Chronic Kidney Disease Failure
And what you should and shouldn’t do…
Chronic kidney failure or chronic kidney disease, means the loss of kidney function over a period of time. In its advanced stage, fluids and toxins accumulates in the body, leading to complications.
In the early stages, people may or may not have symptoms and many of the early signs of kidney failure can be mistaken with other illnesses and conditions. This can make diagnosis rather difficult.
The early symptoms range from nausea and vomiting to loss of appetite, an itching chest pain, or uncontrolled high blood pressure and unexpected weight loss. Advanced symptoms are inability to stay alert, cramps, twitching and numbness in the limbs, sudden weakness and fatigue, skin that’s lighter or darker than normal, pain in the bones, constant thirst, bleeding and easy bruising, insomnia, excess or decreased urination, unusual hiccups, swollen feet and ankle area, missing menstrual periods, high blood pressure, vitamin D deficiency, and even nerve damage that can lead to seizures.
High blood pressure and diabetes rank among the most common causes of chronic kidney failure. While other causes are recurrent kidney infection, glomerulonephritis i.e., Inflammation of glomerulus, congenital kidney disease, obstruction in the urinary tract and some autoimmune disorders.
People who smoke, are obese, diabetics, heart patients, high cholesterol, family history, and those older than 65 are at higher risk.
In case someone is diagnosed with chronic kidney failure, they will need regular blood tests and monitoring.
There is no available cure for chronic kidney failure, but there are measures you can take to slow it down like medication on the advise of your doctor, changes to lifestyle like diet work well as well. Those affected by kidney failure need to reduce their protein intake, monitor their salt, potassium, and phosphate levels. For those who have chronic kidney failure, high levels of potassium endanger their lives and can also lead to abnormal heart functioning or paralysis. The kidneys might not be able to process phosphate as well. Phosphate might also reduce your body’s ability to absorb calcium. High-phosphate foods are fish, dairy, eggs, and meats; these might have to be reduced. Fluid intake is also reduced, but a constant diet of ample calories needs to be maintained nevertheless. Lifestyle changes can also help like not smoking, keep up to date with vaccinations, including flu shots. People won’t kidney issues are urged not to take supplements and over-the-counter medications as prescribed by their doctors.
Treatment for End-Stage Kidney Disease
If all these effort to control this condition through diet, medication, lifestyle changes fail, it might lead to end-stage kidney disease. This happens when the kidneys are operating around only 10 to 15 percent of their maximum capacity and by this stage, the kidneys can no longer continue to eliminate waste as fast as the body produces it.
There are just two treatment options for end-stage kidney disease: dialysis and kidney transplant.
Dialysis basically, is the system that filters waste products and excess fluids out from the blood and there are two ways to do this namely Hemodialysis and Peritoneal dialysis. Hemodialysis uses a machine to filter out toxins and fluids from the blood, and in peritoneal dialysis, the abdominal cavity is filled out with a special solution through a catheter, and the solution absorbs excess fluid and waste before it’s drained out from the body. Hemodialysis usually needs to be done 2-3 times a week, and Peritoneal dialysis need to be done daily.
AV fistula: A vascular access is a surgically created where in vein and artery at wrist and elbow are connected to make a fistula i.e., access for HB. Two needles are used one to drain blood and other to return filtered blood back into the body. AV provides good blood flow for the dialysis. Lasts longer than other types of access. Kidney Transplant is in fact more convenient than dialysis, That is if you have a donor. Immediate family member like Father, Mother, Brother, Sisters, Spouse or children can donate Kidney. People in need can also get a kidney from a deceased donor. Now a days, Blood groups matching is not essentials as ABO is compatible Transplant is available. However, Kidney Transplant require lifelong immunosuppressive treatment.
Continuous ambulatory Peritoneal dialysis (CAPD): CAPD is a way of replacing your Kidney function, if your Kidney have failed by using the membrane covering your internal organs. CAPD is peritoneal dialysis that can be done manually, without a machine, throughout the day. The patient fills his or her abdomen with dialysis solution and later drains the fluid. Gravity moves the fluid through the tube and into and out of the belly. Similar option is APD automated PD – where a machine does the same job.
It is always best to avoid getting into any form of trouble with your kidneys. Only healthy lifestyle changes and Periodic check up can help you keep away from the disease and keep you healthy. Here are some basic guidelines for living healthy:
- Women and men should limit their alcohol intake to no more than one drink per day while men younger than 65 should limit themselves to two drinks.
- Have good control and maintain your ideal blood pressure.
- In case diabetes, control of blood sugar.
- If you are overweight or obese, try and come down to a healthy weight and this can be done by consuming fewer calories and being active.
- Over-the-counter pain killers/relievers can cause kidney damage. Please take them only on your doctor’s advice and take them only when needed.
- If you are a smoker, quit today.
- Regular physical activity and exercise irrespective of age goes is essential for overall being.
(Senior consultant and Director)