Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a medical condition in which your kidneys fail to filter blood properly, leading to serious health complications and even kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplant.
Early diagnosis and treatment can help slow or stop the progression of chronic kidney disease, so it’s important to have regular check-ups with your doctor.
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a degenerative condition that worsens over months or years. It can affect anyone, though it’s more prevalent among older individuals. Untreated CRD can lead to kidney failure and ultimately be life-threatening if not addressed promptly.
Your kidneys are bean-shaped organs located beneath your rib cage at the back of your body. They filter wastes and excess fluid out of your blood, as well as balance certain elements like sodium, potassium, and calcium in it. Furthermore, these glands make hormones which regulate blood pressure and red blood cell production.
Kidney damage can be caused by a variety of causes, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Autoimmune diseases like lupus may also lead to kidney damage. Obstructions in your kidneys like stones or tumours may lead to chronic kidney disease.
If your family history includes kidney issues, it’s essential to get regular medical exams to determine if you are at an increased risk for developing CKD. Your doctor can identify other conditions that could be placing undue stress on your kidneys and suggest a strategy for prevention.
A complete blood count, which measures how many red blood cells you have and their health, is commonly used to diagnose CKD. When your kidneys become damaged, they can reduce production of erythropoietin which stimulates bone marrow to create new red blood cells.
Other tests to diagnose CKD include urine tests, which detect protein in your pee. Excess protein may indicate that your kidneys aren’t functioning optimally.
Another type of test is a glomerular filtration rate (GFR). This measurement indicates how efficiently your kidneys filter blood.
If your glomerular filtration rate is low, your doctor may order blood and urine tests to detect high levels of waste products in your body. This is the primary way a doctor can tell if you have kidney disease.
With age, kidneys can become damaged and no longer filter wastes and extra fluid from your blood stream as effectively. As a result, you may end up with dangerously high levels of salt, water and other substances in your body.
Kidney disease can be caused by a number of conditions and disorders that damage the tiny blood vessels (glomeruli) in your kidneys, leading to inflammation. They may also be damaged due to diabetes, high blood pressure or certain drugs.
A kidney biopsy can be performed to identify what is causing your kidneys to become damaged. This minimally invasive procedure typically requires inserting a small needle into your kidney for analysis.
Other causes of kidney damage include toxins such as lead and drugs and chemicals. Long-term use of certain medications like NSAIDs or IV street drugs can permanently harm the kidneys, as can exposure to certain kinds of chemicals.
When your kidneys stop working properly, they cannot produce enough hormones that instruct your blood to form oxygen-carrying red blood cells. This causes extreme fatigue and makes breathing difficult; it could also make skin itchy or lead to difficulty sleeping or urinating.
Furthermore, kidney disease can wreak havoc on your muscles and nerves, leading to muscle twitching or weakness, cramping, pain, pins-and-needles sensations, restless legs syndrome and even encephalopathy – an illness which affects the brain and may cause confusion or seizures.
Symptoms can range in intensity depending on the extent of your kidney damage. In the early stages, you may not even notice any symptoms at all due to chronic kidney disease progressing slowly over time and leading to kidney failure and need for dialysis or a transplant.
Other symptoms of kidney disease include fatigue, nausea, itching, loss of appetite, confusion and swelling in your hands, ankles and feet. These can occur if the kidneys fail to remove enough fluids from your body or excrete enough salt and potassium.
The kidneys play an integral role in keeping your body healthy. They filter wastes (toxins) and excess water from blood, balance salts and minerals levels within the body, produce hormones which regulate blood pressure, manufacture red blood cells for healing wounds, and strengthen bones.
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a progressive condition that damages your kidneys, preventing them from working optimally. While CCKD can lead to serious health complications, treatment usually consists of lifestyle changes and medication to manage symptoms and slow its progression.
Diagnosing chronic kidney disease (CKD) is done through blood and urine tests. These checks look for high levels of substances in your blood that indicate kidney damage. You may be referred to a specialist nephrologist for further testing and diagnosis.
Your doctor should be informed of any worrying symptoms you experience, such as weight loss, changes in energy levels or fatigue that persists. They may ask about your diet and medications taken; furthermore they will check for kidney disease-related indicators like high levels of protein waste products (protein in the blood) or low concentrations of potassium, magnesium or calcium in your bloodstream.
If your family history includes kidney disease, speak to your doctor about getting tested regularly. This is especially important if you have any risk factors for the condition such as diabetes, lupus or high blood pressure.
Your nephrologist can assist in planning and monitoring your treatment to slow the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD). They may suggest a variety of therapies, including medicines and supplements to keep your kidneys working optimally.
Many patients find these therapies to be an effective means of delaying or preventing end-stage kidney disease. Not only do they control signs and symptoms, but they may reduce your risk for serious complications like heart disease or kidney failure as well.
The sooner your doctor diagnoses and treats CKD, the slower its progress will be and you can preserve your kidney function. This is essential for both your present and long-term wellbeing.
Chronic kidney disease is a progressive disorder that impairs your kidneys’ capacity to filter blood. This can lead to complications such as fluid, electrolytes (minerals essential for many bodily processes) and waste build-up within the body.
Treatment for chronic kidney disease (CKD) aims to minimize complications, slow the disease’s progression and enhance quality of life. Possible treatments for CKD may include medications, diet/lifestyle changes and physical activity.
Dietary guidelines for those living with kidney disease (CKD) include avoiding products with added salt, restricting high-protein foods and eating plenty of vegetables. A registered dietitian can assess your diet and suggest ways to make your kidneys’ job easier.
Exercising is an integral part of managing CKD, as it can improve blood pressure, aid in sleeping and strengthen bones. Furthermore, exercise may reduce your risk for developing diabetes and heart disease.
Kidney-friendly nutrition and herbal supplements can be especially beneficial for patients with CKD, as they aid in nutrient absorption and detoxification. Foods rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids will further protect the kidneys from further damage.
A functional medicine approach to treating chronic kidney disease (CKD) focuses on the underlying body system dysfunctions that are leading to decreased kidney function. These could include issues like gastrointestinal (gut) health, inflammation, autoimmunity and more.
Functional medicine approaches to treating CKD may include moving meditations, energy healing and other techniques that stimulate the body’s natural ability to heal itself. These practices have been practiced for thousands of years in traditional Chinese and Indian cultures as a means to promote healthy living and well-being.
For instance, moving meditations utilize slow and deliberate movements to improve balance, coordination, strength and functional capacity. Studies have even demonstrated that these techniques can promote kidney health and slow the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD).
A functional medicine approach to treating chronic kidney disease (CKD) is often the best way to maintain kidney function and slow its decline. Additionally, it can help avoid complications and delay the onset of advanced kidney disease, also known as end-stage renal disease. By opting for functional medicine treatment options instead of dialysis or transplant surgery, you may avoid dialysis or a kidney transplant and enjoy improved quality of life overall.
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