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What is kidney Disease? An expert explains
A progressive loss of kidney function is a feature of chronic kidney disease, usually known as chronic kidney failure. Wastes and extra fluid are detached from your blood by your kidneys and passed through your urine. As a result, your body may accumulate hazardous amounts of fluid, electrolytes, and wastes if you have advanced chronic renal disease.
When chronic kidney disease first develops, you may not have many signs or symptoms. So kidney illness may go unnoticed until it’s already advanced.
Chronic renal disease treatment aims to slow the development of kidney damage, usually by addressing the underlying cause. However, even stopping the cause of kidney disease could not prevent the damage from worsening. End-stage renal failure from chronic kidney disease is fatal without mechanical filtering (dialysis) or a kidney transplant.
If kidney damage advances gradually, signs and symptoms of the chronic renal disease appear over time. An accumulation of fluid, a buildup of body waste, or electrolyte issues can all remain brought on by kidney failure. Loss of kidney function can lead to any of the following depending on its severity:
- Loss of appetite
- issues with sleep
- More or less frequent urination Diminished mental clarity
- muscle pain
- swelling in the ankles and feet
- Itchy, dry skin
- Hard to regulate high blood pressure (hypertension)
- Breathlessness if pulmonary fluid accumulates
- If fluid accumulates around the heart’s lining, chest discomfort may result.
Kidney disease symptoms and signs are frequently vague. They can, therefore, also remain brought on by different diseases. In addition, you might not experience symptoms until permanent damage has occurred since your kidneys can compensate for reduced function.
When to See a Doctor
Schedule an appointment with your doctor if you experience any kidney disease symptoms or signs. Kidney failure might remain avoided if the renal illness remains caught early enough.
During office visits, your doctor may check your blood pressure and kidney function using urine and blood tests if you have a medical condition that raises your risk of renal disease. Find out from your doctor if you require these tests.
When a disease or condition compromises kidney function, chronic kidney disease develops. Then, over numerous months or years, the kidney damage gets worse.
The following illnesses and diseases can lead to chronic kidney disease:
- Diabetes type 1 or type 2
- elevated blood pressure
- Glomerulonephritis is an inflammation of the kidney’s filtration cells (gloe-mer-u-low-nuh-FRY-tis) (glomeruli)
- Interstitial nephritis, an inflammation of the kidney’s tubules and surrounding tissues, is pronounced “in-tur-STISH-ul nuh-FRY-is.”
- Other inherited kidney illnesses, such as polycystic kidney disease
- persistent obstruction of the urinary tract caused by diseases like enlarged prostate, kidney stones, or certain malignancies
- Vesicoureteral reflux, a condition that causes urine to back up into your kidneys, is pronounced (ves-it-koe-you-REE-tur-ul).
- Pyelonephritis, another name for a recurrent kidney infection (pie-uh-low-nuh-FRY-tis)
You may be more susceptible to developing chronic kidney disease if you have the following:
- elevated blood pressure
- illness of the heart and blood vessels
- Having a kidney disease-related family history and being Black, Native American, or Asian American
- unusual kidney structure advancing age
- frequent consumption of drugs that can harm the kidneys
Acute renal failure can impact virtually every organ in your body. Complications that could arise include:
- Fluid retention, which can cause edema in the arms and legs, hypertension, or fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema)
- Hyperkalemia is a sudden increase in potassium levels in the blood that could endanger your life by affecting how well your heart functions
- Heart condition
- Weak bones enhance bone fracture risk.
- low fertility, erectile problems, or decreased sex drive
- A central nervous system injury may result in personality changes, difficulties concentrating, or convulsions.
- reduced immunological response, which increases your susceptibility to infection
- An inflammation of the sac-like membrane that surrounds your heart is called pericarditis (pericardium)
- Pregnancy complications that carry dangers for the mother and the developing fetus
- Irreversible damage to your kidneys, eventually requiring either dialysis or a kidney transplant for survival
To reduce your risk of emergent kidney disease:
- Take prescription and over-the-counter drugs as directed. Follow the directions on the label while taking over-the-counter painkillers, including aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, etc.), and acetaminophen (Tylenol, etc.). Kidney damage can result from using too many painkillers over an extended period.
- Keep a healthy weight. Maintain a healthy weight by engaging in physical activity most of your weekdays. Discuss appropriate weight loss techniques with your doctor if you need to lose weight.
- Avoid smoking. Smoking cigarettes can harm your kidneys and exacerbate whatever kidney problems you already have. Ask your doctor for guidance on how to stop smoking if you do. You can stop using it by using medicine, counseling, and support groups.
- Manage your medical conditions with the assistance of your doctor. Work with your doctor to control any illnesses or conditions that put you at risk for renal disease. Consult your doctor to find out about tests to check for kidney damage.