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CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE (CKD)

Chronic kidney disease is a condition that involves the kidney gradually losing its function. The kidneys filter wastes and excess fluids from the blood, which are then removed from your urine. Advanced chronic kidney disease can cause dangerous levels of fluid, electrolytes, and wastes to build up in your body.

CAUSES OF CKD

Chronic kidney disease occurs when there is impaired kidney function. In chronic kidney disease, the damage to the kidney gets worsen for a long time, it occurs for months or even years. Diseases and conditions that cause chronic kidney disease include:

  • Type 1 or type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Glomerulonephritis
  • Interstitial nephritis
  • Polycystic kidney disease or other inherited kidney diseases
  • Prolonged obstruction of the urinary tract,
  • Vesicoureteral reflux, a condition that causes urine to back up into your kidneys
  • Recurrent kidney infection.

RISKS FACTORS OF CKD

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Race (Black, Native American, or Asian American)
  • Family history of kidney disease
  • Abnormal kidney structure
  • Old Age
  • Frequent use of medications that can damage the kidneys

SYMPTOMS OF CKD

  • Nausea and Vomiting.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Fatigue and weakness.
  • Insomnia
  • Urinating more or less.
  • Muscle cramps.
  • Swelling of feet and ankles.
  • Dry, itchy skin.
  • Uncontrollable High blood pressure (hypertension).
  • Shortness of breath due to the buildup of fluid in the lungs.
  • Chest pain, if fluid builds up around the lining of the heart.

STAGES OF CKD

There are five stages of chronic kidney disease.

The stage of kidney disease is determined by using the glomerular filtration rate (GFR), a formula using a person’s age, gender, and serum creatinine level (identified through a blood test). Use the links below to learn about each stage of kidney disease:

  • Stage 1 with normal or high GFR (GFR > 90 mL/min)
  • Stage 2 Mild CKD (GFR = 60-89 mL/min)
  • Stage 3A Moderate CKD (GFR = 45-59 mL/min)
  • Stage 3B Moderate CKD (GFR = 30-44 mL/min)
  • Stage 4 Severe CKD (GFR = 15-29 mL/min)
  • Stage 5 End Stage CKD (GFR <15 mL/min)

DIAGNOSIS OF CKD

Most times CKD is diagnosed through blood and Urine tests.

  1. Blood test

The main test for kidney disease is a blood test. The test measures the levels of a waste product called creatinine in your blood. Healthy kidneys should be able to filter more than 90ml/min. CKD is diagnosed if the glomerular filtration rate is lower than this.

2) Urine test

A urine test is also done to:

  • check the levels of substances called albumin and creatinine in your urine also known as the albumin: creatinine ratio, or ACR.
  • check for blood or protein in your urine.

Other tests include:

  • Imaging Testing: an ultrasound scan, MRI scan, or CT scan is used to see what the kidneys look like and check whether there are any blockages.
  • A kidney biopsy: it involves a small sample of kidney tissue is removed using a needle and the cells are examined under a microscope for signs of damage.

TREATMENT OF CKD

Treatment of CKD depends on the cause; most times chronic kidney disease has no cure. Treatment usually involves management and controlling of signs and symptoms, slowing down the progress of the disease, and reducing complications.

1) Treating the cause

The doctor will work to slow or control the cause of your kidney disease. Treatment options vary depending on the cause. But kidney damage can continue to worsen even when an underlying condition, such as diabetes mellitus or high blood pressure, has been controlled.

2) Treating complications

Kidney disease complications can be controlled to make the patient more comfortable. Treatments might include:

  • High blood pressure medications. People with kidney disease can have worsening high blood pressure. The doctor might recommend medications to lower blood pressure and advice to go on a low salt diet.
  • Medications to relieve swelling. People with chronic kidney disease often retain fluids. This can lead to swelling in the legs as well as high blood pressure. Medications called diuretics can help maintain the balance of fluids in your body.
  • Medications to treat anemia. Supplements of the hormone erythropoietin sometimes with added iron help produce more red blood cells.
  • Medications to protect your bones. Calcium and vitamin D supplements can help prevent weak bones and lower your risk of fracture.
  • A lower protein diet to minimize waste products in your blood. As your body processes protein from foods, it creates waste products that your kidneys must filter from your blood. To reduce the amount of work your kidneys must do, the doctor might recommend eating less protein.

TREATMENT FOR END-STAGE KIDNEY DISEASE

  • Dialysis artificially removes waste products and extra fluid from your blood when your kidneys can no longer perform the function.
  • Kidney transplant. A kidney transplant involves surgically placing a healthy kidney from a donor into your body. After a transplant, medications are administered and are to be taking for the rest of one’s life to keep the body from rejecting the new organ.

Lifestyle and home remedies

  • Avoid products with added salt. Reduce daily salt intake.
  • Choose lower potassium foods. Foods that are low in potassium include apples, cabbage, carrots, green beans, grapes, and strawberries.
  • Limit the amount of protein you eat. Reduce daily consumption of protein.

PREVENTIONS

To reduce your risk of developing kidney disease:

  • Reduce consumption of over-the-counter drugs for a long time, meet doctors for a prescription if necessary.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Don’t smoke cigarette, smoking can damages the kidneys and makes existing kidney damage worse.
  • Manage your existing medical conditions and pay attention to the doctor’s advice.

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