Kidney disease

Kidney disease Also known as Nephropathy, means damage to or disease of a kidney. Nephrosis is non-inflammatory nephropathy. Nephritis is inflammatory kidney disease.Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a long-term condition where the kidneys do not work effectively. Kidney disease is most often caused by other conditions that put a strain on the kidneys. High blood pressure (hypertension) and diabetes are the most common causes of kidney disease. The evidence indicates that high blood pressure causes just over a quarter of all cases of kidney failure. Diabetes has been established as the cause of around a quarter of all cases.

Symptoms of CKD CKD does not usually cause symptoms until it reaches an advanced stage. Main symptoms of advanced kidney disease include:

  • Swollen ankles, feet or hands (due to water retention)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Tiredness
  • Blood in the urine

If the kidneys continue to lose function and there is progression towards kidney failure (established renal failure or ERF), this will usually be tracked by blood tests and monitoring. If kidney failure does occur, the symptoms may include:

  • Weight loss and poor appetite
  • Swollen ankles, feet or hands (due to water retention)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Blood or protein in your urine (protein can only be detected during a urine test)
  • An increased need to urinate, particularly at night
  • Insomnia
  • Itchy skin
  • Muscle cramps
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Nausea

Erectile dysfunction in men (an inability to get or maintain an erection) These are general symptoms and can be caused by many less serious conditions. Many of the symptoms above can be avoided if treatment begins at an early stage, before any symptoms appear. If you are worried by any of the symptoms above, arrange to see your GP.

Treating chronic kidney disease There is no cure for chronic kidney disease, although treatment can slow or halt the progression of the disease and can prevent other serious conditions developing. Your treatment will depend on the stage of your chronic kidney disease (CKD). Stages one, two and three CKD can usually be treated by your GP. Treatment involves making changes to your lifestyle and, in some cases, taking medication to control your blood pressure and lower your blood cholesterol levels. This should help prevent further damage to your kidneys and circulation. If you have stage four or stage five CKD, you will usually be referred to a specialist. In addition to the treatments above, you may also be given several medications to control or prevent the symptoms of CKD.

What is high blood pressure? Your heart pumps blood around your body to deliver energy and oxygen. A certain amount of pressure in your blood vessels is needed to do this. However, if there is too much pressure in your blood vessels, it puts extra strain on your arteries and heart, which can lead to serious conditions such as heart attack, heart failure, kidney disease, stroke, or dementia. You can take steps to prevent high blood pressure by:

  • Losing weight if you need to
  • Reducing the amount of salt you eat
  • Exercising regularly
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Cutting back if you drink too much alcohol
  • Cutting down on caffeine
  • Stopping smoking


Preventing chronic kidney disease The main way to reduce the chances of CKD developing is to ensure any existing conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, are carefully managed. Some lifestyle changes can also reduce the risk of CKD developing, these include:

  • Having a healthy diet
  • Avoiding drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
  • Exercising regularly
  • Avoiding medicines that can damage the kidney


Further information Nhs –
Diabetes UK – disease

U.S Department of health –
for further help and information contact your local doctor

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