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What is CKD?

Chronic kidney disease is the most common type of kidney disease, affecting 10-13% of the global population. It is irreversible, progressive, and slowly damage your kidney functions which is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Patients with this condition are usually asymptomatic, with typical kidney damage complications appearing only in advanced stages, and they are always at a higher risk for health problems and morbidity.

Chronic kidney disease is a chronic condition that affects more than 10% of the global population, nearly around 800 million individuals.

Causes of Chronic Kidney Disease

Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two most common causes of CKD. Diabetes which is caused by high blood sugar levels, which can harm your kidneys. High blood pressure implies that the blood pressure in your blood vessels is too high, which can damage your blood vessels and lead to CKD.

Other kidney related issue which can lead to CKD:

  • Glomerulonephritis: 

Inflammation of kidney filtering units. It is a type of kidney disease caused by glomeruli damage caused by immune system overactivity.

  • Polycystic Kidney Disease:

It is a genetic condition that causes numerous cysts to form inside the kidneys.

  • Prolonged urinary tract blockage affected by conditions such as an enlarged prostate, kidney stones, and some cancers.
  • Interstitial nephritis

      An inflammation of the tubules and structures surrounding the kidney.

Signs and Symptoms of CKD

If kidney damage progresses slowly, signs and symptoms of chronic kidney disease grow over time. Kidney failure can result in an accumulation of fluid or waste, as well as electrolyte imbalances. Depending on the seriousness, kidney function loss can result in:

  • Nausea
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Tiredness
  • Itchy and dry skin
  • Unusual urine frequency
  • Shortening of breath
  • Lack of sleep
  • Swelling in legs and feet
  • Vomiting

How will you know if you have CKD or not?

Simple blood and urine tests are the doctrinal ways to determine if someone has CKD. A blood test measures the amount of creatinine (a waste product) in the blood to determine how well the kidneys are working. A urinalysis detects protein in the urine (an early sign of kidney damage).

Who is more likely to develop CKD?

CKD can develop in anyone, but some people are more susceptible than others, such as those who have:

  • Any blood relative with a kidney disorder.
  • Individuals over the age of 60.
  • Individual with a history of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Different Stages of CKD

CKD is broadly categorized into 5 stages which is based upon the damage kidneys have been through. In the early stages (Stages 1–3), your kidneys are still able to filter waste out of your blood. In the later stages (Stages 4-5), your kidneys have to work harder to filter your blood and may eventually stop working.

Kidney disease intensifies and your kidneys work less well as the stages progress. It is critical to take steps to slow the damage to your kidneys at each stage. At each stage of CKD, your goal is to take steps to slow the damage to your kidneys and keep them working as long as possible.

How to Protect your Kidneys?

Some general ways to protect your kidneys:

  • Implement healthy lifestyle choices in your daily routine.
  • Take medicine only after prescribe by the doctor.
  • Try to work out at least 30 mins every day.
  • Quit or limit the usage of Alcohol and Tobacco.
  • Maintain a kidney friendly diet.

What are the Treatments Available for CKD?

The road map for treatment are as:

Medication: It can work in the early stages, where certain medications are used to monitor blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol levels, as well as diuretics to get rid of excess water and salt.

Dialysis: When the kidneys stop functioning properly, dialysis is used to remove waste products and excess fluid from the blood.

Transplant: A kidney transplant is the incorporation of a healthy kidney from one person in the body of somebody else who has little or no kidney function.

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