Chronic Kidney Disease is a condition where your kidney does not work, or we can also say the gradual loss of kidney function. The kidney plays an important role in maintaining our body healthy by filtering wastes and excess fluids from blood, where this waste is then defecated in the urine.
This disease never comes suddenly; your kidney gets affected slowly with the time and when this disease reaches to the advanced stage, the levels of fluids and wastes that build up in your body increases to great extent.
In this article, you will get to know the symptoms, causes, and treatment of chronic kidney disease. You will also learn about the recommended foods as well as preventive measures to avoid making your condition worse.
In the early stages of CKD, you may notice a few signs or symptoms, which even sometimes may not be diagnosed by the doctor as well. It may become hard to diagnose the actual cause of these symptoms until the function of your kidney is significantly weakened.
The kidney disease symptoms develop over time if your kidney stops functioning slowly. The signs and symptoms of CKD are often common, which means they can also be caused if you are suffering from other illnesses. So, when you experience these symptoms, it does not mean that there is some problem with your kidney. You must also know that kidney is that part of the body which is highly adaptable and is capable of recompensing for lost function. The kidney disease symptoms may not appear until irreparable damage has caused to the kidney.
If you notice the above signs and symptoms, immediately make an appointment with your doctor. There may be signs or symptoms of other illnesses, but it is better to consult an expert before something worse happens with you.
In case you are suffering from a certain medical condition, which in turn resulting to the risk of kidney disease, your doctor will monitor your kidney function with urine and blood tests to prevent you from any kind of damage to your kidney.
CKD occurs when a disease or condition weakens your kidney function, which leads to kidney damage progresses slowly and become worse over the time, from months to years.
Here, these are the few diseases and conditions that may cause kidney disease.
If your doctor does not recommend you to go through the relevant tests and you are developing the kidney disease symptoms and signs, ask your doctor about the tests to look for your existing health issues.
It is true that there is no cure for chronic kidney disease, but there exists the number of treatments that work effectively in slowing down the progression of the disease if it is diagnosed at an early stage.
If your kidney is severely damaged, there is no cure to make it able to function properly as it was before. The only treatment that left at the end-stage of CKD is to go for either dialysis or kidney transplant.
For the diagnosis of kidney disease, the doctor asks about the details of your personal and family history, along with your other health conditions. Like, have you ever been diagnosed with high blood pressure? Is there anyone in your family who has kidney disease? Have you ever gone through the changes in your urinary habits? And several other questions, which may directly or indirectly related to kidney disease.
After the discussion, your doctor will analyze everything and come to the point where he/she will ask you to perform certain tests. These may include:
This test will provide the level of creatinine, urea and other waste products present in your blood.
This test is conducted by analyzing your urine sample and reveals the abnormalities, if any, that indicates chronic kidney disease and helps in identifying the cause as well.
It involves an ultrasound of your kidneys to check their structure and size. In some cases, other imaging tests are also used to diagnose the disease.
Sample of Kidney Tissue
It involves kidney biopsy, where a sample of kidney tissue is taken using the local anesthesia and a thin needle is inserted into your kidney. This sample is then sent for further tests to determine the actual cause of your kidney problem.
On the basis of the results of these tests, your doctor will move further. Usually, chronic kidney disease treatment starts by controlling the underlying cause of kidney failure.
CKD can progress to end-stage kidney failure, which sometimes hard to treat the patient and end up with only one solution i.e. artificial filtering (dialysis) or a kidney transplant.
In this treatment, the waste products and extra fluids from blood, which your kidneys are unable to excrete, are removed artificially. Further, this chronic kidney disease treatment involves two ways of excreting this waste and extra fluid.
Hemodialysis – In this type of dialysis, a machine is used to filter the waste and excess fluids from your blood.
Peritoneal Dialysis – In this type of dialysis, a catheter (a thin tube) is inserted into your stomach that fills the stomach cavity with a dialysis solution and absorbs that unwanted waste and extra fluids. With time, this dialysis solution is carried off from your body, along with the waste.
In this chronic kidney disease treatment, a healthy kidney is transplanted from a donor into your body. It involves several hours of surgery of placing a kidney of the dead or living donor to give you a new life. After kidney transplantation, you have to follow various necessary preventative measures and medications for the rest of your life. It is mandatory to keep your body well-prepared from rejecting the new organ. If you have made your mind for this treatment, there is no need to be on dialysis.
As these treatments are quite expensive and are usually out of the budget for the common people, some do not agree with such chronic kidney disease treatment. It is so because they are not prepared to carry the huge medical bills and other expenses. So, in such cases, the doctor suggests them to go with conservative measures that can help patients to live for another few months.
Whether your doctor recommended dialysis, a kidney transplant or other method as chronic kidney disease treatment, he/she will also recommend a change in your diet and lifestyle. The main purpose is to follow a diet that supports your kidneys and overall health.
You should avoid foods with added salt, such as frozen food items, canned soups, fast foods, salty snack foods, processed meats, cheeses and other foods with extra salt. The main aim is to lower the amount of sodium in your daily diet.
You are also suggested to consume lower potassium foods in every meal. Foods rich in potassium are not good for people with kidney disease. Such foods include bananas, potatoes, spinach, peas, broccoli, apricots, and others. Low-potassium foods include apples, blueberries, fruit cocktail, cabbage, lettuce, eggplant, onion, and others. If you have kidney failure, you should also avoid salt substitutes containing potassium.
You can take help of a dietitian to determine the approximate amount of protein you can take each day and go further with your diet plans accordingly. If you are noticing kidney disease symptoms, strictly stay away from high-protein foods. Now, it is the time to include low-protein foods in your meals, these include vegetables, fruits, grains, cereals, and healthy fats.
‘Prevention is better than cure’, this statement is 100% true, which means if you follow certain guidelines, the risk of developing kidney disease decreases to great extent or also prevent your condition to get worse.
Avoid too much pain relievers
You may suffer from any kind of pain one or another day, but it does not mean you have to completely dependent on pain relievers. It becomes more important to think twice before taking such medicines if they are not prescribed by a doctor.
When you take non-prescription pain relievers, you must read the instructions on the package thoroughly. Just read and keep it aside is not enough, you have to follow them to avoid any complication which might be waiting for you in the coming years. Taking too much pain killers could affect your kidneys. It becomes mandatory to avoid such medicines if you have kidney disease.
Always ask your doctor whether such over-the-counter medications are safe for you or not, or you can ask for a particular medicine which can be taken during the pain.
It is good that you have a healthy weight, but at the same time, it becomes important to maintain that weight by being physically active all through the day as well as by following a healthy diet.
If you are overweight and want to lose that extra fat in your body, it is better to have a discussion with your doctor regarding the healthy ways of reducing weight. Often, this involves including more physical activities in your daily routine, avoiding processed foods, sugary foods and unhealthy foods that increase weight. Reducing calories should be your main motive, but with the help of healthy methods.
We all are aware of the ill-effects of smoking, but still, continue with our smoking habit and gives an invitation to several health conditions. Cigarette smoking brings a direct impact on your kidneys and can damage them if you do not quit this smoking habit. In case if you already suffering from kidney disease, it can make an existing condition worse.
If you are a chain smoker and want to lessen or get rid of this habit, instead of asking your family or friends about the different ways of quitting smoking, talk to your doctor. He/she will guide you with the most appropriate ways, such as counseling, medications, therapies etc. that can all help you to quit smoking.
As we have already said above, there are many diseases and conditions which affect your kidneys directly or indirectly. If you are the one suffering from any such disease or condition that increases the risk of kidney damage, the best way is to take help of your doctor. He/she is the only person who knows your disease or condition in detail as well as has in-depth knowledge of how to control it.
When your kidney disease symptoms have confirmed that you are at high risk of kidney damage or have kidney failure, be prepared to undergo various physical and psychological evaluation.
So, do not waste time for the right treatment and if you are not in a position to handle the huge expenses of chronic kidney disease treatment, you can take help of others, like friends, family or even NGOs that work exclusively for patients with low or no financial condition for their treatment.
People with kidney failure should always consult kidney specialist for the treatment because only experts can help you in managing your case.
Positively, this article will help you to get the appropriate information about Kidney Disease Symptoms and Chronic kidney disease treatment.
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