What Is Chronic Kidney Disease?

You can understand everything about what is this disease and more below. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) means that your kidneys are unable to filter blood as well as they should.

The kidneys are vital organs responsible for flushing out toxic substances and removing extra water from the blood in the urine. Other than that, the kidney performs the following functions:

  • Balancing electrolytes (sodium and potassium) in the blood
  • Maintaining normal blood pH
  • Production of erythropoietin – a hormone responsible for the production of red blood cells
  • Production of calcitriol- the active form of vitamin D

Chronic kidney disease occurs when there is a prolonged kidney disease that progresses over time. Early detection of kidney disease and treatment by a nephrologist is crucial to prevent End-stage renal disease- the final stage of chronic kidney disease. You can visit oladoc.com to find the best nephrologists.

What causes chronic kidney disease?

Different diseases can cause chronic kidney disease, such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Glomerulonephritis- a condition in which the tiny filtering units (glomeruli) of the kidney become inflamed
  • Congenital kidney disease – a defect present in the kidney at birth
  • Polycystic kidney disease – a condition in which multiple cysts form in the kidney
  • Interstitial nephritis – inflammation of the tubules of the kidney
  • Obstruction in the urinary tract like stones, enlarged prostate gland (benign prostatic hyperplasia), or any tumors
  • Pyelonephritis – an infection of the kidney

Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease may not show any significant signs and symptoms until the damage to the kidneys become irreversible. It may display symptoms that can be present in other diseases or conditions, too. Chronic kidney disease may show signs and symptoms like:

  • Feeling tired
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Passing too much or too little urine
  • Insomnia
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Muscle cramps
  • Swelling around the eyes (periorbital edema)
  • Swelling of the feet and ankles
  • Dry skin
  • High blood pressure
  • Cough due to fluid buildup in the lungs
  • Chest pain due to accumulation of fluid around the layer of the heart
  • Loss of interest in sex

Complications of chronic kidney disease

The kidneys are essential for performing numerous different functions in the body, and when the kidneys do not function, complications can arise, such as:

  • Fluid retention: The kidneys remove the extra amount of fluid from the body through urine. In chronic kidney disease, fluid accumulates in different areas of the body. This fluid causes high blood pressure and, when accumulated in the lungs, it causes pulmonary edema, which poses breathing difficulties.
  • Hyperkalemia (increased potassium levels):  The kidneys balance the electrolytes in the body. In chronic kidney disease, potassium levels can spike in the blood, which can change the rhythm of the heart (arrhythmia) and may be fatal if not treated.
  • Anemia: The kidneys produce the hormone erythropoietin, which is responsible for the production of red blood cells. In chronic kidney disease, erythropoietin is not produced properly, which causes anemia.
  • Heart disease: In chronic kidney disease, the kidneys are unable to remove extra amounts of fluid, which increases the blood volume. The heart has to pump extra blood, which puts stress on the heart. Over time, this may overwork the heart, causing heart problems.
  • Bone weakening: The kidneys produce the active form of vitamin D, which helps get calcium in the bones, thereby providing strength to the body. In chronic kidney disease, bone weakening occurs that increases the chances of fractures.

 

Conclusion

Chronic kidney disease can have serious complications. It is important to treat any kidney disease or condition on time to prevent it from progressing to chronic kidney disease. If you have any kidney condition or notice any signs and symptoms of chronic kidney disease, consult a nephrologist. You can consult a Nephrologist in Karachi.

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