|Posted on July 30, 2019 at 5:20 AM|
Our kidneys are responsible for a variety of critical tasks, including blood filtration, regulation of blood pressure and hemoglobin levels. Kidney failure, also known as Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), implies permanent damage which is both progressive and irreversible, to the kidneys. This disease impairs all the functions of the kidneys. This aggravates various other conditions such as blood pressure, anemia and bone disease.
What leads to kidney failure?
These common risk factors are:
- Diabetes: The foremost risk factor for CKD is diabetes. More often than not, diabetes is detected during the later stages, by which time other organs like the kidneys will have been affected.
- Hypertension: When uncontrolled, is a very high risk factor for kidney failure.
- Family History: A family history of renal dysfunction increases the risk of getting affected by chronic kidney disease.
- Infections: Recurrent urinary or kidney infection are also red flags for this disease.
- Over-the-counter medications: Popping pills without a qualified doctor’s supervision can not only wreak havoc with the kidneys, but also cause many other harmful side-effects.
- Glomerular disease: The presence of proteins in the urine is a tell-tale sign of an impending kidney damage, and if undetected and untreated, even kidney failure.
SYMPTOMS OF CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE
The common signs and symptoms include:
- Unexplained anemia
- Problems getting sleep
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of appetite
- Changes in urine
- Swelling of feet and the face
- Recurrent vomiting
- Unexplained weight loss
By the time the symptoms manifest themselves, it is usually too late and the kidneys are already severely damaged. Therefore, it is vital not to wait for the symptoms to appear before a kidney checkup.
Kidney Failure Treatment Options
The treatment for CKD depends on the stage of the disease. The first three stages are early onset stages where the underlying cause must be treated and no specific medicines for kidney failure is administered. Quitting smoking is a very important step. Any instances of kidney or urinary infections must be looked into at the earliest.
In the advanced stages, the kidney function may be reduced by as much as 60-70%. In these cases, there should be more emphasis on controlling the blood pressure and things which are harmful to the kidneys.
There are certain medications such as Angiostein-Converting Enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and Angiostein Receptor Blockers which are proven to prevent further progression.
In stage 5, where the kidney damage exceeds 80-90%, medications do not have any effect and the only solutions are either dialysis, or, if the patient is fit enough, a kidney transplant.
Regular physical activity can help control the blood pressure, sugar levels, keeps the weight under control, all of which help in preventing further progression of this disease. Moderate exercises like walking, cycling etc. is definitely beneficial in the early stages.
As the kidney disease worsens beyond stage 4, the prospect of kidney failure becomes very real and it needs to be controlled with specific medications and certain dietary changes such as reduced salt and fluid intake and checking for any signs of heart problems. When the kidney fails, the only treatment options are kidney dialysis and transplant.
In the unfortunate eventuality of requiring a dialysis or transplant, a modern, well-equipped hospital makes a world of difference. NU Hospitals is a state-of-the-art kidney care hospital that has the all the necessary facilities and experienced specialists to successfully manage the most complex renal conditions.
Categories: Kidney Transplant