What is Chronic Kidney disease ( CKD)?
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a long term condition where there is progressive loss of kidney function that can get worse over time. Commonly known as ‘kidney failure’. The incidence of CKD in India is approximately 10-17% ie., one in 10 people have kidney disease.
The kidneys filter wastes and excess fluids from the blood, which are then excreted in urine. When the kidneys don’t work, dangerous levels of fluid, electrolytes and wastes can accumulate in the body. In the early stages, most of the patients experience few or no signs or symptoms as the kidneys are able to compensate. Chronic kidney disease may not become apparent until the patient loses about 80-90% of the kidney function.
What are the causes and risk factors of CKD ?
Common diseases and conditions that may lead to chronic damage to the kidneys and cues CKD are :
- Hypertension ( High BP)
- Glomerulonephritis and interstitial nephritis ( diseases of the filtering units of the kidneys )
- Hereditary diseases like polycystic disease
- Prolonged obstruction of urinary tract like kidney stones , prostate
- Repeated infections of the urinary tract .
There are certain risk factors which may contribute to CKD – elderly age, high sugars , high blood pressure , smoking, alcoholism, obesity, long term pain killer use , family history of kidney disease.
What are the symptoms of CKD ?
The most common symptoms include nausea, vomitings , decreased appetite, fatigue and weakness, sleep disturbances, urinary disturbances like increased urination , decreased urination, swelling of feet and ankles, body itching, difficult to treat hypertension.
What are the Complications of CKD ?
Although CKD is a disease of the kidneys , its has widespread effects on other systems of the body like Bones , blood production, libido and sexual drive , fertility, electrolyte disturbances like accumulation of potassium in the blood ( dangerous for the heart) , immune system of the body, heart, brain and blood vessels. CKD can be a devastating disease both for the patients and their families. It can be a huge financial burden on the individual as well as well on the government.
8 Rules for prevention of CKD
- Keep fit , be active
- Eat a healthy diet – reduce excess salt consumption
- Check and control blood sugars
- Check and control blood pressure
- Take appropriate water intake
- Stop Smoking or Don’t smoke
- Dont take over the counter painkillers on a regular basis
- Get your kidneys checked if you have – a. Diabetes b. Hypertension ( High BP) c. Obesity d. Family history of kidney disease
What are the treatment options for CKD ?
Treatment for chronic kidney disease focuses on slowing the progression of the kidney damage, usually by controlling the underlying cause. Chronic kidney disease can progress to end-stage kidney failure, which is fatal without artificial filtering (dialysis) or a kidney transplant.