Chronic Kidney Disease, also referred to as CKD, is a medical condition associated with the steady loss of kidney function. These are the organs responsible for filtering of excess fluid and waste from the blood, which are later on excreted in one’s urine. Once chronic kidney disease failure reaches an advanced phase, a person’s body begins to develop dangerous levels of electrolytes, fluid, and waste.
Causes of Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease presents itself when one’s kidneys become impaired due to another condition. Such a situation tends to worsen over several months or years.
The following are some of the diseases that may lead to chronic kidney disease:
• High blood pressure
• Polycystic kidney disease
• Type 1 or 2 Diabetes
• Glomerulonephritis, which is a condition that occurs when the kidney’s filtering units, become inflamed
• Interstitial nephritism, which is a condition that occurs when the kidney’s tubules and the surrounding areas become inflamed
• Whenever there is an extended obstruction of the urinary tract due to factors such as kidney stones, an enlarged prostate, or presence of certain kinds of cancers.
• Vesicoureteral reflux, which is a condition that forces urine to back up into one’s kidneys
• Pyelonephritis, which refers to current kidney infection
• Late gum disease stages
The following are some of the main risk factors that may raise one’s chances of succumbing to chronic kidney disease:
• Older age
• Abnormal kidney structure
• Heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease
• A family history of kidney disease
• Being of Asian-American, African-American, or Native American decent
The symptoms associated with chronic disease tend to emerge as kidney damage advances slowly. With that said, the following are some of the main symptoms of the disease:
• Loss of appetite
• Sleep problems
• Weakness and fatigue
• Insistent itching
• Bulging of feet and ankles
• Muscle cramps and twitches
• Alterations in how much one urinates
• Reduced mental sharpness
• Chest pain, in case fluids start to build up around the lining of the heart
• Shortness of breath whenever fluid starts to build up in the lungs
It is also important to note that the signs and symptoms associated with chronic kidney disease are often generic, which means that in certain cases they may be the result of another illness. In addition, since one’s kidneys can adapt and compensate for loss of function, some CKD symptoms may not reveal themselves until irreparable damage has occurred.
In case you have a medical condition that may heighten your chances of succumbing to chronic kidney disease, you should visit your physician. He or she will start by monitoring your blood pressure and conducting blood and urine tests.