Kidney failure ore chronic kidney disease occurs when a condition impairs kidney function, causing kidney damage to worsen. There are many conditions or diseases that can cause or lead to chronic kidney disease. These are type 1 and type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and many more.
The kidneys are a pair of fist-sized organs located at the bottom of the rib cage. They’re on either side of your spine, just above your waist.
The kidneys filter wastes and excess fluids from your blood, which are then excreted in your urine. When chronic kidney disease reaches an advanced stage, dangerous levels of fluid, electrolytes and wastes can build up in your body.
30 million people in the United States are living with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Every year 64,000 people in the UK are being treated for end stage renal failure.
Causes of Kidney Failure
many factors can cause the kidney not to function well. These are:
- Severe dehydration
- toxic exposure to environmental pollutants
- certain medications can cause the kidney to fail
Other diseases that can cause chronic kidney disease includes:
- Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Interstitial nephritis
- Recurrent kidney infection
Symptoms of Kidney Failure
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) usually gets worse slowly, and symptoms may not appear until your kidneys are badly damaged. In the late stages of CKD, as you are nearing kidney failure (ESRD), you may notice symptoms that are caused by waste and extra fluid building up in your body.
Other signs and symptoms of kidney failure may include:
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle cramps
- Nausea ans Vomiting
- Fatigue and Weakness
- Swelling in your feet and ankles
- Trouble sleeping
- Too much urine or not enough urine
- Decreased mental sharpness
- Chest pain, if fluid builds up around the lining of the heart
- Shortness of breath, if fluid builds up in the lungs
When it gets to a stage where the kidney stops working, you will experience the following symptoms.
- Abdominal (belly) pain
- Back pain
It is very advisable to visit the hospital as soon as you experience any of those symptoms.
Who is at risk of chronic kidney disease?
There are many factors that can put you at risk of kidney disease. These are:
- People with Diabetes
- People who smoke
- Obese people
- Being African-American, Native American or Asian-American
- Someone with High Blood Pressure
- Family history of kidney disease
- As you age.
Prevention of Chronic Kidney Disease
In order to reduce the risk of kidney failure or chronic kidney disease,
- Maintain a healthy weight and try to lose weight in case you are overweight
- Quit smoking or reduce the use of tobacco products
- drink a lot of water more often to help the kidney function well
- Avoid self medication since certain medications can result in kidney failure
- Follow instructions on over-the-counter medications.
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