The main function of kidneys is to filter waste and extra fluids from the body which are then expelled out in the form of stools or urine. Chronic kidney disease or chronic kidney failure occurs when kidneys gradually lose their functioning capacity.
In advanced stages, chronic kidney disease can lead to excessive build-up of waste material in your body that can be eventually life-threatening. Most of the time, chronic kidney disease does not cause any major symptoms until and unless it progresses to dangerous levels.
The underlying cause of chronic kidney disease needs to be determined in order to slow down the advancement of the disease. However, sometimes this is not a prospect and it might not be possible to slow down the advancement of the disease. The end result can be complete kidney failure for which dialysis or kidney transplant is required.
Kidney function impairment takes place due to certain diseases and conditions that cause damage to the kidneys. Some of the causes include: diabetes (type 1 and 2), interstitial nephritis, glomerulonephritis, vesicoureteral reflux, constant kidney infection etc.
As kidney damage develops over a period of time, you might experience symptoms such as:
- Excessive or reduced urination
- Inflammation in feet and ankles
- Nausea and vomiting
- Problems in sleeping patterns
- Unexplained fatigue and weakness
- Difficulty in breathing if fluid build-up happens in the lungs
- Pain and discomfort in the chest if fluid build-up occurs around the heart lining
You are at a higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease if someone from your family has a history of kidney disease. Apart from this, being diabetic and obese also heightens the probability of getting affected by this condition.
However, you can reduce your risk of getting kidney disease by following small steps. These include:
- Keep your weight in check by being physically active. Lose weight in a consistent manner so that the results are long-lasting.
- Always take over-the-counter pain relievers in a limited doses. Too many pain killers can damage your kidneys over a period of time.
- Stay in regular touch with your doctor to look out for early signs of kidney damage. Also, take the prescribed medication and specified advice to manage any other health conditions that might be affecting your kidneys badly.
- If you are a smoker, it is best to talk to your specialist doctor about strategies that can assist you leave this habit. Cigarette smoking can lead to kidney damage and also worsen your existing kidney problems.
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