Symptoms Of Chronic Kidney Disease
Most people with CKD have no symptoms because the body can tolerate even a large reduction in kidney function.
In other words, we are born with a lot more kidney function than is necessary for survival. Kidney function is often sufficient if only one kidney is working. That is why people can give a kidney to someone needing a kidney transplant.
A change in kidney function is usually discovered through a routine blood or urine test. If you are diagnosed with kidney disease, your kidney function will be monitored with regular blood and urine tests, and treatment aims to keep any symptoms to a minimum.
If the kidneys continue to lose function and there is progression towards kidney failure , this will usually be tracked by blood tests and monitoring. If kidney failure does occur, the symptoms may include:
- weight loss and poor appetite
- swollen ankles, feet or hands
- shortness of breath
- blood or protein in your urine
- an increased need to urinate, particularly at night
- erectile dysfunction in men
These are general symptoms and can be caused by many less serious conditions. Many of the symptoms above can be avoided if treatment begins at an early stage, before any symptoms appear.
If you are worried by any of the symptoms above, arrange to see your GP.
Want to know more?
- National Kidney Federation: Symptoms and Problems
Causes Of Decreased Kidney Function
Diseases and conditions which reduce kidney functioning are:
- Glomerulonephritis inflammation of the glomeruli.
- Interstitial nephritis inflammation of the kidneys tubules.
- Obstruction of the urinary tract for a protracted period of time, from conditions such as BEP, kidney stones and tumors.
- Vesicoureteral reflux urine refluxes back up into the kidneys.
- Type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus.
- Smoking is another significant triggering factor.
- Family history of a renal disease.
- Abnormal renal structure.
How To Support Kidney Function
This article was medically reviewed by Ankush Bansal, MD. Dr. Bansal is a board certified Internal Medicine Physician in Florida. He received his medical degree from Creighton University School of Medicine and completed his residency in internal medicine at Christiana Care Health Services in 2007. He is licensed in 19 states and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and senior fellow of the Society of Hospital Medicine.There are 23 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 96% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 104,694 times.
Studies show that supporting your kidneys function is important to your well-being whether you are otherwise healthy or at-risk for kidney disease.XResearch source Your kidneys remove waste products and drugs from the body, balance your bodys fluids, release hormones to regulate blood pressure, promote development of strong and healthy bones, and control the production of red blood cells. Research suggests that by managing lifestyle factors and getting medical treatment, you can support kidney function and promote your overall health.XResearch source
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Aim For A Healthy Weight
The NIH Body Weight Planner is an online tool to help you tailor your calorie and physical activity plans to achieve and stay at a healthy weight.
If you are overweight or have obesity, work with your health care provider or dietitian to create a realistic weight-loss plan. View more weight control and physical activity resources to help you get and stay motivated.
Tips To Protect Your Kidneys And Keep Them Healthy
Every thirty minutes, your kidneys filter all of the blood in your body, removing toxins from the blood, excreting them in urine, and preventing damage to all of your organs. Your kidneys also regulate the alkaline/acid balance in your body, preventing you from becoming dangerously acidic.
Regulating acid and toxins is dangerous work. Your kidneys are vulnerable to toxic overload if you dont protect them.
There are three types of serious kidney disease acute renal failure, chronic kidney disease, and end stage renal disease.
Acute renal failure is when your kidneys abruptly stop working because of an injury or ingesting toxic substances. ARF may respond well to treatment, if the kidneys are not severely damaged.
When kidneys gradually lose the ability to function, it is typically due to chronic kidney disease or CKD, the most common type of kidney ailment. Often, there are no symptoms of CKD until the condition has advanced. Then patients may experience numbness or swelling in the hands and feet, frequent urination, nausea, anemia, and poor appetite.
Finally, end stage renal disease is a serious condition in which there is no or very little kidney function remaining, and the damage to the kidney is permanent. At this point, a patient is looking at daily dialysis sessions or a kidney transplant.
Ready for some good news? Kidney diseases are largely preventable. And there are ten steps you can take to keep your kidneys healthy and strong.
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What You Need To Know
You have two kidneys, located near the middle of your back, just below the rib cage. Each is about the size of your fist. Tiny structures called nephrons are inside each kidney and they filter the blood. There are about a million of them.
The kidneys are responsible for removing wastes, toxins and extra water from the body balancing important salts and minerals in the blood and releasing hormones to help control blood pressure, manage anemia and help maintain strong bones. The waste and extra water removed by the kidneys become urine. The urine flows through tubes called ureters. It goes to your bladder, which stores the urine until you go to the bathroom.
When the kidneys are damaged, they can’t filter blood as they should. The result can be a build-up of wastes in your body, as well as other problems that can harm your health.
One in three American adults is at high risk for developing kidney disease today. Yet most arent able to identify the signs and symptoms. One in nine American adults has kidney disease and most dont know it.
At first, kidney disease is silent. Symptoms often dont appear until the kidneys are badly damaged. Many people don’t have any symptoms until their kidney disease is advanced. Blood and urine tests are the only way to know if you have kidney disease.
Kidneys And Baking Soda
Your endocrine system produces hormones and enzymes to help breakdown food into nutrients your body can absorb. It also signals your pancreas and kidneys to produce sodium bicarbonate, which plays a role in neutralizing acidity.
The pancreas is primarily responsible for the production of enzymes and bicarbonate necessary to neutralize acids produced during the normal digestion of food. This bicarbonate is also produced by the kidneys to protect themselves from acid damage.
Kidneys monitor and control the acidity or acid-base balance of the blood. Excess acid, or acidosis, causes inflammation and is considered to contribute to many diseases and to the aging process.
Therefore, if the blood is too acidic, the kidney makes bicarbonate to restore the bloods pH balance. If the blood is too alkaline, then the kidney excretes bicarbonate into the urine to restore the balance. via DrSircus
Individuals suffering from kidney failure have to go through dialysis, a process by which the blood is filtered outside the body. This helps restore healthy blood ph levels, remove excess fluid and prevent toxic overload.
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Symptoms Of Kidney Disease
Kidney disease is called a silent disease as there are often few or no symptoms. In fact, you can lose up to 90 per cent of your kidneys functionality before experiencing any symptoms. Some signs and symptoms include:
- a change in the frequency and quantity of urine you pass, especially at night
- blood in your urine
- changes in the appearance of your urine
- puffiness around your legs and ankles
- pain in your back
- pain or burning when you pass urine
- high blood pressure.
If your kidneys begin to fail, waste products and extra fluid build up in your blood. This, and other problems, gradually leads to:
- tiredness and inability to concentrate
- generally feeling unwell
- bad breath and a metallic taste in the mouth.
Medication To Reduce Cholesterol
Studies have shown that people with CKD have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and strokes. This is because some of the risk factors for CKD are the same as those for heart attacks and strokes, including high blood pressure and high levels of cholesterol in the blood .
Statins are a type of medication used to lower cholesterol levels. Cholesterol causes narrowing of the arteries that can lead to a blockage of the blood supply to the heart or the brain . Statins work by blocking the effects of an enzyme in your liver , which is used to make cholesterol.
Statins sometimes have mild side effects, including:
- abdominal pain
Occasionally, statins can cause muscle pain, weakness and tenderness. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your GP. You may need to have a blood test or change your treatment.
If you have kidney disease, you may be asked to reduce your daily fluid and salt intake. You may develop a build-up of fluid as your kidneys will not be able to get rid of fluid as well as they did before.
If you are asked to reduce the amount of fluid you drink, you must also take into account fluid in foods, such as soup and yoghurt. Your GP or dietitian can advise you about this.
The excess fluid that occurs as a result of kidney disease often builds up in your ankles or around your lungs. You may also be given diuretics , such as furosemide, which will help get rid of the excess fluid from your body.
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Fluids For Kidney Function
You may think drinking extra fluids is a no-brainer for increasing kidney function, but more isnt always better. The National Kidney Foundation advises you to drink just enough fluids to keep your urine either light yellow or colorless. A standard recommendation is 13 cups daily for men and 9 for women. Although that sounds like a lot, it includes both healthy fluids like filtered water and low-fat milk and also the water found naturally in fruits and vegetables. If you already have kidney disease, your doctor will advise you to drink much less so you dont overwhelm your kidneys.
Cranberry juice has a decades-long association with kidney health, especially in preventing urinary tract infections, but a review of studies in 2012 found little evidence for its actual effectiveness. The NKF simply suggests drinking water to prevent the accumulation of bacteria that cause urinary tract infections.
How To Keep Your Kidneys Healthy
Your kidneys work hard for you, day in and day out. To take good care of them, youâll want to focus on these things that make a big difference.
Watch your blood pressure. If itâs too high, that can put stress on your kidneys. If youâre not sure what your blood pressure is, your doctor can check it. You could have high blood pressure and not know it, since it doesnât have any symptoms. High blood pressure is one of the top causes of kidney problems.
Got diabetes? If you do, work with your doctor to keep your blood sugar levels in check. If theyâre not under control, that can cause problems for your kidneys over time. Along with hypertension , diabetes is one of the biggest concerns for kidney health.
Use your meds correctly. Take them as your doctor recommends, or follow the instructions on the package. Be wary of medicines that can cause kidney damage when you take them for a long time, including over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen and prescriptions such as lithium and HIV medications.
Yes to food and fitness. You already know that exercise and eating right help your heart and weight. They also help your blood pressure and your blood sugar levels. And thatâs good for your kidneys.
Shake the salt habit. Keep sodium low: no more than 2,300 milligrams a day. Check food labels to see how much is in a serving. It might be more than you think!
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Ask Your Health Care Provider Questions
Ask your health care provider the following key questions about your kidney health during your next medical visit. The sooner you know you have kidney disease, the sooner you can get treatment to help protect your kidneys.
Key questions for your health care provider:
- What is my glomerular filtration rate ?
- What is my urine albumin result?
- What is my blood pressure?
- What is my blood glucose ?
- How often should I get my kidneys checked?
Other important questions:
- What should I do to keep my kidneys healthy?
- Do I need to be taking different medicines?
- Should I be more physically active?
- What kind of physical activity can I do?
- What can I eat?
About Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease is a long-term condition where the kidneys do not work effectively.
CKD does not usually cause symptoms until it reaches an advanced stage. It is usually detected at earlier stages by blood and urine tests. Main symptoms of advanced kidney disease include:
- swollen ankles, feet or hands
- shortness of breath
Read more about the symptoms of chronic kidney disease
Chronic kidney disease is most frequently diagnosed through blood and urine tests.
If you are at a high risk of developing CKD, you may be screened annually. Screening may be recommended if you have:
Read more about diagnosing chronic kidney disease
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What Can I Do To Keep My Kidneys Healthy
You can protect your kidneys bypreventing or managing health conditions that cause kidney damage, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. The steps described below may help keep your whole body healthy, including your kidneys.
During your next medical visit, you may want to ask your health care provider about your kidney health. Early kidney disease may not have any symptoms, so getting tested may be the only way to know your kidneys are healthy. Your health care provider will help decide how often you should be tested.
See a provider right away if you develop a urinary tract infection , which can cause kidney damage if left untreated.
Do Not Smoke Or Drink Too Much Alcohol
Try to stop smoking completely and limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
Both men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week on a regular basis.
Drinking too much alcohol and smoking both raise your blood pressure. High blood pressure is one of the most common causes of kidney disease.
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Dont Overdo Certain Medications
NSAIDs are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen and naproxen. They can damage your kidneys if you take too many at once or take them too often. And using proton pump inhibitors for an ulcer or GERD for a long time can raise your chances of chronic kidney disease. You should only take them if your doctor says you need them.
Drink Plenty Of Fluids
Theres no magic behind the cliché advice to drink eight glasses of water a day, but its a good goal precisely because it encourages you to stay hydrated. Regular, consistent water intake is healthy for your kidneys.
Water helps clear sodium and toxins from your kidneys. It also lowers your risk of chronic kidney disease.
Aim for at least 1.5 to 2 liters in a day. Exactly how much water you need depends largely on your health and lifestyle. Factors like climate, exercise, gender, overall health, and whether or not youre pregnant or breastfeeding are important to consider when planning your daily water intake.
People who have previously had kidney stones should drink a bit more water to help prevent stone deposits in the future.
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What Is Kidney Disease
Your kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that act as your bodys waste filtration system. They filter your blood 12 times per hour. Excess water and unwanted chemicals or waste in the blood are disposed of as urine .
Kidney disease is when your kidneys are damaged in some way and are not filtering your blood effectively.
Kidney Function Tests: Purpose Types And Procedure
The kidney is one of the most vital organs of the human body. It plays a particularly important role in maintaining your health. A person has two kidneys, positioned on either side of the spine and is approximately the size of oneÃ¢â¬â¢s fist. A very crucial role of the kidney is to filter out waste material from the blood and flushing them out of the body through the urine. These vital organs help maintain the water level along with various other important nutrients. They play a particularly important role in the production of vitamin D and various other hormones that regulate blood pressure. Staying up to date about your kidneyÃ¢â¬â¢s health is a must and one of the ways to do so is to consult a healthcare expert. He may ask you to take a kidney function test. There are various tests for kidney functionÃ that can detect different types of problems in our kidneys as well as their causes. Thanks to technological development in medical science, a kidney function test at home is at your fingertips.
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