Today we are talking about Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD. Some of the information I am going to share with you today may seem overwhelming and maybe even scary but I think it is important that you have all the facts.
Because this is a complex topic, I am going to break the information into a few separate articles. In this article we will talk about what CKD is, the main causes of CKD and the symptoms. I will cover risk factors, how to get tested, and the different stages of CKD in upcoming articles.
Remember, when you are well informed you can make good decisions about your health in partnership with your doctor.
What is CKD?
CKD includes conditions that damage your kidneys and decrease their ability to perform their vital function of filtering your blood. If kidney disease gets worse, wastes can build to high levels in your blood and make you feel sick. You may develop severe complications many of which may happen slowly over a long period of time.
Early detection and treatment can often keep chronic kidney disease from getting worse. When kidney disease progresses, it may eventually lead to kidney failure, which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant to maintain life.
What causes CKD?
The two main causes of chronic kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure, which are responsible for up to two-thirds of the cases.
Diabetes is chronic illness where your blood sugar is too high. This causes damage to many organs in your body, including the kidneys and heart, as well as blood vessels, nerves and eyes.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, occurs when the pressure of your blood against the walls of your blood vessels increases. If uncontrolled, or poorly controlled, high blood pressure can be a leading cause of heart attacks, strokes and chronic kidney disease. Also, chronic kidney disease can cause high blood pressure.
Other conditions that affect the kidneys are:
What are the symptoms of CKD?
For many people severe symptoms don’t show up until their kidney disease is advanced. But you should watch for the following symptoms:
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please check with your doctor. Take a look at the next article on the risk factors for kidney disease.
Yours in good health
Dr. Christopher Brown
Link to video message:
National Kidney Foundation https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/about-chronic-kidney-disease
National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/professionals/clinical-tools-patient-education-outreach?au=pa&cs=nkdep