Chronic Kidney Disease Matters

 In Conditions & Treatments
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FACT: 30 Million American Adults have Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is the presence of kidney damage or decreased kidney function for a period of three months or more. These kidney bean shaped organs, located on either side of your spine under the lower ribs, play a vital role in your body including:

  • Remove waste
  • Regulate water
  • Balance chemicals including sodium, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus
  • Produce hormones that help regulate blood pressure
  • Keep bones healthy by regulating calcium, phosphorus, and producing an active form of vitamin D

There are often no signs or symptoms in the early stages of CKD, but the two most common causes include diabetes and hypertension. CKD typically starts slow and progresses over a number of years. If diagnosed and treated early, CKD may be slowed or stopped.

However, if CKD continues to worsen over time, it may require dialysis, a kidney transplant, or lead to kidney failure, also known as end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Knowing the warning signs and risk factors of CKD could save your life.

Warning Signs & Symptoms

  • High blood pressure
  • Puffiness of eyes and feet
  • Excessive foaming of urine
  • Passage of blood or tea colored urine
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Persistent itching
  • Difficulty urinating or making less amount of urine
Tri-State Memorial Hospital & Medical Campus

Risk Factors – Chronic Kidney Disease

Preventable

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • History of acute kidney injury
  • Frequent NSAID use

NonPreventable

  • Age 60 or older
  • Race (African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, and Asians have a higher risk)
  • Family history of kidney disease, diabetes, or hypertension

Stages of Chronic Kidney Disease

Stage 1: Below normal to mild loss of kidney function

Stage 2: Mild to moderate loss of kidney function

Stage 3: Moderate to severe loss of kidney function

Stage 4: Severe loss of kidney function

Stage 5: Kidney failure, requiring dialysis

Living with Chronic Kidney Disease

To manage CKD, the following is recommended:

  • Make lifestyle changes, such as healthy eating, to prevent additional kidney damage
  • Maintain a proper low sodium diet including fruits, vegetables, and eating less processed foods
  • Stay active through proper exercise
  • Use medications prescribed to slow CKD progression (i.e., drugs to lower blood pressure)
  • Work on weight loss if you are overweight
  • Work on optimizing diabetes and hypertension control

If you have been diagnosed with kidney disease and/or hypertension, or require renal replacement therapy (including dialysis and renal transplant patients), there are local options available to you for treatment. While you may be referred to a nephrology specialist for a variety of reasons, consider choosing Tri-State Kidney & Hypertension.

by Meghana Awad, MD, Tri-State Kidney & Hypertension

Dr. Meghana Awad completed medical school in Nasik, India. She then completed an infectious disease fellowship, in addition to an internal medicine residency, and nephrology fellowship. She is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (top 10%) and is a member of the American Society of Nephrology. She stood first among a class of 120 in her second year of medical school with honors in Pharmacology. Dr. Awad is available at Tri-State Kidney & Hypertension.

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