Chronic kidney disease (CKD) damages your kidneys over a long period of time. It differs from acute kidney disease in the amount of time it takes to cause permanent damage. You cannot underestimate your kidneys since they process 200 litres of blood per day as your blood circulates through them 12 times a day. Permanent damage is done when you lose more than 40% of your kidney function.
Do you know the causes of CKD? The two most common causes are type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. These two conditions have to be controlled strictly to avoid bitter consequences. Keep your blood sugar level below 120mg/dL and blood pressure below 120/80. If these values continue to go higher, your kidneys will become weaker and weaker (and don’t forget about your other organs…).
Kidneys act as filters in our bodies to remove toxins that build up as a result of metabolic activities. When the filtration fails these toxins get build up in our bodies. It also helps us to balance our mineral levels. Uncontrolled higher levels of potassium which is a mineral, is bad for your heart, it results an heart attack. Kidneys are involved in hormone production too. These hormones are erythropoietin, renin and hormones needed for active vitamin D. Other functions of kidneys are maintenance of blood composition, blood pH, internal water balance, and healthy bones.
There are two major tests of kidney function. These include creatinine test for blood and albumin test for urine. Creatinine is a waste product of body muscles which should be excluded from the body. Albumin is a large protein which causes bubbly or foamy urine.
These are the symptoms of CKD;
1. Shortness of breath
2. Swelling of feet, hands, face, under eyes, thighs and belly area
4. Feeling cold
5. Loss of appetite
7. Itching of skin, legs and feet
9. Changes in urination pattern and urine appearance
10. Loss of sleep (insomnia)
Treatments for CKD include medications and surgeries. Medications are given to control high blood pressure and high blood sugar. Sometimes your doctor may prescribe a medicine for swelling. Surgeries include dialysis and kidney transplants. Dialysis is the blood purification process which your failed kidneys unable to perform and transplants give a live kidney to you from a donor.
Prevention is better than cure. If you get early signs as described above visit your physician immediately. Early detection will prevent untimely death. I lost my father from this disease four months ago. This is a killer disease which needs to address using new and effective treatments.