Chronic kidney disease

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Overview

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a condition characterized by gradual loss of kidney function over time. The major role of the kidney is excretion of water-soluble waste products. Meanwhile, the kidneys respond continually to changes in blood volume as well as osmolality, and adjust the levels of water, electrolyte, and acid-base balance by selectively excreting or reabsorbing them. In addition, the kidneys are main site of production for a number of hormones, chiefly renin and erythropoietin. Millions of adults have CKD and others who have diabetes, hypertension, and family history of renal failure are at high risk. Glomerular filtration rate is the best estimate of kidney function, combining with proteinuria is used for staging of CKD. Patients with CKD may develop complications like cardiovascular disease, anemia, mineral and bone disorders, and nervous system diseases. Those who develop kidney failure require dialysis or kidney transplantation. The cost of treatment for this growing epidemic represents an enormous burden on healthcare systems worldwide.

Symptoms

Symptoms can include:

weight loss and poor appetite.

swollen ankles, feet or hands – as a result of water retention (oedema)

shortness of breath.

tiredness.

blood in your pee (urine)

an increased need to pee – particularly at night.

difficulty sleeping (insomnia)

itchy skin.

Causes

Kidneys carry out the complex system of filtration in our bodies. This involves removing excess waste and fluid material from the blood and excreting it from the body.


Kidneys filter toxins and waste from a person’s blood. However, problems can occur:


if the blood flow does not reach the kidneys properly

if the kidneys are not working properly because of damage or disease

if an obstruction prevents urine outflow

CKD often happens as a result of either diabetes or hypertension.


When a person has uncontrolled diabetes, sugar (glucose) accumulates in the blood and can damage the kidneys.


High blood pressure, meanwhile, can damage the glomeruli. These are parts of the kidney that filter waste products.


Some other causes of CKD may include:


Obstructed urine flow: Blocked urine can back upTrusted Source into the kidney from the bladder. Blocked urine flow increases pressure on the kidneys and undermines their function. Possible causes include an enlarged prostate, kidney stones, and a tumor.

Kidney diseases: There are many different kidney diseases, including polycystic kidney disease, pyelonephritis, and glomerulonephritis.

Kidney artery stenosis: This causes a narrowingTrusted Source or blockage of the renal artery before it enters the kidney.

Heavy metal poisoning: Lead is a common source of poisoning.

Fetal developmental problems: This can occur if the fetus’ kidneys do not developTrusted Source correctly in the womb.

Systemic lupus erythematosus: This is an autoimmune condition wherein the body’s immune system attacks the kidneys as though they were foreign tissue.

Malaria and yellow fever: These two mosquito-borne diseases may cause impaired kidney function.

Certain medications: The overuse of certain drugs, including NSAIDs, can lead to kidney failure.

Illegal substance use: Using substances such as heroin or cocaine can damage the kidneys.

Kidney injury: Sustaining a sharp blow or another physical injury to the kidneys can cause damage.


Risk factors

Factors that can increase your risk of chronic kidney disease include:

Diabetes.

High blood pressure.

Heart (cardiovascular) disease.

Smoking.

Obesity.

Being Black, Native American or Asian American.

Family history of kidney disease.

Abnormal kidney structure.

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Complications

If CKD progresses to kidney failure, complications can include:

anemia

fluid retention

gout

heart disease

hyperkalemia, which is when blood potassium levels rise, possibly resulting in heart damage

metabolic acidosis, which is when acid builds up in the body

osteomalacia, which is when bones become weak and break easily as a result of vitamin D deficiency

pericarditis, which is when the sac-like membrane around the heart becomes inflamed

secondary hyperthyroidism, which is when vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus levels are out of balance


Prevention

A healhy, balanced diet can reduce your risk of kidney disease by keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol at a healthy level. A balanced diet should include: plenty of fruit and vegetables – aim for at least 5 portions a day. meals that include starchy foods, such as potatoes, wholegrain bread, rice or pasta.

Get regular check-ups. ...

Control Blood Pressure. ...

Manage Blood Sugar. ...

Eat a Healthy Diet. ...

Exercise. ...

Quit Smoking. ...

Do not overuse pain medicines.