Are You Aware Of Your Risk Factors For Kidney Disease? What You Need to Know

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Kidney disease can affect anybody, but there are several risk factors that increase a person’s likelihood of developing the condition. The prevalence of chronic renal disease has increased in recent years. Roughly 37 million Americans, or 15 percent of the adult population has chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Identifying your susceptibility to developing chronic kidney disease is easier if you are aware of the potential risk factors. While certain risk factors are out of your control, knowing what you’re up against may help you make educated decisions regarding your health.

What Can Cause Kidney-Related Disorders?

There can be several reasons behind kidney-related disease, but the two most common leading risk factors that lead to chronic kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure.

  • Diabetes: Hyperglycemia, often known as high blood sugar, occurs when there is a persistent excess of glucose (sugar) in the blood. It is generally the underlying cause of the condition known as diabetes. If your kidneys get damaged enough over time, they won’t be able to properly remove waste products and excess fluids, leading to kidney failure.
  • High Blood Pressure: When the blood force exerted on the artery walls is consistently too great, a person is said to have high blood pressure. Once the blood arteries in the kidneys are damaged by high blood pressure, kidney function declines, impairing the kidney’s ability to filter blood and get rid of waste fluids.

In addition to these two reasons, the kidneys might also fail suddenly for unknown reasons. Rarely, a condition called acute renal failure can develop in which the kidneys suddenly stop working. There also is a higher risk of developing kidney disease if you smoke, are overweight, have an irregular kidney structure, are older, are a person of color, or are of Native American or Asian descent.

Signs of Kidney-Related Diseases

Early detection is impossible if you only look out for late-stage symptoms. Instead of waiting for symptoms to pop up, a yearly checkup is essential, especially for those with high blood pressure or diabetes.

Early detection of CKD is important because it increases the likelihood that the disease may be effectively treated at its earliest stage. Quite a few of these signs and symptoms may indicate whether you have a kidney-related issue, such as:

  • There are many potential causes of fatigue, and feeling tired doesn’t always show a problem with your kidneys. However, it may be time to see your doctor if you often feel tired while doing little or no work.
  • Urinary pattern shifts. Because the kidneys are responsible for producing urine, any changes to the urine may show a more serious health problem. Urination problems, such as the need to pee frequently or the presence of blood in the urine, might indicate that your kidneys aren’t working as effectively as they should be. If you notice any pattern shifts in your bathroom time, it can be related to worsening kidney health.
  • Abnormal facial swelling or puffiness. When your kidneys aren’t working properly, excess fluid remains in your body and might eventually manifest externally as a puffy face.
  • Lack of hunger. Reduced kidney function can lead to a loss of appetite for a variety of reasons, including a sense of fullness, fatigue, or illness. Patients with advanced renal disease typically report a change in taste, which they may often characterize as metallic.
  • Waste products are removed from the blood by the kidneys. Once it fails, extra waste products in the blood accumulate and can cause intense itching.
  • Backache. Pain in the lower back is a common symptom of a kidney disorder since the kidneys sit behind the spinal column, on either side.

When one feels full early in the day despite eating very little all day, it can be a red flag that one needs to get their kidney function checked. It’s also possible that you’ll lose weight and stop craving meat if you experience any of these symptoms.

How Can You Treat Kidney-Related Diseases?

Chronic kidney disease typically causes irreversible damage to a person’s kidneys. While the team of researchers at are actively working on a treatment option using the eponymous “klotho” gene, as of now, the disease has no known cure. However, some treatments can ease symptoms, lessen the likelihood of complications, and decrease the disease’s course.

The first thing that you should do if you have any of the symptoms is to consult with your doctor. A doctor may order you to perform tests to better understand your kidney’s health. These include:

  • Blood tests. This will allow a doctor to check your body’s creatinine and urea levels, which will help assess the current situation.
  • Urine tests. Urinalysis can show anomalies that hint at chronic kidney failure and pinpoint the exact cause of the disease.
  • Imaging tests. Ultrasound imaging is the standard method used by doctors to evaluate the kidney’s size and shape.
  • Kidney biopsy. During a biopsy, a doctor takes a tissue sample from the kidney to check for cell damage.

Averting Health Problems Is Preferable To Treating Them

In order to preserve kidney function and reduce the course of CKD, early identification is essential. Symptoms of chronic kidney disease can range from being completely absent to being so severe as to cause renal failure. Most people with CKD will keep their symptoms under control if testing is prioritized and frequent follow-up appointments are kept.