Chronic kidney disease

In section, you will learn about chronic kidney disease. Before learning about chronic kidney diseases let’s understand what is chronic kidney disease (CKD). Chronic kidney disease is basically a condition of complete kidney damage and they can’t filter the blood the way they should. The major causes of developing kidney disease are hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, heart disease, and family background of kidney failure. In section, you will also know the causes, signs, and treatment of chronic kidney disease (CKD).

What is chronic kidney disease?
The basic function of your kidney is to filter waste materials from the blood. If the kidneys are unable to do their job chronic kidney disease is created. Kidneys keep us healthy by filtering wastes from our blood with millions of tiny filters, called nephrons. If the nephrons are damaged, they don’t filter the wastes from the blood and we feel the signs of chronic kidney disease (CKD).

5 stages of chronic kidney disease
If the kidneys are left untreated, chronic kidney disease CKD proceeds from stage 1 through to stage 5. Stage 5 is also known as End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), which means dialysis treatment or kidney transplant is required to survive.
• Stage 1 normal GFR (GFR greater than 90mL/min)
• Stage 2 mild CKD (GFR approximately equal to 60-89 mL/min)
• Stage 3A Moderate CKD (GFR normally equal to 45-59 mL/min)
• Stage 3B CKD (GFR equal to 30-44 mL/min)
• Stage 4 is the severe condition of CKD (GFR equal to 15-29 mL/min)
• Stage 5 is the end of CKD (GFR is less than 15 mL/min)
Causes of CKD
High blood pressure (hypertension) and diabetes are the most common causes of CKD. High blood pressure or hypertension means that the force of blood in the blood vessels is so strong it can damage the blood vessels and eventually leads to CKD. Similarly, diabetes means that your blood sugar level is too high which can damage your kidneys.
Symptoms of CKD
• Muscle cramps
• Sleep problems
• Swelling of feet and ankles
• Nausea
• Fatigue and weakness
• Vomiting
• Loss of appetite
• Chest pain, if fluid builds up around the lining of the heart
• High blood pressure (hypertension) that’s difficult to control
• Dry, itchy skin
• Shortness of breath, if fluid builds up in the lungs
• Urinating more or less
• Decreased mental sharpness

Signs of chronic kidney disease are sometimes nonspecific. It means they can also be caused by some other illnesses.
Risk factors
Factors that can increase your risk of chronic kidney disease may involve:
• Obesity
• Heart (cardiovascular) disease
• Abnormal kidney structure
• High blood pressure
• Smoking
• Older age
• Family background of kidney disease
• Frequent use of medications that can damage the kidneys
In order to reduce your risk of developing kidney disease:
Don’t smoke
Carcinogens in Cigarette smoking can damage your kidneys. If you are a smoker, consult your doctor about the strategies for quitting.
Maintain a healthy weight
If you are at a healthy weight, maintain it through physical activities most days of the week. If you need to lose your body weight, consult your doctor about the strategies for healthy weight loss.

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