Chronic Kidney Disease : Causes, Symptoms, and Management
Chronic Kidney Disease
The kidneys eventually lose the ability to filter waste and extra fluid from the circulation due to the stable and progressive condition known as chronic kidney disease. Kidney damage typically takes months or years to develop, and it can result in several consequences.
Millions of individuals worldwide suffer from CKD, which is frequently linked to other illnesses like diabetes and high blood pressure.
What are the causes?
- Over time, excessive blood sugar levels can harm the kidneys’ tiny blood capillaries, resulting in damage and CKD.
High blood pressure.
- The kidneys’ blood arteries can be harmed, and uncontrolled high blood pressure reduces their capacity to operate correctly.
- The glomeruli, microscopic kidney structures that filter waste from the blood, become inflamed and destroyed in this illness.
Kidney polycystic disease
- This genetic condition causes the kidneys to develop many cysts, which eventually cause kidney damage.
Obstructed urinary tracts
- When the urinary system is blocked, urine cannot flow quickly, which increases pressure inside the kidneys and damages them.
- Lupus and other autoimmune illnesses can induce renal inflammation, which can harm the kidneys over time.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and some antibiotics can harm the kidneys over time and cause CKD.
What are the symptoms?
- Having constant fatigue or weakness, despite enough rest.
- Due to the buildup of fluid, swelling can occur in the legs, ankles, and feet, and occasionally in the face and hands.
Changes in urination
- Urination that is more or less often than usual, frothy or bubbly, or that is darker than usual.
Blood in the urine
- This causes color of the urine turn pink, red, or brown.
Lack of appetite
- Having a lower appetite, or feeling less hungry causes weight loss.
- Feeling nauseated or throwing up due to the buildup of waste products in the body.
- Dry or itchy skin can develop from the accumulation of waste materials.
Difficulty in concentrating
- Having trouble in concentrating or remembering things.
- People with kidney disease may have trouble breathing.
Who is at risk of getting CKD?
- People above the age of 60 are more likely to have CKD.
- Diabetes and high blood pressure are risk factors, and being overweight or obese might raise that risk.
- Smoking can potentially harm blood vessels and raise the danger of high blood pressure.
- A more significant risk exists for those with heart disease or a history of stroke.
Additional medical issues
- CKD can be a side effect of other illnesses such as lupus, HIV, and hepatitis B and C.
How is it diagnosed?
Waste products like creatinine and urea, which are present in the blood, can be measured using blood testing. High concentrations of these waste products may indicate that your kidneys aren’t working correctly.
Creatinine in serum
- Muscles create creatinine, a waste product the kidneys remove from the blood. A high serum creatinine level indicates ineffective renal function.
Urea in the blood
- The kidneys filter this out of the blood. An elevated level is a sign that the kidneys are not working correctly.
Rate of glomerular filtration (GFR)
- This measures how efficiently the kidneys are removing waste. Low GFR is a sign of poor kidney health.
- Salt, potassium, and chloride are electrolytes that are crucial for maintaining healthy function. Abnormal levels indicate kidney disease.
- Testing urine for the presence of proteins, blood, or other substances that can indicate kidney injury can be helpful.
- Imaging procedures like an MRI, CT scan, or ultrasound can help visualize the kidneys and spot any anomalies or obstructions.
- To identify the cause of kidney injury, it may occasionally be necessary to extract a tiny sample of kidney tissue and examine it under a microscope.
- A healthcare provider can identify the stage of CKD, which ranges from Stage 1 to Stage 4, based on the findings of these tests. (mild kidney damage with normal kidney function) to Stage 5 (kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant).
It’s crucial to remember that CKD can be managed and its progression slowed or stopped with early detection and treatment. Therefore, it is advised that those at risk have frequent renal function testing for early identification.
What are the treatment methods?
- Commonly prescribed diuretics that aid the kidneys in removing extra bodily fluid include furosemide and hydrochlorothiazide.
- Angiotensin receptor blockers, such as losartan or valsartan, and ACE inhibitors, such as lisinopril, frequently decrease blood pressure and protect against future kidney injury.
Erythropoietin stimulating agents
- These drugs encourage the creation of red blood cells and can be used to treat anaemia, a frequent side effect.
- Phosphate binders, such as sevelamer, calcium acetate, and lanthanum carbonate, aid in regulating the amount of phosphate in the blood.
- People with CKD who are anemic or have the bone disease may also receive vitamin D and iron supplements.
Limit your protein intake.
- Consuming too much protein can damage the kidneys, so it’s crucial to keep your intake under control.
Reduce your salt intake.
- Minimizing sodium intake is crucial because it can increase blood pressure and cause fluid retention. Less than 2300 mg daily is the minimum amount that persons with CKD should consume daily.
Limit phosphorus intake
- High blood phosphorus levels can be dangerous. Dairy goods, meat, and nuts are foods high in phosphorus.
Eat less potassium.
- Bananas, oranges, and potatoes are a few foods high in potassium.
Increase fruit and vegetable consumption.
- Fruits and vegetables are healthy because they are low in potassium, salt, phosphorus, and protein.
- Kidney health depends on enough water consumption, but fluid intake and output must be balanced.
Limit your alcohol consumption.
- It’s crucial to restrict alcohol consumption since excessive alcohol use can harm the kidneys.
- Limiting fluid intake may help some kidney disease sufferers lessen the strain on their organs.
- When the kidneys cannot filter the blood of waste and extra fluids, dialysis is a medical procedure that does just that. Hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis are the two forms of dialysis.
Transplant of a kidney
- Some individuals with end-stage renal disease may be candidates for a kidney transplant.
What are the complications?
High blood pressure
- A critical factor in controlling blood pressure is the kidneys. CKD can bring on high blood pressure.
- Erythropoietin, a hormone made by the kidneys, promotes the synthesis of red blood cells. Anemia develops as CKD worsens because the kidneys produce less erythropoietin.
- The kidneys support the body’s mineral balance, particularly that of calcium and phosphorus. Bone diseases, such as osteoporosis, fractures, and bone discomfort, can result from dysfunction.
A cardiovascular disease
- It can rise both the heart disease and stroke risk
- A buildup of fluid in the legs, feet, ankles, and lungs can result from the kidneys failing to eliminate extra bodily fluid.
- CKD can result from weight loss and decreased appetite, which contribute to malnutrition. The kidneys also eliminate waste products from the body, such as those created when protein is broken down.
Manage your blood pressure.
- In addition to taking drugs, this may entail making lifestyle adjustments such as eating a balanced diet, exercising frequently, and lowering stress.
Control of blood sugar
- Diabetes is another crucial factor that contributes to CKD. Thus, it’s critical to control your blood sugar levels properly.
Maintain a healthy weight.
- Obesity or being overweight can raise your risk.
- Smoking can harm your kidneys’ blood arteries, resulting in CKD.
- Your kidneys can remain healthy and operate as they should if you consume enough water. Drink at least eight glasses of water daily or more if you are working out or sweating a lot.