Chronic kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease

30 million people in the United States are living with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

The term “chronic kidney disease” means lasting damage to the kidneys that can get worse over time. If the damage is very bad, your kidneys may stop working. This is called kidney failure, or end-stage renal disease (ESRD). If your kidneys fail, you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant in order to live.

What causes chronic kidney disease (CKD)?

Anyone can get CKD. Some people are more at risk than others. Some things that increase your risk for CKD include:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Heart disease
  • Having a family member with kidney disease
  • Being African-American, Hispanic, Native American or Asian
  • Being over 60 years old

Symptoms of chronic kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) usually gets worse slowly, and symptoms may not appear until your kidneys are badly damaged. In the late stages of CKD, as you are nearing kidney failure (ESRD), you may notice symptoms that are caused by waste and extra fluid building up in your body.

You may notice one or more of the following symptoms if your kidneys are beginning to fail:

  • Itching
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Not feeling hungry
  • Swelling in your feet and ankles
  • Too much urine (pee) or not enough urine
  • Trouble catching your breath
  • Trouble sleeping

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If your kidneys stop working suddenly (acute kidney failure), you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Abdominal (belly) pain
  • Back pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Nosebleeds
  • Rash
  • Vomiting

Having one or more of any of the symptoms above may be a sign of serious kidney problems. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should contact your doctor right away.

Complications of CKD

Your kidneys help your whole body work properly. When you have CKD, you can also have problems with how the rest of your body is working. Some of the common complications of CKD include anemia, bone disease, heart disease, high potassium, high calcium and fluid buildup.

Stages of CKD

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) refers to all 5 stages of kidney damage, from very mild damage in Stage 1 to complete kidney failure in Stage 5. The stages of kidney disease are based on how well the kidneys can do their job – to filter waste and extra fluid out of the blood.

How can I prevent CKD?

Diabetes and high blood pressure are the most common causes of CKD. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, working with your doctor to keep your blood sugar and blood pressure under control is the best way to prevent kidney disease.

Living a healthy lifestyle can help prevent diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney disease, or help keep them under control. Follow these tips to lower your risk for kidney disease and the problems that cause it:

  • Follow a low-salt, low-fat diet
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes on most days of the week
  • Have regular check-ups with your doctor
  • Do not smoke or use tobacco
  • Limit alcohol

How do I know if I have CKD?

CKD usually does not have any symptoms until your kidneys are badly damaged. The only way to know how well your kidneys are working is to get tested. Being tested for kidney disease is simple. Ask your doctor about these tests for kidney health:

  • eGFR (estimated glomerular filtration rate)The eGFR is a sign of how well your kidneys are cleaning your blood.

    Your body makes waste all the time. This waste goes into your blood. Healthy kidneys take the waste out of your blood. One type of waste is called creatinine. If you have too much creatinine in your blood, it might be a sign that your kidneys are having trouble filtering your blood.

    You will have a blood test to find out how much creatinine is in your blood. Your doctor will use this information to figure out your eGFR. If your eGFR is less than 60 for three months or more, you might have kidney disease.

  • Urine testThis test is done to see if there is blood or protein in your urine (pee).

    Your kidneys make your urine. If you have blood or protein in your urine, it may be a sign that your kidneys are not working well.

    Your doctor may ask you for a sample of your urine in the clinic or ask you to collect your urine at home and bring it to your appointment.

  • Blood pressureThis test is done to see how hard your heart is working to pump your blood.

    High blood pressure can cause kidney disease, but kidney disease can also cause high blood pressure. Sometimes high blood pressure is a sign that your kidneys are not working well.

    For most people a normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 (120 over 80). Ask your doctor what your blood pressure should be.

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How is CKD treated?

Damage to your kidneys is usually permanent. Although the damage cannot be fixed, you can take steps to keep your kidneys as healthy as possible for as long as possible. You may even be able to stop the damage from getting worse.

  • Control your blood sugar if you have diabetes.
  • Keep a healthy blood pressure.
  • Follow a low-salt, low-fat diet.
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes on most days of the week.
  • Keep a healthy weight.
  • Do not smoke or use tobacco.
  • Limit alcohol.
  • Talk to your doctor about medicines that can help protect your kidneys.

10 common question about Chronic kidney disease

1What are the 5 stages of chronic kidney disease?
5 Chronic Kidney Disease Stages CKD stage Description Stage 2 Mild loss of kidney function Stage 3 3a: Mild to moderate loss of kidney function; 3b: Moderate to severe loss of kidney function Stage 4 Severe loss of kidney function Stage 5 End stage renal disease (ESRD) Kidney failure and need for transplant or dialysis
2What are the first signs of chronic kidney disease?
Signs and symptoms of kidney disease may include: Nausea. Vomiting. Loss of appetite. Fatigue and weakness. Sleep problems. Changes in how much you urinate. Decreased mental sharpness. Muscle twitches and cramps.
3What causes chronic kidney disease?
The two main causes of chronic kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure, which are responsible for up to two-thirds of the cases. Diabetes happens when your blood sugar is too high, causing damage to many organs in your body, including the kidneys and heart, as well as blood vessels, nerves and eyes.
4What are the signs that something is wrong with your kidneys?
10 Signs You May Have Kidney Disease You're more tired, have less energy or are having trouble concentrating. ... You're having trouble sleeping. ... You have dry and itchy skin. ... You feel the need to urinate more often. ... You see blood in your urine. ... Your urine is foamy. ... You're experiencing persistent puffiness around your eyes. ... Your ankles and feet are swollen.
5Is stage 3 chronic kidney disease serious?
Stage 3 of Chronic Kidney Disease. A person with stage 3 chronic kidney disease (CKD) has moderate kidney damage. ... In stage 3 a person is more likely to develop complications of kidney disease such as high blood pressure, anemia (a shortage of red blood cells) and/or early bone disease.
6What color is urine when your kidneys are failing?
Why this happens: Kidneys make urine, so when the kidneys are failing, the urine may change. How? You may urinate more often, or in greater amounts than usual, with pale urine.
7What is the best drink to flush your kidneys?
Other kidney cleanses emphasize certain foods, including: Beet juice. Watermelon. Lemon juice. Cranberry juice. Pumpkin seeds. Smoothies. Ginger. Turmeric.
8What foods help repair kidneys?
A DaVita Dietitian's Top 15 Healthy Foods for People with Kidney Disease Red bell peppers. 1/2 cup serving red bell pepper = 1 mg sodium, 88 mg potassium, 10 mg phosphorus. ... Cabbage. 1/2 cup serving green cabbage = 6 mg sodium, 60 mg potassium, 9 mg phosphorus. ... Cauliflower. ... Garlic. ... Onions. ... Apples. ... Cranberries. ... Blueberries.
9What foods should be avoided with kidney disease?
Here are 17 foods that you should likely avoid on a renal diet. Dark-Colored Colas. In addition to the calories and sugar that colas provide, they also contain additives that contain phosphorus, especially dark-colored colas. ... Avocados. ... Canned Foods. ... Whole-Wheat Bread. ... Brown Rice. ... Bananas. ... Dairy. ... Oranges and Orange Juice.
10Is chronic kidney disease reversible?
Some causes are reversible, including use of medications that impair kidney function, blockage in the urinary tract, or decreased blood flow to the kidneys. Treatment of reversible causes may prevent CKD from worsening. ... Anemia — People with CKD are at risk for anemia.

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