Chronic kidney disease
Understanding Chronic Kidney Disease
What is Chronic Kidney Disease?
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a serious condition in which the kidneys gradually lose their ability to properly filter waste and toxins from the body. It is a long-term condition that can lead to a variety of complications, but early treatment can help prevent further damage. It is important to understand risks and symptoms of CKD to ensure you get the best care possible.
Causes and Risk Factors of Chronic Kidney Disease
There are several possible causes and risk factors associated with kidney disease. The exact cause can vary from person to person, but some of the more common factors include:
- Age: Older individuals are more likely to develop CKD as the bodys natural filtering process weakens with age
- Genetics: Certain inherited conditions, such as Polycystic kidney disease, can make one more prone to developing CKD
- Diabetes: High blood sugar levels can cause damage to the kidneys over time
- High Blood Pressure: High blood pressure can put additional strain on your kidneys and increase your risk of CKD
- Autoimmune Diseases: Diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis put additional strain on the kidneys
- Obesity: Excess body weight can cause additional strain on the kidneys as well as heighten other risk factors, such as high blood pressure
Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease
The early signs and symptoms of CKD may be mild or non-existent, which is why it can be difficult to diagnose without regular medical tests. Common signs and symptoms may include fatigue, swelling in the feet, ankles and legs, difficulty breathing, confusion or forgetfulness, increased urination at night, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and bloody or foam-like urine.
Diagnosing Chronic Kidney Disease
Early diagnosis of CKD is essential to ensure proper treatment. Your doctor will typically review your medical history and order a series of tests, such as a urine test, a blood test, an imaging test, or a kidney biopsy, to diagnose the condition. If a diagnosis of CKD is made after these tests, your doctor can start working on a treatment plan that is right for you.
Treatment of Chronic Kidney Disease
The goal of treatment for chronic kidney disease is to manage symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, such as changing your diet and getting regular exercise, as well as medication to help manage your condition and minimize complications. Additionally, your doctor may refer you to a kidney specialist for additional care and treatment.
Overall, chronic kidney disease can lead to a range of serious medical complications. However, with early detection and proper treatment, it is possible to manage symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. If you suspect you may be at risk of CKD, it is important to talk to your doctor.