a long period of time. You should know high blood pressure and diabetes are the two main causes of chronic kidney disease. Thus, early detection and treatment is likely to slow down the progression of kidney disease into renal failure and keep chronic kidney disease from getting worse. Otherwise, kidney disease may finally lead to kidney failure. In this condition, you need kidney transplant and dialysis to maintain your life.

What causes Chronic Kidney Disease?

High blood pressure and diabetes are the two main causes of chronic kidney disease. When there is high blood sugar, diabetes happens, which causes damage to many organs in your body, such as kidneys and heart as well as blood vessels, nerves and eyes. And high blood pressure occurs when the pressure of your blood against the walls of your blood vessels increases. If high blood pressure is not under control or poorly controlled, high blood pressure can cause heart attacks, strokes and chronic kidney disease. Chronic Kidney Disease can also cause high blood pressure.

The above are two common causes of chronic kidney disease, and other conditions can also cause chronic kidney disease. Other conditions include:

1. Glomerulonephritis is a kidney disease which cause inflammation and damage to the kidney’s filtering units. It is the third most common type of kidney disease.

2. Inherited disease, such as polycystic kidney disease. Polycystic kidney disease triggers large cysts to form in kidneys and damage surrounding tissue.

3. Immune system disorder can also cause chronic kidney disease, such a lupus and other diseases.

4. Obstructions is another of chronic kidney disease. The obstructions may be caused by problems like kidney stones, tumors or an enlarged prostate gland in men.

5. Repeated urinary infections.

What are the symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease?

In early stage of Chronic Kidney Disease, most people may not have any severe symptoms. When the kidney disease is advanced, they may some severe symptoms. However, in early stage they may notice that they:

Feel tired and have less energy

Lose their appetite

Have difficult in sleeping

Have trouble concentrating

Have swollen feet and ankles

Have puffy edema around eyelids and face,especially in morning

Have frequent urine, especially at night

Have dry and itchy skin

Anyone is likely to get chronic kidney disease no matter how old you are. But if you belong to the following group of people, you may be at a higher risk for kidney disease, including:

1. Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two main common causes of chronic kidney disease, and meanwhile they are also the symptoms of chronic kidney disease.

2. If you have a family history of kidney disease, the rate of getting chronic kidney disease is high.

3. Chronic kidney disease is more seen among older people.

4. African American, Hispanic Americans, Asian, Pacific Islanders and American Indians belong to a population group which is a high rate of diabetes or high blood pressure.

If you are in any one of the groups, you should go to hospital to do tests regularly so as to find out whether you have chronic kidney disease. The earlier you identify it, the better you treat it.

How do I know I suffer from Chronic Kidney Disease?

Kidneys are important organs in body. They can filter wastes and fluid out of your body and keep you healthy. Once the kidney function is damaged, wastes can build up in your body, causing you feel sick. In a medical context,there is a measure to tell how much kidney function you have, which is Glomerular Filtration Rate. Your doctor may calculate it from the results of your blood creatinine test, age, race, gender and other factors. Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease usually have high creatinine level. However, only repeated high creatinine level may mean you have CKD. This is because other factors can also affect creatinine level, such as too much protein intake, exercise and meat. And also ultrasound or CT or a kidney biopsy can also check your kidney function.

What is the proper diet for Chronic Kidney Disease?

1. Low sodium intake

High sodium or salt intake may aggravate high blood pressure and sodium. The severe high blood pressure and sodium may worsen your illness condition. In serious case, pulmonary edema happens which can make you have trouble breathing and even threaten your life. Therefore, you should avoid some high salt or sodium foods such as pickles, bacon, processed foods, canned foods and so on.

2. Protein restriction

Reducing protein intake may slow the progression of chronic kidney disease.

3. Potassium limit

The unhealthy kidneys trigger high potassium level which can cause abnormal heart rhythms, so you should eat less or not eat high potassium foods such as bananas, oranges, nuts, avocados and potatoes.

4. Phosphorus restriction

Chronic Kidney Disease patients usually have bone disease like osteoporosis because of low phosphorus level in your body. In this case, you are not recommended to eat eggs, beans, cola drinks and dairy products.

This article introduces the causes, symptoms, tests and diet of Chronic Kidney Disease. And we hope you have a further understanding of CKD through this article. And also if you are at a risk for Chronic Kidney Disease or are experiencing any symptom of CKD, talk to your doctor. The earlier kidney disease is detected, the better the chance of slowing or stopping its progression.


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