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Health Blog :: Chronic Kidney Disease

August 05, 2018

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a common medical problem in United States that causes decreased kidney function. Around 30 million Americans (1 in 7 U.S. adult population) have CKD. CKD has many causes. CKD has been divided into 5 stages depending on a blood test called creatinine, with stage 3 (moderate kidney disease) being the most common. Scientists predict there will be a rise in CKD due to a link to diabetes, uncontrolled hypertension and high obesity rates, and the aging population (all risk factors).

Other risk factors for CKD include cardiovascular disease, a family history of kidney failure, autoimmune diseases, urinary tract infections, systemic infections, and acute kidney injury.

To help decrease chances of developing CKD, one has to control their risk factors and take care of diabetes, hypertension and overall health. Great choices include exercising regularly, following a low salt diet for better blood pressure control, following a low protein diet mostly from non-animal sources in later stages of CKD, controlling your weight, monitoring your blood pressure at home and aim for targets provided by your physician, treating elevated cholesterol and glucose levels, not smoking, drinking moderately, avoiding over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Advil, Motrin and Aleve and getting an annual physical by your primary care provider.

Chronic Kidney disease might give you any warning signs like pain or change in urination. As a matter of fact, most people have no symptoms until CKD is too advanced. You can identify kidney disease early by routine blood and urine tests. If you wait until you have symptoms, it may be too late. Some patients develop swollen legs or ankles, fatigue, problems with concentration, loss of appetite, blood in the urine and foamy urine, as later signs of CKD, however, by the time you get these symptoms, you might have advanced disease.

Only your doctor can provide you with a diagnosis of CKD. So if you have any of the risk factors, make sure you ask your doctor about your kidney numbers, your creatinine, glomerular filtration (GFR) and urine protein which is measured by albumin creatinine ratio (ACR). Follow your doctors advice and follow a healthy life style.

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