- The kidney plays an important role of filtering your blood and removing waste products and extra fluid from the body in the form of urine.
- Hence, when there is loss of kidney function, there is build up of fluids, wastes and toxic substance in the body. This leads to development of complications like high blood pressure, anaemia, weak bones, poor nutritional health and nerve damage.
The medical phrase “chronic kidney disease” simply means that your kidneys are not working well as they once did, this is a common condition that occurs with ageing.
The kidney plays an important role of filtering your blood and removing waste products and extra fluid from the body in the form of urine.
Hence, when there is loss of kidney function, there is build up of fluids, wastes and toxic substance in the body. This leads to development of complications like high blood pressure, anaemia, weak bones, poor nutritional health and nerve damage.
Chronic kidney disease can range from a mild condition with no or few symptoms, to a very serious condition where the kidneys stop working, sometimes called kidney failure.
In terms of symptoms, there are usually no specific symptoms for kidney disease in its early stage. It can only be recognised by blood or urine tests carried out for another reason.
In advanced stages, symptoms include tiredness, swollen ankles, feet or hands, increased need to pee, difficulty in sleeping, itchy skin, muscle cramps, shortness of breath, feeling sick and blood in your urine.
Chronic kidney disease is usually caused by other diseases that put a strain on the kidneys, most of the time it is a result of different combination of conditions.
Some of the conditions that can cause kidney disease include high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, kidney infection, blockage in the flow of urine and long term or regular use of certain medicines.
High blood pressure, over time can put strain on the small blood vessels in the kidneys and stop the kidneys working properly.
Too much glucose in your blood can damage the tiny filters in the kidneys due to diabetes. The build up of fatty deposits in the blood vessels connected to your kidneys can make it harder for your kidneys to work properly.
Kidney infection is an illness caused by a bacteria from your bladder entering your kidneys which effects their function.
The blockage of urine can occur due to kidney stones or enlarged prostate this can affect kidney functions which leads to straining of the kidneys. Long term medicines like NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) obstruct kidney functions which lead kidneys to not work properly.
One of the many ways to prevent chronic kidney disease is to manage underlying conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
Smoking increases your risk of cardio-vascular disease, which is associated with a higher risk of kidney disease.
Hence smoking cessation is important in the prevention of renal failure.
A balanced diet can also reduce the risk of kidney disease by keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol at a healthy level.
Alcohol consumption should be cut down as excessive amounts of alcohol can cause an increase in blood which will cause further kidney damage.
Regular exercise can help you lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of developing kidney disease.
Treating chronic kidney disease will depend on how severe your kidneys are affected.
The main treatment includes lifestyle changes, medication, controlling blood pressure, high cholesterol and dialysis, which is the artificial way of cleansing the blood in cases of kidney failure.
Kidney transplant would be the last measure taken when the kidneys fail completely.