CKD- Chronic Kidney Disease is a condition in which the kidneys are damaged and cannot filter blood as well as they should. The disease is called “chronic” because the damage to your kidneys happens slowly over a long period of time. This damage can cause waste to build up in your body. CKD can also cause other health problems such as heart disease and stroke.
Who is more likely to develop CKD?
• Diabetes: Diabetes is the leading cause of CKD. Almost 1 in 3 people with diabetes have CKD.
• High blood pressure; High blood pressure is the second leading cause of CKD. Almost 1 in 5 adults with high blood pressure has CKD.
• Heart disease
• Family history of CKD
What are the symptoms of CKD?
People with CKD may not feel ill or notice any symptoms, this is especially true in the early stages. The only way to find out for sure if you have CKD is through simple blood tests like creatinine levels and urine tests for the presence of protein in the urine.
As kidney disease gets worse, a person may have swelling of feet and around eyes, called edema. Edema happens when the kidneys can’t get rid of extra fluid and salt. Patients may feel tired or short of breath, Not feel like eating, have trouble sleeping, have dry and itchy skin, and Have muscle cramping at night.
• Improved lifestyle changes (e.g. healthy eating)
• Proper use of medications (e.g. drugs to lower blood pressure)
• Avoiding conditions or exposures that can harm the kidneys or cause a sudden drop in kidney function, such as:
◦ Kidney infections
◦ Medications eg. Over counter pain medicines like ibuprofen and naproxen
◦ Herbal supplements
◦ Dyes that are used to make the blood vessels or organs visible on X-rays or other imaging tests.
Preventing Chronic Kidney Disease:
• Lose weight if you are overweight.
• Get active. Physical activity helps control blood sugar levels.
• Keep your blood pressure below 140/90(As per your doctor’s advice)
• If you have diabetes, stay in your target blood sugar range as much as possible.
• Quit smoking.
• Take medications as directed (Avoid painkillers).
• Eat foods lower in salt.
• Eat more fruits and vegetables.
Contributed by Dr. Ravi Sarvi – a Nephrologist & Renal Transplant consultant, KLEs Dr. Prabhakar Kore Hospital, Belagavi