Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) refers to a variety of disorders that affect the kidney, resulting in its loss of function (Levey and Coresh, 2012). Kidneys are responsible for filtering the electrolytes, waste products and fluids from the body, which are excreted in the form of urine. If you suffer from CKD, your kidneys lose their ability to filter the waste, leading to build up of electrolytes and fluids in your body.
CKD is generally associated with conditions like hypertension, diabetes, old age, obesity or cardiovascular disorders. Other causes could include, idiopathic (unknown cause) abnormalities, like small kidney size. Besides these, glomerulonephritis, i.e., inflammation of small blood vessels in your kidneys, can cause CKD. All these contribute to 75% of the causes of CKD.
In developing countries, exposure to toxins or drugs is a major contributory factor of CKD.
CKD progresses without outward symptoms. The symptoms appear when very high serum creatinine levels and high amounts of protein in urine are reached.
The major symptoms of CKD include changes in urine output, sleep disorders, fatigue and weakness, loss of appetite, muscular cramps, swollen hands and feet, itching and loss of sexual functioning.
Often no cure in available for CKD, but depending on the type of disorder, some CK disorders can be treated. The major treatment involves lessening your symptoms and easing the discomfort. Many deaths in CKD are due to progressive cardiovascular disorders rather than CKD alone. So, drugs are prescribed to lower your BP, blood sugar, and lipid content. Certain drugs like angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) and angiotensin II receptor antagonists (ARBs) lower the protein content in your urine. In very advanced CKD, dialysis or kidney transplant is mandatory (Levin et al., 2008).
To prevent the onset of CKD, it is recommended to keep your BP and blood sugar in the normal range. Have a healthy weight and controlled cholesterol levels. Moreover, quit smoking, as it reduces the blood flow to the kidneys and increases your blood pressure. Drink lots of water to help the kidneys flush out the toxic waste easily.
In a research published in 2009, the authors stated that a sedentary lifestyle and lack of physical activity could increase your chances of CKD, even leading to mortality (Beddhu et al., 2009). A similar report in 2014 suggested that, walking reduced the inflammation that prevails in patients with CKD, and encouraged people to observe a more active lifestyle (Carney, 2014).
1.Beddhu, S., Baird, B. C., Zitterkoph, J., Neilson, J., & Greene, T. 2009. Physical Activity and Mortality in Chronic Kidney Disease (NHANES III).Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology CJASN, 4(12), 1901–1906. Carney EF. 2014. Walking reduces inflammation in predialysis CKD. Nature Reviews Nephrology. 10: 300
2.Levey A S, Coresh J. 2012. Chronic kidney disease. Lancet 379: 165–80
3.Levin A, Hemmelgarn B, Culleton B, Tobe S, et al., 2008 Guidelines for the management of chronic kidney disease. CMAJ 179 (11): 1154–62.
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