Chronic Kidney Disease


Last Updated December 20th, 2021

Overview of chronic kidney disease

Kidneys are integral parts of the body, responsible for purification of blood via excretion of waste products. Abnormalities in kidney functions may occur due to microbial infections or certain physiological factors. These may collectively lead to kidney infections that can slowly progress to “chronic kidney diseases”.

According to the statistics produced by National Kidney Foundation (United States), around 10% of the world’s population is suffering from chronic kidney disease at present. Incidences of chronic kidney disease are more common in low and middle-income countries which have unhealthy and unhygienic conditions. Numerous death cases are reported each year globally due to kidney failure resulting from chronic kidney diseases. Therefore the global morbidity and mortality rates of chronic kidney diseases are very high at present.

What is chronic kidney disease?

Chronic kidney disease Chronic kidney disease is roughly defined as kidney disease of permanent nature that causes severe damage to kidneys and loss of kidney functions. It is characterized by impaired kidney functions over a period of 3 months or more. It may or may not be accompanied by decreased Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR). The pair of kidneys is responsible for the elimination of waste products from the body. Microbial infections or structural abnormalities of the kidneys may lead to chronic kidney disease. This directly impacts the normal filtration, absorption and reabsorption mechanisms of the kidneys. Progression of chronic kidney disease may lead to end-stage renal failure and eventually death.

Causes of chronic kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease primarily occurs due to microbial infections. But there are other aetiological factors as well. The common causes of chronic kidney disease are as follows-

  • Infections: Infections caused by a few bacterial species such as coli or chlamydia can cause chronic kidney disease.
  • Age: Natural degeneration of kidneys occurs with age, which may lead to reduced glomerular filtration capacities and impaired absorption/ reabsorption. This may eventually progress to chronic kidney disease.
  • Diseases: A few existing kidney diseases such as Polycystic kidney disease, Glomerular disease (Glomerulonephritis) or Nephritis may lead to chronic kidney diseases. Patients with Type 2 Diabetes or High Blood Pressure also form the vulnerable groups of chronic kidney disease.
  • Medications: Over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen, naproxen, acetaminophen and a few more may cause chronic kidney disease when taken for a prolonged period. Side-effects triggered by penicillin and vancomycin can lead to nephritis and chronic kidney disease.
  • Obstruction: Partial blockage of the urinary tract may occur due to bigger molecules of calcium or protein (albumin) under Hypercalciuria or Proteinuria conditions respectively. Similar conditions may be observed due to the enlarged prostate gland or Indwelling Urinary Catheter (IDC). Any of the above conditions may advance to chronic kidney disease.
  • Heredity: Ancestral history of kidney diseases (Eg: Polycystic kidney disease) or other diseases like Diabetes or High Blood Pressure may predispose a person to chronic kidney diseases.
  • Hygiene: Unhygienic conditions such as infected sanitary napkins, unmaintained toilets or improper wiping and cleaning after bowel movements may lead to chronic kidney diseases.
  • Diet: Regular diet deficient in essential micronutrients like potassium and rich in animal protein or saturated fats (red meat) may lead to chronic kidney diseases.

Stages of chronic kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease pillsChronic kidney disease does not develop in a very short period of time. It gradually progresses from a very benign stage and ends in permanent renal failure. The stages of chronic kidney disease are as follows-

  • Stage I: It is the first stage wherein Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (EGFR) is greater than or equal to 90 mL/min per 1.73 m2. Albuminuria (presence of albumin in the urine) is observed in this stage.
  • Stage II: EGFR varies from 60-89 mL/min per 1.73 m2 in this stage.
  • Stage III: EGFR ranges from 30-59 mL/min per 1.73 m2 in this stage.
  • Stage IV: EGFR ranges from 15-29 mL/min per 1.73 m2 in this stage.
  • Stage V: In this stage, EGFR is less than 15 mL/min per 1.73 m2. This is the final stage and marks the beginning of the end-stage renal disease. 

Symptoms of chronic kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease is usually characterized by the group of symptoms. These are discussed below-

Urination changes: 

  • The frothy or foamy appearance of urine (proteinuria)
  • Frequent urge to urinate, especially at night
  • Increased urination with the production of pale urine
  • Decreased urination with dark brown urine (usually with obnoxious odor)
  • Presence of blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • Burning sensation and pain during urination

Swelling: Due to suppressed urination in most of the cases, excess fluid gets accumulated within the body. This is manifested as swollen feet, ankles, hands, and face.

Fatigue: Under healthy conditions, the kidneys synthesize a particular hormone called erythropoietin, which in turn leads to the formation of red blood cells (RBCs). With gradual degeneration of the kidneys in chronic kidney diseases, there is a sharp decline in the generation of erythropoietin. This consequently leads to a drop in RBC count. Due to an abnormal reduction in the number of Red Blood Cells, there is acute oxygen deficiency in the body. Acute anemia condition results in which the brain and muscles become exhausted very quickly. This condition can be improved via proper treatment.

Skin eruptions: Due to inadequate removal of waste products via the kidneys, toxic excretory substances get accumulated within the body. Therefore, skin rashes and eruptions may occur, accompanied by constant irritation and itching.

Foul breath: Due to build-up of excess waste materials in blood (uremia) loss of taste sensation occurs followed by a pungent taste in the mouth. This leads to loss of appetite and foul breath.

Diagnosis

The following diagnostic tests are recommended for proper analysis and treatment of chronic kidney disease-

  • Cystourethrogram (to examine bladder and urethra conditions)
  • Cystoscopy (to detect the presence of cysts or scars in bladder and kidneys)
  • Ultrasonography
  • Abdominal X-ray
  • Blood tests that measure serum-creatinine levels

Treatment and prevention

kidney stonesCKD is a condition which cannot be completely cured. But with proper treatment, the symptoms can be regulated. The treatment of CKD depends upon the severity of the symptoms. Medications, which are aimed at controlling blood pressure or sugar, can help decrease the intensity of the symptoms. In extreme cases, dialysis (stage 5 CKD) or even kidney transplant may be considered.

A healthy lifestyle can go a long way in preventing renal conditions such as CKD. These include:

  • Consuming a diet low in salt and unhealthy fats.
  • Leading a physically active life with at least 30 mins of exercise on 4 days a week.
  • Refraining from alcohol and tobacco consumption.

Chronic kidney diseases due to urinary tract infections are more common in women. Recent studies by American Urological Association have shown that women experiencing urinary tract infections once have 20% chances of developing a similar infection within a short time, and this may finally progress to chronic kidney disease. Improved treatment facilities and hygienic conditions are necessary for the underdeveloped countries, which have a high prevalence of chronic kidney diseases.

Chronic Kidney Disease Home Remedies

The following home remedies can help in keeping your kidney disease-free and improve overall renal health and function:

  • Drink plenty of water. It will ensure that microbes and toxins are regularly flushed out from the body. This will cut down the risk of both infections and deposition of minerals that could form kidney stones.
  • Cranberry is a potent medicine against urinary tract infections. Have cranberry juice 2 times a day if you have a UTI. Make sure you are having it unsweetened.
  • Probiotics such as yogurt are great for boosting your natural immunity and fighting existing kidney infections.
  • Parsley is an excellent diuretic and natural kidney cleanser. It can improve renal functions and is effective in treating early stages of diabetic kidney disease. It even increases the potency of antibiotics being taken for kidney infections.
  • Bacteria cannot survive in an acidic environment. Eating apples increases the acidic content of your urine thus killing off bacterial growth in the kidneys.
  • There are a few foods that should be avoided if one has chronic kidney disease or kidney infections – milk, bananas, nuts, whole wheat, and avocados.

Facts

  • 2 million people are on dialysis globally, yet, this huge number represents only 10% of all the people who actually need it.
  • Due to a scarcity of resources and proper medical care, millions die because of CKD every year.

Facts

  • Diabetes and high blood pressure are closely associated with the onset of such renal dysfunction. 1 out of every 3 diabetic patients and 1 out of every 5 high blood pressure patients are diagnosed with CKD.

Facts

  • 15% of the entire American population suffers from chronic kidney disease; that translates to roughly 30 million people.
  • Almost 50% of the people who suffer from CKD (not counting the ones on dialysis) are unaware of this condition.

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Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • CKD is a disease which needs to be dealt with considerable changes in diet and lifestyle. Controlling blood sugar and blood pressure are critical in the treatment process.
  • Potassium-rich foods (more than 200 mg/serving) are the enemies of a CKD patient. Potassium is mostly found in bananas, avocados, milk, whole-wheat products, lentils, nuts, and lean meat.
  • CKD tends you weaken the immune system. Eat foods which will boost your immunity such as freshwater fish, egg whites, apples, and garlic.
Don'ts
  • Consume sodium-rich foods. Drink plenty of water so that your kidneys aren’t stressed too much.
  • Ignore your kidney’s health if you have a high blood sugar or blood pressure level (or both).

 

 

 

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Antiphospholipid (APL) antibody-IgG The Antiphospholipid Antibody testing is a blood test used to determine an autoimmune disorder called Antiphospholipid syndrome linked…
complement c4 test
Anemia Profile Anemia Profile test (Basic) is a blood screening test that measures the levels of important components of the…
iron deficiency profile
Iron Deficiency Profile An iron deficiency profile is a battery of blood tests which are performed in order to determine the…
Okra: How can this nutrient-dense vegetable help you fight diabetes? Okra is a food which is rich in nutrients and minerals which are extremely essential for a healthy…
Optavia diet
The features of an Optavia diet The Optavia diet endorses pre-packaged meals and snacks called "fuelings" that are tasty, low in calorie, and incorporates…
lose weight fast
12 easy and instant steps to successful weight loss Do you want to lose weight without losing your mind? Does weight loss always mean saying goodbye to…
Kava: Is it the healthy substitute for alcohol you have been waiting for? Native to the beautiful South Pacific islands, Kava is a famous beverage rooted in the local culture. It…
What to eat, what not to eat in the South Beach Diet? The South Beach Diet is one among the most popular weight loss programs that have been the talk…
Tart Cherry: The healthiest excuse for taking that second serving of pie Tart cherry has been traditionally used in delectable desserts such as pies. Recent studies have revealed that its…
Piaget stages: Do they accurately describe the way the human brain develops?  A common assumption was that children are less competent thinkers as compared to adults, but this was refuted…
Balneotherapy jacuzzi
5 things you didn’t know about balneotherapy and how you can do it at home Sauna baths have been popular since a long time. But how much more beneficial can balneotherapy be as…
Chest X-Ray A chest x-ray is a diagnostic test that uses x-rays to visualize the structures inside your chest. It…
valproic acid test
Valproic Acid Test Valproic acid test is performed to generally check for psychiatric and even neurological conditions such as bipolar disease…
PROGESTERONE_test
Progesterone test The progesterone test is a blood test used to determine the level of hormone progesterone in the blood…
antihepatitis core antigent
Anti-Hepatitis B Core Antigen (AHBc) Total Anti-hepatitis B core antigen (AHBC ) is a blood examination and the only serological marker of infectious blood…
sodium blood test
Blood Sodium Test A blood sodium test measures the amount of sodium (an important electrolyte) in your body. It is also…
alcohol toxic
7 startling facts that will make you quit alcohol today Does drinking really make you friendly and happy? How many calories does a can of cold beer add…
carrageenan seaweed
Carrageenan: How a simple seaweed extract could better your gut health & immunity Eat more ice cream to prevent cold and flu? –With carrageenan you get one simple seaweed extract that…
sugar toxic health
Sugar: 7 new shocking truths revealed about the sweet poison Can drinking soda bring you closer to death? Is sugar slowly poisoning you and your family? You would…
aspartame or sugar
Aspartame – Hidden truths about this storm in a teacup Aspartame, the artificial sweetener, has gone under the scanner on several occasions for allegedly doing more harm than…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you in digesting food?…
Agave nectar: The bitter truth about this sweetener revealed Agave nectar is considered to be sweeter than the normal table sugar and even contains higher amounts of…
Plexus Slim: Is this pink slimming drink the ultimate one-stop fat burner? How effective is Plexus Slim in helping people lose weight? What are its ingredients? Can it be safely…
How to correctly perform nasal irrigation using a Neti Pot? Neti pot has been a part of Ayurveda since centuries. This ancient tool is extremely effective in treating…
The Cabbage Soup Diet: The healthiest way to instant weight loss Cabbage soup diet rapid weight loss diet for those who want to shed those extra pounds in less…
These are the top foods to increase your hemoglobin count It is important to add iron-rich foods into your diet in order to increase hemoglobin. Deficiency of hemoglobin could…
Atkins diet weight loss
Atkins Diet: The right steps to carb control that can help you lose those pounds fast The Atkins diet is a high fat, low-carb diet with proven weight loss benefits that is flexible enough…
myelogram
Myelography Myelography is an important diagnostic tool that is used to investigate and identify abnormalities in the spine and…
phenytoin test
Phenytoin test Phenytoin is a drug that is administered mainly to epilepsy patients. The phenytoin blood test measures the level…
nature health benefits
Green Healing: The amazing health benefits of being in nature You have no idea what sitting in a closed room does to your body and mind.Can a stroll…
acne removal tips
Anatomy of acne: 7 instant steps to kiss those zits goodbye Blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples-call them what you may. Acne is never good news.Did you know some of the…