Chronic renal disease affects two out of one thousand Americans. Chronic renal disease is a progressive loss of kidney function that occurs as the inner structure of the kidney loses the ability to filter wastes. This decrease in function occurs gradually and may go undiagnosed for years. The human body has an amazing ability to adapt to the demands placed upon it. Kidney function may decrease to ten percent before any symptoms are noticed.
Early signs may include general fatigue, weakness, frequent hiccups, itching, headaches, and nausea. However, because these signs may indicate a wide range of problems,some individuals may be tempted to overlook them as simple annoyances without understanding that a serious condition may be developing.
Always report any recurring symptoms, however minor, to your doctor.
Diabetes and High Blood Pressure
Diabetes or high blood pressure puts you at increased risk for developing chronic renal disease.
Reports from the National Kidney Foundation state thirty-five percent of patients developing chronic renal disease have been diagnosed with diabetes. Another thirty percent of patients suffering from uncontrolled high blood pressure also go on to develop chronic renal failure. The key to safeguarding kidney function is early detection and treatment. Major damage can occur when high blood pressure, diabetes, and chronic renal failure go unnoticed. Obtain regular medical screening to monitor blood glucose and blood pressure. The longer these conditions are undiagnosed, the more irreversible damage will be done to the kidneys and other body systems.
Once diagnosed with high blood pressure or diabetes, it is extremely important to follow up with recommended treatments as outlined by your physician. Proper management of your diabetes and /or high blood pressure does not guarantee you won’t develop chronic kidney disease but it will limit or possibly delay damage to kidney function.
Treating Chronic Renal Disease
Treatment for chronic renal disease will vary according to underlying medical issues.
Your doctor may prescribe changes in your diet in addition to medication.
Dietary intake has a huge impact on diabetes as well as high blood pressure. Excessive salt, sugar, fluids, and proteins contribute to the build-up of toxic wastes in your system. Limiting your dietary intake according to your physician’s recommendations decreases the work your kidneys must do to filter wastes.
Adjusting your nutritional intake according to the guidelines recommended by your healthcare team does take time and effort. Your physician may refer you to a nutritionist to find a plan that is right for you. Scheduling regular follow-up visits is necessary to monitor the effectiveness of changes made in nutrition and medication.
Chronic renal disease is a progressive irreversible disease but early diagnosis can slow the progression of the disease and delay the need for dialysis or a kidney transplant as long as possible. Conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney disease often have no major symptoms during early stages, medical screenings are the only way to fully evaluate your risk factors.
A to Z Health Guide: Your Comprehensive Guide to Kidney Disease and Related Conditions and Topics. National Kidney Foundation (online)
Kidney Disease and Dialysis Information. Davita.Com
Chronic Renal Failure.Health tools AARP.Org