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Chronic Kidney Disease - Know The Risk Factors!

Written and reviewed by
MBBS, MD - General Medicine, DM - Nephrology
Nephrologist, Delhi  •  11 years experience
Chronic Kidney Disease - Know The Risk Factors!

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is an irreversible and progressive destruction of the kidneys. The kidneys are responsible for performing a variety of functions namely, maintaining the electrolyte balance along with balancing minerals in your body, playing an important role in red blood cell production, maintaining the acid-base balance of the blood and excreting waste products from your body.

Symptoms of CKD
The symptoms of CKD are not severe until the disease gets worse.

  1. Feeling tired easily.
  2. Lack of energy.
  3. Having trouble thinking clearly.
  4. Decreased appetite.
  5. Trouble sleeping.
  6. Dry, itchy skin.
  7. Muscle cramps at night.
  8. Swelling of feet and ankles.
  9. Puffiness around eyes in the mornings.
  10. Increased frequency to urinate especially at night.

Causes of CKD
The commonest causes of CKD are high blood pressure and diabetes. Each kidney is made up of about 1 million tiny filtering units known as nephrons. Kidney diseases are caused due to injuries or scars to these nephrons. Diabetes and high blood pressure are known to cause damage to the nephrons.

The kidneys contain a lot of blood vessels which help the kidney function normally by maintaining good blood flow. Blood vessel diseases are caused due to high blood pressure which can be dangerous to the kidneys.
Other causes of kidney diseases include autoimmune diseases, polycystic kidneys, glomerulonephritis etc.

Risk factors of CKD
Age and genetic family history play a major role in increasing the risk for chronic kidney disease. Other risk factors for CKD include -

  1. Smoking
  2. Obesity
  3. High cholesterol levels
  4. High blood pressure
  5. Diabetes
  6. Autoimmune disease
  7. Obstructive kidney disease
  8. Atherosclerosis
  9. Liver failure
  10. Cancer of kidneys and bladder
  11. Kidney stones

What you need to do?
If you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms, visit your physician and get yourself tested thoroughly.

What should you do?
You should visit your doctor or clinic and get tested. Your checkup should include getting your blood pressure checked and getting blood tests to check the levels of creatinine, blood sugar, and protein.
Changes in diet and lifestyle modification will help you prevent further progression of the disease.

  1. Dietary Changes: Decrease the intake of fat, salt, protein and potassium in your diet. By reducing your salt and fluid intake, your blood pressure will remain under control and prevent fluid overload in your body. Balance your meals to get the adequate calories necessary for growth and repair.
  2. Lifestyle Modification: If you have comorbid conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, it is best to maintain an average weight. Daily exercise and workouts will help reduce weight and boost your metabolism.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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