Screen Readers Skip to Content

Chronic Kidney Disease: Symptoms, Causes, Information

Published: 2012-02-21 - Updated: 2021-10-14
Author: Thomas C. Weiss | Contact: Disabled World (Disabled-World.com)

Synopsis: Chronic kidney disease CKD includes a number of conditions that damage the kidneys and decrease their ability to keep a person healthy. The majority of people might not experience any symptoms that are severe until their kidney disease is advanced unfortunately. Most people may not have any severe symptoms until their kidney disease is advanced. A person who is aware of what is to come, the things to watch out for, as well as the treatment options available to them should their kidneys fail is a person who has the knowledge to make decisions concerning their own health care.

Main Digest

People have two kidneys which are approximately the size of their fists. The primary job of kidneys it to filter out wastes and excess water from their blood and to produce urine. Kidneys also keep chemicals in a person's body in balance, make hormones, and assist in controlling their blood pressure.

Related

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is defined as the slow loss of kidney function over time. The main function of the kidneys is to remove wastes and excess water from the body. Chronic kidney diseases slowly gets worse over time. In the early stages, there may be no symptoms. The loss of function usually takes months or years to occur. It may be so slow that symptoms do not appear until kidney function is less than one-tenth of normal.

A diagnosis of chronic kidney disease means a person's kidneys are damaged and do not have the ability to filter blood as they should. Damage to a person's kidneys means wastes may build up in their body, or cause additional health issues. High blood pressure and diabetes are the most common causes of CKD.

Chronic kidney disease includes a number of conditions that damage a person's kidneys, decreasing their ability to keep the person healthy. Should a person's kidney disease worsen, wastes may build up to high levels in their blood, making them feel ill. The person might develop complications that include:

Complications related to CKD can occur slowly over an extended period of time. CKD may be caused by high blood pressure, diabetes, or other forms of disorders. Early detection of chronic kidney disease and treatment often times has the potential to keep a person's CKD from worsening. When CKD progresses it may to lead to kidney failure, something that requires kidney dialysis or a kidney transplant in order to maintain the person's life.

Causes of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

High blood pressure and diabetes are the two main causes of CKD and are responsible for approximately two-thirds of people who experience chronic kidney disease. 'Hypertension,' or high blood pressure, happens when the pressure of a person's blood against the walls of their blood vessels increases. If this condition remains uncontrolled or poorly controlled, hypertension may cause chronic kidney disease, strokes, and heart attacks. A cycle exists because CKD can also cause hypertension. Diabetes occurs when a person's blood sugar is too high. Diabetes causes damage to a number of the organs in a person's body, to include their heart, blood vessels, eyes, nerves, and their kidneys.

A number of additional conditions affect a person's kidneys. These conditions can include the following:

Symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

The majority of people might not experience any symptoms that are severe until their kidney disease is advanced unfortunately. Most people may not have any severe symptoms until their kidney disease is advanced. However, you may notice that you:

The fact is anyone may experience chronic kidney disease at any point during their lives. Some people are more likely than others; however, to develop CKD. A person is at an increased risk for CKD if they:

Specific populations of people experience increased rates of high blood pressure (hypertension) or diabetes. These populations include Hispanic Americans, African Americans, Pacific Islanders, Asian Americans, and Native Americans. All of these populations are also at increased risk for chronic kidney disease.

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Facts

Knowledge is Power when Newly Diagnosed

A diagnosis of chronic kidney disease (CKD) may be very difficult and trying for everyone involved. Information can help everyone from the person who has been diagnosed to family members and friends. A person who is aware of what is to come, the things to watch out for, as well as the treatment options available to them should their kidneys fail is a person who has the knowledge to make decisions concerning their own health care.

A discussion with a doctor about pinpointing a person's diagnosis and assessing their kidney function, as well as planning treatment is important. Testing to determine the stage and type of kidney disease, as well as the size of the person's kidneys and the damage already done is equally important. After receipt of these results, a doctor will discuss a plan of action with the person.

People with CKD also experience an increased risk of developing heart issues. One of the first things to do after receiving a diagnosis of CKD is to gain control of additional health issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and anemia. For people with diabetes monitoring blood sugar, taking medications as ordered, and following a specific diet are important.

The risk of developing CKD increases the longer a person has diabetes. Approximately one-third of people with diabetes will eventually develop chronic kidney disease. Diabetes is the single leading cause of kidney failure in America, accounting for nearly 45% of those who begin treatment for kidney failure every year.

People who have high blood pressure may find a doctor recommending they cut down on salt in their diet, lose weight, and take certain medication. Anemia may lead to heart damage and can be controlled by taking a hormone called, 'EPO,' as well as iron supplements. People with CKD should not smoke, and should pursue healthy cholesterol levels.

After a person has gained control of CKD and additional health issues, it is crucial for them to track their progress. Their glomerular filtration rate (GFR) needs to be checked on a regular basis to monitor the status of their CKD. The amount of protein in their urine must also be checked periodically in order to ensure their kidneys are doing their job. Nutritional testing may also be performed to make sure the person is receiving enough calories and protein to maintain their overall health. A doctor can refer the person to a dietitian who has the ability to plan meals with the goal of achieving the correct foods in the proper amounts.

Author Credentials:

Thomas C. Weiss is a researcher and editor for Disabled World. Thomas attended college and university courses earning a Masters, Bachelors and two Associate degrees, as well as pursing Disability Studies. As a Nursing Assistant Thomas has assisted people from a variety of racial, religious, gender, class, and age groups by providing care for people with all forms of disabilities from Multiple Sclerosis to Parkinson's; para and quadriplegia to Spina Bifida.

In Other News:

You're reading Disabled World. See our homepage for informative disability news, reviews, sports, stories and how-tos. You can also connect with us on social media such as Twitter and Facebook or learn more about Disabled World on our about us page.

Disclaimer: Disabled World provides general information only. Materials presented are in no way meant to be a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified practitioner, nor should they be construed as such. Any 3rd party offering or advertising on disabled-world.com does not constitute endorsement by Disabled World.


Cite This Page (APA): Thomas C. Weiss. (2012, February 21). Chronic Kidney Disease: Symptoms, Causes, Information. Disabled World. Retrieved October 28, 2021 from www.disabled-world.com/editorials/kidney-disease.php