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Why Are Kidney Problems So Serious

Stages Of Chronic Kidney Disease

Kidney Disease and Dialysis | Health | Biology | FuseSchool

Usually, kidney disease starts slowly and silently, and progresses over a number of years. Not everyone progresses from Stage 1 to Stage 5. Stage 5 is also known as End-Stage Renal Disease .

Stage
Kidney damage with normal or high GFR90ml/min or more
Kidney damage and mild decrease in GFR60 to 89mL/min
Less than 15mL/min or on dialysis

GFR: Glomerular Filtration Rate

CGA: Cause, GFR and Albuminuria categories

Source:KDIGO 2012 Clinical Practice Guideline for the Evaluation and Management of Chronic Kidney Disease.

Where Are The Kidneys And How Do They Function

There are two kidneys, each about the size of a fist, located on either side of the spine at the lowest level of the rib cage. Each kidney contains up to a million functioning units called nephrons. A nephron consists of a filtering unit of tiny blood vessels called a glomerulus attached to a tubule. When blood enters the glomerulus, it is filtered and the remaining fluid then passes along the tubule. In the tubule, chemicals and water are either added to or removed from this filtered fluid according to the body’s needs, the final product being the urine we excrete.

The kidneys perform their life-sustaining job of filtering and returning to the bloodstream about 200 quarts of fluid every 24 hours. About two quarts are removed from the body in the form of urine, and about 198 quarts are recovered. The urine we excrete has been stored in the bladder for anywhere from 1 to 8 hours.

What Will The Doctors Do Then

  • Find out the cause of your CKD and treat it if possible
  • Work with you to make important choices on how to manage your condition
  • Discuss possible lifestyle changes and medication that may relieve symptoms and slow the CKD progression
  • Assess and reduce your risk of heart disease and strokes
  • Try to relieve any symptoms
  • Treat any complications such as anaemia and mineral changes
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    When Should I See My Doctor

    If you notice any of the symptoms above, see your doctor. If you have one or more of the risk factors for kidney disease, it is particularly important to look after your kidney health and get your kidney function checked every 1 to 2 years.

    The body can cope with the kidneys not working properly for quite a while. People can lose 90% of their kidney function before they experience any symptoms. This makes it particularly important to take notice of any symptoms that do appear, and seek medical advice.

    How Do You Decrease Creatinine Levels

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    Lower creatinine levels by avoiding creatine in your diet and eat more fiber and less protein. You can also limit intense exercise and try supplements like chitosan. High creatinine levels may be a sign of kidney disease, so see a doctor for a diagnosis. Visit Insiders Health Reference library for more advice.

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    Can I Keep Working With Kidney Failure

    Many people with kidney failure continue to work. KidneyWorks is a program to help people with kidney disease keep working. The program focuses on Americans with CKD whose kidneys have not yet failed or who are living with a transplant. If you are on dialysis, the information in the KidneyWorks paper may also provide tips to help you keep your job.

    The Americans with Disabilities Act means that an employer cant legally fire you just because youre on dialysis or have had a kidney transplant. The law requires an employer to make reasonable changes to the workplace for a person with a disability. For example, your employer may give you lighter physical jobs or schedule your work hours around your dialysis sessions. If youre on peritoneal dialysis, youll need space and time to change the dialysis solution in the middle of the work day. Most employers can make these adjustments.

    If your employer isnt willing to meet your needs, your dialysis clinics renal social worker may be able to help find a way to satisfy both you and your employer.

    What Is Chronic Kidney Disease

    Kidney disease is a general term for when the kidneys are damaged and do not function as they should. If you have kidney disease that lasts for more than 3 months, it is called chronic kidney disease .

    When the kidneys do not work properly, wastes and fluids build up inside the body. Chronic kidney disease can lead to other problems like heart disease and high blood pressure, and eventually to complete kidney failure, so getting treatment early is vital.

    About 1 in 10 Australian adults has signs of chronic kidney disease. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are twice as likely to have chronic kidney disease than non-Indigenous Australians.

    Learn more here about kidneys and their function.

    Read Also: How To Prevent Kidney Stones Through Diet

    What Is Kidney Failure

    Kidney failure means one or both kidneys can no longer function well on their own. Sometimes, kidney failure is temporary and comes on quickly. Other times, it is a chronic condition that can get worse slowly over a long time.

    Kidney failure may sound serious, and it is. But treatments such as dialysis and kidney transplant help many people with limited kidney function continue to live fulfilling lives.

    Kidney Failure Life Expectancy

    Kidney Failure Symptoms: 10 Signs Most People Will Miss!

    Its not possible to know exactly how long a person with kidney failure will live. Every person with kidney failure is different.

    In general, the National Kidney Foundation says that a person on dialysis can expect to live for an average of 5 to 10 years as long as they follow their treatment. Some people live for more than 20 or 30 years.

    Factors that can play a role in life expectancy include your:

    • age
    • stage of kidney disease
    • other coexisting conditions

    Once you reach end stage kidney failure, you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant to live. Missing even one dialysis treatment can decrease your life expectancy.

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    Diabetes And Kidney Disease

    About 20 to 30 per cent of people with diabetes develop a type of kidney disease called diabetic nephropathy. This is a serious disease and may worsen other diabetic complications such as nerve and eye damage, as well as increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

    Diabetic nephropathy is the main cause of kidney failure .

    Early Warning Signs Of Kidney Disease

    As we all know every human body has two kidneys, which are primarily responsible for filtering the blood free of the nitrogenous waste products like urea, creatinine, acids, etc. and produce urine.

    Millions of people are living with various types of kidney diseases and most of them dont even have the faintest idea about it. This is why kidney disease is often known as a Silent Killer as most people do not feel any difference until the disease is advanced. While people get their blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol levels checked on a regular basis, they fail to get a simple creatinine test done in their blood, to detect any unidentified kidney problems. According to the Global Burden Disease study in 2015, chronic kidney disease is ranked as the eighth leading cause of mortality in India.

    There are a number of warning signs of a kidney disorder, however, most of the time these are ignored or confused with alternative pathologies . Therefore, one has to be very watchful and should get the confirmatory tests done at the earliest appearance of any sign of a kidney disorder. One should visit a Nephrologist and clarify his/her doubts. But if you have hypertension, diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome as one calls it in todays age, or Coronary Artery Disease, and/or a family history of the same or a family history of kidney failure or even if youre older than 60 years of age, it is advisable to get kidney tests done on a regular basis.

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    Why Wait Until Your Kidneys Are Diseased

    While the study was conducted on people with kidney disease, we could safely extrapolate the recommendations to those who want to avoid kidney disease and achieve optimal kidney function now, especially as we age.

    In fact, additional research points to the actuality of physiological changes in the kidneys as we age. The research notes that a progressive reduction of the glomerular filtration rate and renal blood flow are observed in conjunction with aging. The reason for these phenomena is a decrease in the plasma flow in the glomerulus, a bundle of capillaries that partially form the renal corpuscle.2

    In addition, the aging kidneys experience other structural changes, such as a loss of renal mass, and decreased responsiveness to stimuli that constrict or dilate blood vessels. The study concludes with a notable summation:

    age-related changes in cardiovascular hemodynamics, such as reduced cardiac output and systemic hypertension, are likely to play a role in reducing renal perfusion and filtration. Finally, it is hypothesized that increases in cellular oxidative stress that accompany aging result in endothelial cell dysfunction and changes in vasoactive mediators resulting in increased atherosclerosis, hypertension and glomerulosclerosis.2

    How To Reverse Dry Kidneys Naturally By Ayurveda

    What are the common causes of kidney disease?

    Dry kidneys are the condition of your kidneys when they lose the ability to perform their functions, as they usually do for their bodies. Your kidney performs many crucial functions for your bodies like filtering of waste materials and excess fluids from your blood, and it gets eliminated through urine. Your Kidneys are also responsible for the generation of red blood cells that performs an essential part in the proper functioning of your body.

    Dry kidney means chronic kidney disease that is a serious issue and needs to be treated as soon as possible. This condition occurs when there is a loss of fluid in your kidneys. It can cause due to many reasons, in which dehydration is the major reason that makes your kidneys dry. You can reverse dry kidneys, with the use of Ayurveda and their herbs. Chronic kidney disease is the stage of kidney disease that has few symptoms, but when it goes in further stages without relevant therapy, then it can lead to kidney failure. Chronic kidney disease never occurs at all once. It falls in 5 stages and at every stage, your kidneys lose their ability to perform their functions. At the ultimate stage, your kidneys perform only 10-15% of their actual functioning and after this stage, your kidneys are damaged completely.

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    How Is Kidney Failure Treated

    Kidney failure treatment is determined by the cause and extent of the problem. Treating your chronic medical condition can delay the progression of kidney disease. If your kidneys start losing their function gradually, your doctor may use one or more methods to track your health. By watching you closely, your doctor can help you maintain your kidneys function as long as possible.

    Your doctor may gauge your kidney function with:

    • Routine blood tests
    • Blood pressure checks
    • Medication

    Because the kidneys serve such an important purpose, people in kidney failure need treatment to keep them alive. The main treatments for kidney failure are:

    • Dialysis: This treatment helps the body filter the blood .
    • In hemodialysis, a machine regularly cleans your blood for you. People often receive this kidney failure treatment at a hospital or dialysis clinic, 3 or 4 days each week.
    • Peritoneal dialysis cleans the blood in a slightly different way using a dialysis solution and a catheter. Sometimes, people can do their treatment at home.
  • Kidney transplant: In kidney transplant surgery, doctors place a healthy kidney in your body to take over the job of your damaged organs. This healthy kidney, called a donor organ, may come from a deceased donor or a living donor, who may be a friend or family member. People can live well with one healthy kidney.
  • What Lifestyle Changes Can I Make

    Chronic kidney disease will gradually get worse, but there is plenty you can do to slow the progression and improve your quality of life. Changes you should make include:

    • stop smoking
    • eat a healthy diet. That means eating a variety of vegetables, fruits, wholegrain cereals, lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, legumes and beans, and low-fat dairy products. Make sure you limit salt to less than 6g a day and limit your intake of saturated and trans fats. In the later stages of chronic kidney disease, you may need to follow specific instructions from your doctor on what you can eat or drink
    • maintaining a healthy weight. If you have chronic kidney disease, you should ideally have a BMI of 25 or less
    • limit alcohol to less than 2 standard drinks a day
    • be physically active on most, preferably all, days of the week. Aim for 150 to 300 minutes of moderate or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous physical activity each week, and make sure you do some muscle strengthening exercises
    • take medicines to treat high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol or other underlying conditions

    If you are being treated for chronic kidney disease, your doctors may need to change other medicines you are on, since many medicines can affect the kidneys, such as blood pressure drugs and anti-inflammatories. Some medicines which leave the body through the kidneys may need to have their dose adjusted.

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    Living With Kidney Disease

    Kidney disease affects different people in different ways, both physically and emotionally. It can impact on many aspects of life, including personal relationships, jobs and social life.

    Get help with the many aspects of living with kidney disease, including mental health, diet, fluid restrictions, questions to ask you doctor, and benefits, on our Living with kidney disease section

    We also have information on the following:

    Treatment For Kidney Disease

    Kidney disease: what are the early signs and how is it treated?

    If detected early enough, the progress of kidney disease can be slowed and sometimes even prevented. In the early stages, changes to diet and medication can help to increase the life of your kidneys.

    If kidney function is reduced to less than 10 per cent of normal, the loss of function must be replaced by dialysis or a kidney transplant. Dialysis is a treatment for kidney failure that removes waste products and extra water from the blood by filtering it through a special membrane .

    Read Also: Is Chronic Kidney Disease Reversible

    Causes Of Kidney Disease

    There are hundreds of different diseases that can cause chronic kidney disease. Commonly, the condition is due to one of the following:

    Diabetes Mellitus – Diabetes is a disease in which a patient cannot control the amount of glucose in their blood stream. It is caused either by an inability to produce the substance called INSULIN, which controls glucose in the body , or, if the body is unable to respond to the insulin that is produced . Whether diabetes is treated by insulin, tablets or diet, it can cause kidney disease. Apart from raised levels of blood sugar, an important feature, of this disease, is the damage that occurs to small blood vessels. The kidneys contain many small blood vessels and, when damaged by high blood sugar levels in the blood, they are replaced with scar tissue and become blocked. Diabetes can also damage the nerves in many parts of the body. When the bladder is affected, it is more difficult to pass urine, resulting in a build-up in pressure on the kidneys, causing further damage.

    The urine of people with diabetes has a high sugar content, which encourages the growth of bacteria and, as a result, kidney infections may occur. Poor sugar control combined with high blood pressure can increase your risk of making kidney disease worse.

    High Blood Pressure – Hypertension means high blood pressure.

    SYSTOLIC blood pressure is consistently over 140 .

    • Henoch Schonlein Purpura
    • Polyarteritis Nodosa
    • Wegeners Granulomatosis

    How Is It Tested

    As part of standard blood tests, your doctor can check the creatinine level to assess kidney function. Creatinine is released from muscle cells into the blood stream.

    Creatinine is one of the things that the kidneys filter from the blood. If the kidneys start to lose some function, blood creatinine level rises. The creatinine level is used to calculate an estimate of the GFR and provide an estimate of your kidney function.

    Most people who have a minor reduction in kidney function can take steps to not keep the kidneys from getting worse. If the function is somewhat low but stable, you may need to see your doctor only once per year. If the GFR is declining or it is already under 50, it’s best to see a kidney doctor, if for no other reason than to become educated.

    How high blood pressure damages the kidneys

    High blood pressure can cause tiny cracks in the lining of arteries, which provide a breeding ground for fatty deposits that hamper blood flow. As the arteries that feed blood to the kidneys narrow, the body produces renin, a hormone that makes small arteries narrow further. This worsens high blood pressure, causing even more kidney damage. Over time, restricted blood flow can damage or destroy the nephrons, the tiny filtering units inside your kidneys.

    Read Also: What To Eat With Kidney Disease

    Diabetes And Kidney Failure

    Without management, high blood sugar can damage your kidneys. The damage can worsen over time.

    Diabetic nephropathy, or kidney damage caused by type 1 or type 2 diabetes, cant be reversed. Managing your blood sugar and blood pressure may help prevent or limit kidney damage. Taking medications as prescribed by your doctor is important, too.

    If you have diabetes, your doctor will likely perform regular screenings to monitor for kidney failure.

    Your risk for diabetic nephropathy increases the longer you live with diabetes.

    Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure. About one-third of adults with diabetes have kidney disease, according to the

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