What is Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)?
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is the problem which develops, over years, in your kidneys due to which they are not able to filter blood. This results in excess of fluid and waste in the blood which causes other health problems, such as heart disease and stroke.
What happens when you suffer from Chronic Kidney Disease?
You will suffer from Anaemia (due to a low number of red blood cells), Increased occurrence of infections, Your Calcium levels will drop, Potassium levels and phosphorus levels will rise in the blood, you will lose appetite, you are most likely to have depression or lower quality of life.
CKD has varying levels of seriousness. Though treatment has been shown to slow progression, it usually gets worse over time. CKD can progress to kidney failure and results in cardiovascular diseases if left untreated.
What happens when kidneys stop working?
Once the kidneys will stop working, you will need dialysis or kidney transplant for survival.
End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)
It is the stage of chronic renal disease when your body need dialysis to remove waste from your body. At this stage, Renal transplant is needed.
It is not necessary that all CKD patients will progress to kidney failure.
In order to prevent CKD and avoid kidney failure, risk factors for CKD should be controlled.
It is advised to get tested yearly, make some lifestyle changes, take medicine as needed, and see your doctor regularly.
What are the risk factors for Chronic Kidney Disease?
You chances of CKD increases if you have the following:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Family history of CKD
What are the symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)?
You may not may not feel ill or notice any symptoms at early stages of disease. The only way to find out is through specific blood and urine tests. These tests will measure blood and urine creatinine level.
What can you do to keep your kidneys safe?
- Keep your blood pressure below 130/40 mm Hg
- If you have diabetic, keep your blood sugar level as within range as possible
- Physical activity helps control blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
- Lose weight if you’re overweight.
- Get yourself tested regularly if you have risk factors for CKD.
What to do if you are suffering from CKD?
- If you have CKD, meet with a dietician to create a kidney-healthy eating plan. Your diet plan will change with changing parameters like weight, health etc. Make sure you visit your doctor/dietician regularly.
- Your doctor will prescribe you some blood pressure medicines which may protect your kidneys in addition to lowering blood pressure. Make sure to take your meds on time without skipping doses.
- Smoking worsens the kidney function and interferes with medication that lowers blood pressure. Quit smoking right now.
- Do consult a nephrologist if you are not consulting already.
- You need to stay away from things that can harm the kidneys or cause a sudden drop in kidney function (called acute kidney injury), such as herbal supplements, certain antibiotics, medicines like ibuprofen and naproxen, dyes used to make the blood vessels or organs visible on imaging tests
You can keep your kidneys healthy, slow progression of CKD by controlling those risk factors for CKD. That will reduce the incidence of complications too.
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