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10 Signs You May Have Kidney Disease

Initially, kidney failure may be not produced any symptoms . As kidney function decreases, the symptoms are related to the inability to regulate water and electrolyte balances, clear waste products from the body, and promote red blood cell production. Chronic kidney disease refers to all 5 stages of kidney damage, from very mild damage in Stage 1 to complete kidney failure in Stage 5. The stages of kidney disease are based on how well the kidneys can do their job – to filter waste and extra fluid out of the blood.

Typically, by the time a person notices the symptoms, the disease is in an advanced stage, and damage to the kidneys is irreversible. Early detection and appropriate treatment are important in slowing the disease process, with the goal of preventing or delaying kidney failure. You will need to keep your medical appointments, take your medications as prescribed, stick to a healthy diet and monitor your blood pressure and blood sugar. Because there is no cure for CKD, if you are in late-stage disease, you and your healthcare team must consider additional options. Complete kidney failure, left untreated, will result in death.

Options for end stages of CKD include dialysis and kidney transplantation. When kidneys are damaged, they don’t make enough erythropoietin , a hormone that helps make red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs to other parts of your body. When you have anemia, some organs—such as your brain and heart—may get less oxygen than they need and may not function as well as they should. If your kidney function drops below 15 percent of normal, you are said to have kidney failure. You may have symptoms from the buildup of waste products and extra water in your body.

People suffering from acute kidney injury require supportive treatment until their kidneys recover function, and they often remain at increased risk of developing future kidney failure. Healthy kidneys clean your blood by removing excess fluid, minerals, and wastes. They also make hormones that keep your bones strong and your blood healthy.

If kidney failure occurs and is non-reversible, kidney transplantation is an alternative option to dialysis. Sometimes, family members have compatible tissue types and, if they are willing, may donate a kidney. Otherwise, the patient will be placed on the organ transplant list that is maintained by the United Network of Organ Sharing. Often people do not realize they have the condition until their kidney function is down to 15% of normal. By this time, they already have chronic kidney failure and will require dialysis or a kidney transplant. Most people with chronic kidney disease are not aware that they have it because symptoms do not usually develop in the early stages of the disease.

But with the help of health care providers, family, and friends, most people with kidney failure can lead full and active lives. Taking charge of your own medical care can help you feel more in control of your life. Work with your health care team to learn about different kidney failure hypertension expert witness specialist treatments, and let them know what kind of treatment you want. Ask questions when your health care provider tells you something you don’t understand. If you choose home hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis, tell your dialysis nurse about any problems you have with equipment or supplies.

Stages of kidney failureChronic kidney failure is measured in five stages, which are calculated using the person’s GFR, or glomerular filtration rate. Stage 1 CKD is mildly diminished renal function, with few overt symptoms. Stages 2 and 3 need increasing levels of supportive care from their medical providers to slow and treat their renal dysfunction. People with stage 4 and 5 kidney failure usually require preparation towards active treatment in order to survive. Stage 5 CKD is considered a severe illness and requires some form of renal replacement therapy or kidney transplant whenever feasible.

The dialysis solution is then dripped in through the catheter and left in the abdominal cavity for a few hours after which, it is drained out. During that time, waste products leech from the blood flowing through the lining of the abdomen , and attach themselves to the fluid that has been instilled by the catheters. Often, patients instill the dialysate fluid before bedtime, and drain it in the morning. Symptoms of kidney failure are due to the build-up of waste products and excess fluid in the body that may cause weakness, shortness of breath, lethargy, swelling, and confusion. Inability to remove potassium from the bloodstream may lead to abnormal heart rhythms and sudden death. In non-diabetics and people with type 1 diabetes, a low protein diet is found to have a preventive effect on progression of chronic kidney disease.