What is Kidney Disease? | Dr. Nisha Gaur
A Kidney Disease is broadly defined as any condition in which the kidney’s function gets impaired. It can be acute or chronic and is generally found in those who have normal renal function.
It is because such people might have a kidney injury or interference with the blood supply reaching the kidneys. It can also be caused by excessive exposure to toxins or infections, sometimes even by a genetic predisposition.
What are the types of Kidney Diseases?
Kidney diseases are broadly classified two into two types. They are widely known as follows:
- Acute kidney failure
- Chronic kidney failure.
Acute Kidney Disease – It is described as any sudden loss of kidney function which lasts for a short period of time or persists until treated. This is usually due to an obstruction or a lack of blood supply to the kidneys, which then causes them to fail in their function.
- Following symptoms can be associated with acute kidney disease. Swelling in the feet and ankles,
- Itching, and
- In more advanced cases symptoms include nausea and vomiting, confusion, and eventually shock that can eventually lead to death if not treated promptly enough.
Chronic Kidney Disease – It is described as any long-lasting loss of kidney function that is progressive over time. It is important to note, however, that the chronic form of kidney disease can be accelerated by sudden, acute events such as a heart attack or an infection. It can also be caused by toxic chemicals or medications; this form of chronic kidney disease is known as nephropathy.
Symptoms include anemia from the loss of red blood cells, hair loss, and skin infections due to poor blood circulation. In advanced cases, symptoms include difficulty concentrating, fatigue, and finally shock and death if treatment isn’t sought out immediately enough.
Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Diseases
Now that you’ve learned about the many forms of kidney illnesses, it’s time to learn about the symptoms! While testing is the only way to know for sure if you have kidney disease, we’ve put up a list of the 10 most prevalent symptoms. In this sedentary lifestyle, it’s vital to get evaluated for kidney disease every year. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, if you have a family history of renal failure, or if you’re over 60 years old, it’s a must. Make sure to notify your doctor about any symptoms you’re experiencing.
● Blood in urine:
When the kidneys filter waste from the blood to make urine, they usually retain the latter, but when the filters in the kidneys are damaged, the blood cells can “leak” out into the urine. Blood in the urine can be an indication of tumors, kidney stones, or an infection, in addition to indicating renal disease.
● You feel wearier, have less energy, or can’t seem to concentrate:
A significant drop in kidney function can result in an accumulation of toxins and pollutants in the bloodstream. This can make people fatigued, and weak, and make it difficult to focus. Anemia, which can induce weakness and weariness, is another effect of renal illness.
● Puffiness around the eyes
The presence of protein in the pee is a symptom that the filters in the kidneys have been damaged, enabling the protein to flow into the urine. Your kidneys may be leaking a high amount of protein into the urine rather than storing it in the body, causing puffiness around your eyes.
● Dry and Itchy Skin:
Kidneys that are in good shape perform a variety of critical functions. They assist your body to eliminate wastes and excess fluid, help form red blood cells, keep your bones healthy, and keep the appropriate quantity of minerals in the blood. Dry, itchy skin is typically an indication of mineral and bone disease, which occurs when the kidneys are no longer able to preserve the perfect blend of minerals and other nutrients in your blood.
● Foamy Urine:
Protein in the urine is indicated by high bubbles in the urine, particularly those that need multiple flushes to disappear. Because the major protein present in pee, albumin, is also found in eggs, this froth may resemble the foam that forms while scrambling eggs.
● Troublesome sleep:
Toxins linger in the circulation instead of exiting the body through urine when the kidneys are not even filtering adequately. It may be difficult to sleep as a result of this. Obesity and chronic kidney dysfunction are linked, and sleep apnea is more frequent in those with chronic renal disease than in the general population.
● An increased need to urinate:
If you find yourself urinating more frequently, especially at night, it might be an indication of renal disease. When the kidney filters are compromised, the need to pee increases. In males, this might be an indication of a urinary infection or an enlarged prostate.
● Lowered appetite:
Although this is a pretty broad symptom, one of the explanations might be a buildup of contaminants due to decreased renal function.
● Other common symptoms are:
1. Swollen limbs result from failing kidneys, which do not eliminate excess fluid from the body.
2. Nausea and vomiting can occur as a result of a significant build-up of toxins in the blood (uremia).
3. Bad breath can be caused by a buildup of pollutants in the blood (known as uremia).
4. Impaired kidney function can cause electrolyte abnormalities. Muscle cramping can be caused by a variety of factors, including low calcium levels and inadequate phosphorus management.
Stages of Kidney Diseases:
After you’ve identified the symptoms, the next natural step is to be tested. The first step after being diagnosed with kidney disease is to assess its stage.
The National Kidney Foundation has divided kidney disease into five phases to assist doctors in better treating the patient based on just how much kidney function they still have. The glomerular filtration rate (GFR) of a person reflects how much blood is filtered via the kidneys and will help determine the course of therapy.
It can be identified when your GFR is 90 ml/min or above.Although there is evidence of renal impairment, kidney function remains normal. Limiting protein in the diet, regulating sugar concentration in blood and levels of blood pressure, quitting smoking, exercising, and adopting general healthy behaviors are some of the recommendations your doctor may make.
GFR is identified as 60-89 ml/min in stage 2. During this stage, your doctor will determine that you have a modest decrease in kidney function and may continue to advise you to restrict protein in your diet. Strict regulation of blood sugar and blood pressure levels, along with quitting smoking, exercising, and maintaining overall healthy behavior is strongly advised.
GFR of 30-59 ml/min indicates mild to moderate renal loss in stage three. At this point, you should see a nephrologist (a doctor who specializes in kidney treatment). Your nephrologist may send you to a nutritionist for further dietary advice. In addition to that patients should strictly follow the redressal guidelines suggested in stages one and two. Swelling of the face, hands, or feet, as well as reduced urine production, are some of the symptoms of renal function loss in stage three.
By stage four, the GFR has dropped to around 15-29 ml/min, indicating serious kidney damage. You may visit your nephrologist for testing every three months during this period. Your nephrologist will go over the many treatment options for kidney failure at this point like Dialysis, palliative care, and transplantation to name a few.
End-stage renal disease (ESRD) is the last stage of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in which the GFR falls below 15 ml/min. Kidney failure is another name for it. This happens when the kidneys’ function falls below 10-15% and is frequently caused by years of chronic renal disease. After being diagnosed with ESRD, you must choose between the different treatment options available which are – home dialysis, Transplantation, incenter hemodialysis, or palliative care.
Finally, remember that your life is just as valuable as your work! So, if you notice any of these signs or are experiencing any trouble, visit your nephrologist as soon as possible! And if you’re looking for the greatest nephrologist in India, you’re in luck: Dr. Nisha Gaur is one of the top runners in the field, leaving no stone unturned in providing nephrology and kidney transplant treatments!