Kidneys are an organ that helps our body to filter out waste products such as excessive water and other impurities from the bloodstream. They also play a major role in regulating salt, potassium levels, and pH. Besides, Kidneys help produce hormones that control blood pressure and the production of red blood cells. Unfortunately, statistically speaking, about 37 million adult Americans suffer from serious renal problems. Therefore, you need to understand a few basic facts about your kidneys and issues related to their malfunctioning. Here is an article explaining things you need to know about Kidney Disease.
What are the symptoms of Kidney Disease?
Kidney Disease tends not to be noticed until the symptoms become severe. Therefore, below is a list of clinical medical signs that may eventually lead to severe Kidney Disease. They are:
- Poor appetite
- Lack of sleep
- Swollen feet and ankles
- Muscle cramping
- Difficulty in concentration
- Dry and scaly skin
- Frequent urination
- Puffiness around the eyes in the morning
In addition, several adverse symptoms indicate the progression and transformation of Kidney Disease to Kidney failure and even death that you need to know. They are as follows:
- Fluid retention
- Decrease in sex drive
- Fluctuations in urine output
- A rise in potassium levels in the body
- Inflammation of the heart pericardium
Do you know the factors that contribute to triggering a serious Kidney Disease?
Few individuals have compromised immunity that is more likely to have Kidney Disease. However, you can also get Kidney Disease if you have one of the following medical conditions. They are:
- A family member has a chronic kidney disease
- An elderly person
- An individual suffering from high blood pressure
More importantly, people with diabetes are more likely to suffer from Kidney Disease. A statistic states that about 44% of diabetic Americans eventually suffer from renal issues.
Furthermore, research also shows that certain communities such as American Indian, African American, Hispanic, and Asian are impacted more by Kidney Disease.
How do you diagnose Kidney Disease?
Firstly, your doctor shall ask you to come for a check-up and determine whether or not you are likely to have serious Kidney Disease. Then, finally, he shall run some tests to confirm whether you have chronic renal issues. These examinations include the following:
Ultrasound or Computed Tomography (CT) scan: This ultrasound test highlights your kidneys and urinary tract. In addition, it helps your doctor decide whether your kidneys are too tiny or huge, thanks to the images. They can also reveal any potential malignancies or structural issues of the organ.
In this procedure, your doctor shall surgically remove a small piece of tissue from your kidney. This process is usually undertaken while you are sedated. Once the tissue is acquired, your physician shall help you determine the type of Kidney Disease you are suffering from and also help you understand the extent of damage to the organ.
Blood Creatinine Test:
You must note that creatinine is a waste product released into your blood when the kidneys break creatine. Therefore, if you have Kidney Disease, the creatinine levels in your blood will suddenly rise, which is why this test is conducted.
To check for albumin, your doctor can ask for a urine sample. When your kidneys are injured, a protein called albumin may be excreted in your urine. Therefore, this test helps confirm whether you have Kidney Disease.
Glomerular Filtration Rate or GFR:
This examination will help you determine how well your kidney functions and also help evaluate the stage of your Kidney Disease.
What must you do to treat Kidney Disease?
Controlling the underlying cause of the disease is generally the main goal of kidney disease treatment. More importantly, this implies that you will receive better management of your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels from your doctor. Moreover, your physician may employ one or more of the following techniques to treat renal illness.
Use of medication:
Your doctor can recommend angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), such as irbesartan and olmesartan. It also may include angiotensin-converting enzymes (ACE) inhibitors, such as lisinopril and ramipril. Furthermore, these blood pressure medicines help stop the renal disease from progressing quickly.
Therefore, your doctor may still recommend these drugs to maintain renal function even if you do not have high blood pressure.
Furthermore, these medicines support kidney health by lowering blood cholesterol levels. Depending on your symptoms, your doctor can also recommend medications to treat anemia and reduce swelling (decrease in the number of red blood cells).
Changes in diet and lifestyle:
Apart from taking medication, it is also essential that you change your diet if you want to avoid suffering from a serious renal issue. Adopting a healthy lifestyle can prevent many underlying causes of Kidney Disease. Therefore, with regards to change in food habits and the way you live you’re your physician may advise you to do the following:
- Restrict alcohol consumption
- Limit salt intake in food
- Quit smoking immediately if you are a smoker
- Stay physically active regularly
- Maintain weight
- Eat a well-balanced and healthy diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, etc.
When your kidneys are hardly functioning or not functioning at all, which means you have renal failure, you need dialysis. It is a synthetic procedure that you can use to control kidney function. Furthermore, a machine is used during dialysis to filter waste from your blood. Your doctor might advise you on a kidney transplant in extreme circumstances.
Once detected, Kidney Disease, unfortunately, does not go away. Therefore, the ideal method to keep your kidneys healthy is to live a healthy lifestyle and abide by your doctor’s recommendations. Over time, though, kidney issues can worsen, eventually resulting in renal failure. Moreover, if kidney failure is not treated, it may be fatal.
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