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Chronic Kidney Disease

· What is Chronic Kidney Disease?

· What causes Chronic Kidney Disease?

· What are the stages of Chronic Kidney Disease?

· What are the signs and symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease?

· How is Chronic Kidney Disease diagnosed?

· Eating, Diet, and Nutrition

What is Chronic Kidney Disease?

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a progressive condition where the kidneys don’t usually fail all at once. It usually means part or nearly all of kidney function is damaged when the person is damaged with Chronic Kidney Disease. As patients’ condition gets worse, wastes will build to high levels in the blood and make patients feel sick. If left untreated, it will lead to renal failure.

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What causes Chronic Kidney Disease?

Diabetes and high blood pressure are two leading causes of Chronic Kidney Disease. Diabetes is due to high blood glucose, which is more likely to impair many organs including kidneys, heat, blood vessels, nerves and eyes. High blood pressure occurs when the pressure of the blood against the blood vessel walls increase. Besides, there are many other conditions that may cause Chronic Kidney Disease.

·Inherited disease including PKD, where enlarged renal cysts form to damage the surrounding tissues.

·Immune disorders such as Lupus Nephritis and IgA Nephropathy.

·Obstructions caused by some diseases like kidney stones.

·Severe urinary tract infections in the long term can also cause kidney damage.

·Some congenital diseases, which occur as a baby develops in the mother’s womb, can also contribute to Chronic Kidney Disease.

· Some glomerulonephritis, a group of conditions that lead to damage to the kidney’s functioning units.

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What are the stages of Chronic Kidney Disease?

Since glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is the best measure of kidney function. According to different GFR, Chronic Kidney Disease can be divided into five stages.

· Stage 1-with normal or high GFR (GFR > 90 ml/min).

· Stage 2-Mild CKD (GFR = 60-89 ml/min)

· Stage 3-Moderate CKD (GFR = 30-59 ml/min)

· Stage 4-Severe CKD (GFR = 15-29 ml/min)

· Stage 5-End Stage CKD (GFR <15 ml/min)

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What are the signs and symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease?

In the early stage, there are usually no symptoms to indicate the kidneys are impaired, because our kidneys can still do a perfect job even though they are not functioning 100%. However, the following symptoms will occur when person’s condition develops moderate or advanced Chronic Kidney Disease.

· Urination changes-Patients’ urine will be foamy if there is protein in it, or dark orange, brown, tea colored or red if it contains blood. A person may urinate more or less, or get up at night to go to the bathroom.

· Fatigue-Feeling more tired and having less energy are both common to people with advanced kidney disease.

· Loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting.

· Sleeping problems-Many patients have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Skin itching, muscle cramps and restless legs can keep them up at night.

· Swelling-As the impaired kidney lose their ability to filter wastes, excess water and toxins, too much fluid will build up in the body. As a result, swelling in their lower legs, hands or face will occur.

· Kidney pain-Generally, Chronic Kidney Disease won’t cause kidney pain, but the kidney diseases caused by PKD or infections may cause kidney pain.

· Have a trouble concentrating.

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How is Chronic Kidney Disease diagnosed?

Since Chronic Kidney Disease usually causes no symptoms in the early stage, the following lab tests are able to help detect the kidney’s problem.

· Twenty-four hour urine tests.

· Glomerular filtration rate (GFR).

· Blood tests which includes creatinine and BUN in the blood, estimated GFR, electrolyte levels and acid-base balance and blood cell counts.

· Other tests such as ultrasound, biopsy, etc.

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Eating, Diet, and Nutrition

This is no specific cure to treat Chronic Kidney Disease completely, but it is possible to stop its progression or at least slow the damage down. In the whole treatment, a healthy diet plays an important role. Some suggestions are recommended to patients.

· Including many kinds of grains, fruits and vegetables, but whole grains and some fruits and vegetables may be controlled if the patients’ phosphorus and potassium level is higher than normal.

· Low the intake of fat and cholesterol and moderate in total fats, especially if cholesterol is high or if you have diabetes or heart disease.

· Limit the intake of refined and processed foods high in sodium or salt.

· Keep a healthy weight by consuming adequate calories and doing physical activity each day.

· Eat high-quality protein instead of high-quantity protein. Fish, lean meat and milk all can contribute to high-quality protein.

· Drink correct amount of water.

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