Your kidneys carry out so many important tasks. They include the removal of toxins and waste products and regulation of fluids in the body. Needless to say, having kidneys that are no longer working optimally can lead to a host of serious health problems.

In this article, you will learn about what doctors are referring to as chronic kidney disease. Just about anybody could end up with it one day, so make sure that you repost this article on your different social media sites to get everyone you love get acquainted with it, too.

What It Is

Also sometimes referred to as chronic renal disease, chronic kidney disease is a condition that is characterized by the loss of function of the kidneys over a period of time. Health authorities confirm that about 30 million adult Americans are suffering from chronic kidney disease. They add that millions more are undiagnosed and at high risk of suffering from it.

If left untreated, chronic kidney disease may lead to what’s known as kidney failure. Just like what the name says, it is marked by the kidneys’ inability to perform the various tasks delegated to it.

However, it can take a long time before chronic kidney disease can progress to kidney failure, and that’s why early detection and effective treatment can keep it from striking.

Signs and Symptoms

At the outset or during the early stages, chronic kidney disease does not really cause any sign or symptom. However, some individuals who are unknowingly suffering from it may encounter some or all of the following:

Eye puffiness especially in the morning 

Swelling of the ankles and feet 

Muscle cramping in bed 

Inability to get a good night’s sleep 

Constant urge to urinate especially during bedtime 

Loss of appetite 

Fatigue 

Poor concentration 

Skin itchiness and dryness

Many of the sign and symptoms of chronic kidney disease mentioned above are due to the accumulation of excess fluids, toxins and waste products in the body as the kidneys are no longer doing their job properly.

Risk Factors

According to doctors, anyone at any age may suffer from chronic kidney disease. However, some people are regarded as at higher risk of having it one day. Some of them include:

Individuals who are suffering from diabetes 

People with hypertension or high blood pressure 

Those who have family histories of chronic kidney disease 

Older individuals 

Anyone who belongs to a certain group of people like Hispanic Americans, African Americans, American Indians, Asians and Pacific Islanders

Certain diseases, illnesses and conditions are known to cause chronic kidney disease, too. Some of them include repeated urinary tract infections, lupus and others that have something to do with the immune system, glomerulonephritis and inherited conditions such as polycystic kidney disease.

Various Complications

Earlier, it was mentioned that chronic kidney disease in the long run can lead to kidney failure. However, before that happens so many other health problems may strike. Health authorities say that untreated or uncontrolled chronic kidney disease may cause nerve damage, anemia and high blood pressure which is also something that can be the reason for the development of chronic kidney disease.

Experts confirm that someone who is suffering from chronic kidney disease is also at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Diagnosis

The best way to determine whether or not a person is suffering from chronic kidney disease is via a laboratory test called glomerular filtration rate of GFR. Such helps establish the level of kidney function as well as the stage of chronic kidney disease.

Generally speaking, the earlier the disease is detected, the better the chance of slowing down or even stopping its progression.

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