Chronic kidney disease is often not completely cured but kidney damage may be slowed down if you recognize its early signs.
Chronic kidney disease (or CKD) is a progressive form of kidney disease, when the kidneys function decrease gradually. In fact, many people suffer from chronic kidney disease in the early stages but are not aware of it. Unlike acute kidney failure or rapid onset symptoms when kidney problems, chronic kidney failure will progress long and cause serious consequences.
When the kidneys are not working properly, water and secretions will build up in the body. Therefore, this leads to other health complications. Knowing the signs of kidney failure will help you slow down the progression of the disease.
The cause of chronic kidney failure
Chronic kidney disease usually develops over several months or even years. The disease often involves other potential health conditions that affect the kidneys. According to the National Kidney Foundation, about two-thirds of chronic kidney failure is due to hypertension or diabetes.
Hypertension is one of the most common cardiovascular conditions, often occurring in middle-aged people. You will be at a higher risk of developing hypertension if:
- Having poor physical condition
- Having family history of hypertension
- Being an elderly
Uncontrolled hypertension is a common cause of chronic kidney disease. If you have hypertension, the most important thing is to control the pressure properly.
Several other causes of chronic kidney failure include:
- Heart disease
- Multiple kidney infections
- Urine backs up into the kidneys (urinary bladder reflux)
- High cholesterol
- Polycystic kidney disease
- Drink more alcohol
- Drug abuse as OTC analgesics (ibuprofen, paracetamol …)
Symptoms of chronic kidney failure
It is important to recognize signs of kidney failure to diagnose chronic kidney disease, before more kidney tissue damage occurs. However, in the early stages of chronic kidney disease, there are not many noticeable signs of kidney failure.
When progressive chronic renal failure can produce clearer symptoms such as:
- Excessive fatigue
- Muscle twitching or cramps
- Difficulty sleeping
- Swelling of the legs or ankles (may progress upward)
- Difficult to focus, forgetful, confused
- Nausea, vomiting
- Anorexia or weight loss uncontrollably
- Itchy skin
However, these expressions may also be related to many other health conditions, which is why many people often ignore them. So, you need to see and treat any unusual symptoms, especially if you have risk factors for chronic kidney disease.
As chronic kidney disease progresses, you may feel chest pain and difficulty breathing, urinate more often. If you experience blood in your urine or have unusual pain, consult your doctor immediately.