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Chronic Kidney Disease: Symptoms & Causes of Kidney Failure

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Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), is a slow and gradual declination of kidney function. Usually, it’s a result of a complication from another serious medical condition. Chronic kidney disease occurs gradually – over a period of weeks, months, or years. In this disease, the kidneys slowly stop working and kidney failure occurs. It leads to end-stage renal disease (ESRD). The progression of the disease is so slow that symptoms usually don’t appear until significant damage is done.

 

In India every year 2,00,000 new patients need dialysis treatment due to the Chronic Kidney Disease. And 17% of Indians have some or the other form of CKD (chronic kidney disease). In the United States, approximately 0.1 % of people are getting treated for ESRD, and greater than 20 million adults are struggling with some of the other types of CKD.

 

Primary Kidney Functions in Human Body:

  • Kidneys remove waste products from the body and restrict toxins from building up in the bloodstream.
  • Kidneys produce hormones that control other body functions, for example regulating blood pressure and producing red blood cells.
  • Kidneys monitor the levels of minerals or electrolytes (e.g., sodium, calcium, and potassium) and fluid in the body.

Kidneys are the vital organs of the human body, and a human cannot survive without a kidney. When kidneys reach to a point where they can’t function at all, and kidney failure occurs the kidney dialysis or a transplant remains the only way to remove the body’s waste products.

 

Chief Causes of Chronic Kidney Disease:

The most common causes of chronic kidney failure are diabetes mellitus (type 1 or type 2 diabetes) and high blood pressure. Whereas, the most common cause of end-stage renal failure is IgA nephropathy (an inflammatory disease of the kidney).

Other common causes of Chronic Kidney Failure are:

  • Kidney Infection (recurring pyelonephritis).
  • Cysts in the kidneys (polycystic kidney disease).
  • Autoimmune disorders (such as systemic lupus erythematous).
  • Hardening of Arteries that damage blood vessels in the kidney.
  • Blockages and reflux in the urinary tract, due to frequent infections, stones, or an anatomical abnormality that occurred from birth.
  • Superfluous use of medicines that are metabolized through the kidneys.

Symptoms and Complications:

Chronic Kidney Disease might be there in your body for many years before you notice it’s symptoms. If a doctor suspects that the patient may be likely to develop kidney failure, s/he would have been caught it earlier by conducting regular blood & urine tests. In the absence of proper monitoring, the symptoms might not be detected until the kidneys already got damaged.

Some of the symptoms such as fatigue may have been present but can come on so gradually that they will not be noticed or attributed as kidney failure.

 

Some Specific signs of Chronic Kidney Failure are:

 

  • Decreased urination.
  • Increased urination especially at night.
  • Traces of blood in the urine (not a common symptom of Chronic Kidney Disease).
  • Cloudy urine or dark tea-colored urine.

 

Below given are some symptoms those are not so obvious, but can be a direct result of the kidneys’ failure or inability to eliminate waste & excess fluid from the body:

  • Puffy eyes, hands, and feet.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Shortness of breath or bad breath.
  • Fatigue and Loss of appetite.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Bad taste in the mouth or Excessive thirst.
  • Weight loss or Itchy skin.
  • Muscle twitching and cramping.
  • A yellowish-brown tint to the skin.

As the kidney failure gets worse and the toxins continue to build up in the body, seizures and mental confusion begin to occur. The ultrasounds, x-rays, and scans check for any abnormality in the kidneys. Such as small size, tumors, or blockages. Below given are a few tests one can follow to diagnose the chronic disease:

  • Abdominal CT or CAT (computed tomography) Scan.
  • Abdominal MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).
  • Abdominal Ultrasound.
  • Renal Scan.

These particular tests and scans will allow the doctor to recognize any abnormal kidney function in the body and to diagnose Chronic Kidney Disease.

Author Info: Nehal.VRK is a journalist and a creative-content writer. Writing for multinational companies & national publications. Her team can provide blogs on lifestyle, fashion, Bollywood, social issues, facts, health, disease and so on. You can find her blogs on xpertink.com and video courses on Chalkstreet. Contact her at: xpertinkwritings@gmail.com

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