Kidney Disease: Support and Education

As blood flows through the kidneys, small molecules such as waste products are transferred to the urine. Useful substances such as protein and red blood cells are too big to pass through vessel walls and remain in the blood stream.
The early signs of chronic kidney disease can be very subtle, and It can take many years to go from chronic kidney disease (CKD) to kidney failure. Some people with CKD live out their lives without ever reaching kidney failure. However, knowing the symptoms of kidney disease can help you get the treatment you need to feel your best. If you or someone you know has one or more of the following symptoms of kidney disease, or if you are worried about kidney problems, see a doctor for blood and urine tests. Remember that many of these symptoms can be caused by issues other than kidney disease. The only way to know the cause of your symptoms is to see your doctor.

  • You may have to get up more frequently at night to urinate.
  • Urine may be foamy or bubbly.
  • You may urinate in greater amounts than usual with pale urine, or in smaller amounts than usual with dark colored urine.
  • Your urine may contain blood.
  • You may feel pressure or have difficulty urinating.
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling Cold
  • Your urine may contain blood.
  • Dizziness and Trouble Concentrating

Chronic kidney disease includes conditions that damage your kidneys and decrease their ability to keep you healthy by filtering waste products from your blood. As kidney disease progresses, wastes can build to high levels in your blood and you may develop complications like high blood pressure, anemia (low blood count), weak bones, poor nutritional health and nerve damage. Also, kidney disease increases your risk of having heart and blood vessel disease.
These problems may occur slowly, and can eventually lead to kidney failure which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant to maintain life. Early detection and treatment can often keep chronic kidney disease from getting worse. The two main causes of chronic kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure, which are responsible for up to two-thirds of the cases.

Two simple blood and urine tests detect chronic kidney disease (CKD) in millions of people who are in early stages of the disease but have no symptoms.

Renal insufficiency is poor function of the kidneys that may be due to a reduction in blood-flow to the kidneys caused by renal artery disease. Normally, the kidneys regulate body fluid, blood chemistry and blood pressure as well as regulate and remove organic waste. Proper kidney function may be disrupted when the arteries that provide the kidneys with blood become narrowed, a condition called renal artery stenosis. Some patients with renal insufficiency experience no symptoms or only mild symptoms. Others develop severe hypertension, dangerously high blood pressure, poor kidney function, or kidney failure that requires dialysis.

Renal artery disease can usually be diagnosed via duplex ultrasound scanning and other non-invasive tests, including CT angiography and MR angiography. However, the definitive test is contrast angiography, a test that involves the injection of dye. If a severely blocked renal artery is discovered during an angiogram, treatment to open the artery may be performed during the same procedure. Patients with renal insufficiency who have mild or moderate symptoms can be treated with medication and monitored regularly through blood pressure measurements and blood tests to monitor kidney function.

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