Overview Of Chronic Kidney Disease:
Kidney disease, from basic terminology to risk factors and matching a treatment option to your lifestyle, Family Health Care has all the in-depth information CKD patients and their care partners need.
What Is Kidney Disease?
Understanding your kidney disease, or renal disease is the first step in controlling your health. When you have kidney disease and your kidney is no longer able to remove waste effectively from your body or to balance your fluids. The buildup of waste can change the chemistry of your body causing some symptoms that you may feel, and others that you don’t.
With kidney diseases, the first symptoms you may have are those you have not felt, but it will appear in tests that your doctor orders. Common problems are weak bones, high blood pressure, and anemia.
Indeed, it is important to find a kidney doctor (also known as a nephrologist). Closely partner with your doctor and your healthcare team as soon as possible.
But What Do Healthy Kidneys Do?
Your kidneys – two bean-shaped organs located in your lower back – produce your body’s filtration system, cleaning waste and excess fluids from your body and producing and balancing chemicals.
Healthy kidneys also:
- Clean and filter your blood.
- Produce urine.
- Produce hormones.
- Control blood pressure.
- Keep bones strong.
Following a kidney-friendly diet, managing health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure and non-smoking can help your kidneys function better and longer, even if you have kidney disease.
What Stage Am I In?
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) comes in stages and it is important to know your stage to decide the treatment. CKD has five stages, ranging from nearly normal kidney function (stage 1) to kidney failure (stage 5), which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Understanding your stage can help you learn how to control the progression of kidney disease. The stages of renal disease are not based on symptoms alone. Instead, they reflect how effectively the kidneys eliminate waste from the blood by using an equation that estimates kidney function, known as the glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Determining your GFR requires a simple blood test.
How did I get kidney disease?
High blood pressure and diabetes are the top causes of kidney diseases. Another form of CKD is glomerulonephritis, a common term for several types of renal inflammation.
Genetic diseases (such as polycystic kidney disease, or PKD), autoimmune diseases, birth defects, acute kidney failure, and other problems can also lead to kidney disease.
Ways to take control of kidney disease :
- Choose a healthcare team that specializes in your kidney disease stage.
- Don’t smoke.
- Take medications as prescribed by your doctor.
- Eat right by limiting foods high in protein, saturated fat, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium, all of which can put additional pressure on your kidneys.
- Learn more about medicines if you have renal disease. Some prescription and over-the-counter medicines and herbal supplements can be very harmful. Check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medications.
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