Chronic Kidney Disease

When kidneys functionally deplete, they cannot filter blood the way they usually do. This condition is known as Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD acronymed. The damage to the kidneys in this disease is rather slow, leading to waste buildup in the body and other consequent health issues.

Function of the kidneys

One of the major functions of the kidneys is to maintain regulated amounts of salts and minerals, inclusive of sodium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, etc. that get circulated in the blood. Besides, it filters the extra water and wastes out of the body in the form of urine. Hormones to control blood pressure, create RBCs and strengthen bones, are all secreted in the kidneys.

CKD or Kidney disease over sometime begins to get worse and results in kidney failure. It is also the time where you might require a transplant or dialysis to retain your health. Complications also include anemia or low blood count, poor nutritional health, nerve damage, besides high blood pressure. Damaged kidneys also increase the risk of the blood vessel and heart diseases.

  • Progression of kidney disease into failure can be prevented with early detection
  • For people already suffering from CKD, heart disease is considered as one of the major causes of death
  • It is best to estimate kidney function, with GFR or Glomerular filtration rates
  • Both hypertension and CKD are interrelated – one is the cause of the other and vice-versa
  • CKD is detected by the amount of protein in the urine or constant proteinuria
  • Tests that can identify CKD are urine albumin, serum creatinine, and blood pressure measurements

Causes of CKD

Primary causes of chronic kidney disease are high blood pressure and diabetes, which can be seen in up to two-thirds of the cases. When blood sugar is too high, it leads to diabetes that causes damage to other organs in the body including the nerves, eyes, blood vessels, heart, and kidneys. Hypertension or high blood pressure increases the pressure against the walls of the blood vessels, which when uncontrolled leads to strokes, heart attacks, and chronic kidney disease.

A group of diseases called Glomerulonephritis, which is also the third most common type of kidney disorder, damages the kidney’s filtering units leading to inflammation.

Polycystic kidney disease is hereditary in nature, where large cysts formed within the kidneys damage the tissues that surround it.

Congenital factors are also responsible for CKD. For instance, malformations develop when the baby is in the mother’s womb. Narrowed pathways block the outflow of urine, which eventually flows back up into the kidney. Infection occurs as a result of which the kidneys are damaged.

Immune system diseases such as lupus and others may also cause CKD.

Besides, enlarged prostate gland in men, kidney stones, tumors, and repetitive urinary infections are also known to cause chronic kidney disease

Typical Symptoms

While most people may not display severe signs except in the advanced stages of CKD patients may feel tired, exhausted, and even have trouble concentrating. Sleeplessness, muscle cramping, swollen ankles and feet, puffiness around the eyes especially in the morning, dry and itchy skin are all exhibits of CKD.


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