The Link Between Chronic Kidney Disease & Hypertension
What Is Chronic Kidney Disease?
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) or Chronic Renal Failure means a gradual loss of kidney function worsening over time into the complete failure of the kidneys.
Your kidneys filter all the blood in your body and help you get rid of waste products and excess water. They also play a role in the production of blood cells and hormones. So, when your kidneys are not functioning well, a lot of problems can arise in your body.
What Can Cause Chronic Kidney Disease?
Poorly controlled hypertension is one of the leading causes of CKD. Hypertension causes blood to flow through the body with a force that damages the structures in the kidney, impairing its function. When the kidney is impaired, it cannot get excess water out of the body, leading to more fluid in the body. This excess fluid contributes to hypertension, keeping the blood pressure high.
Hence, if you have hypertension, you must follow the doctor’s advice to get your BP under control. This post can help: https://www.hygeiahmo.com/can-get-blood-pressure-bp-control/
CKD can also be caused by:
- Kidney Stones
- Kidney diseases like Glomerulonephritis, polycystic kidney disease, and pyelonephritis.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms?
The signs and symptoms of chronic kidney disease are not specific. They can happen in other disease conditions. Also, these signs and symptoms develop slowly over time, and in some cases, may not become pronounced until the CKD has advanced.
Some of the signs and symptoms include:
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Poor sleep
- Tiredness and weakness
- Dry, itchy skin
- Swelling of feet and ankles
- Facial puffiness
What Are The Complications
There are five stages of CKD – higher numbers are worse. Stage Five is end-stage kidney disease where you need regular dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive.
Some of the complications of CKD include:
- Retention of fluid in your legs, arms, and lungs.
- Cardiovascular disease
- Anemia (low blood level)
- Reduced sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
Diagnosis & Treatment
To make a diagnosis, the doctor will take a detailed medical history from you. You will also undergo a physical examination. After these, the doctor will run some tests that can help the doctor in making a diagnosis of CKD include:
Kidney function tests (Urea & Creatinine) to calculate your Glomerular Filtration Rate
An ultrasound scan to assess the state of your kidneys.
Kidney Biopsy to check for specific kidney diseases.
What Is The Treatment?
There is no cure for CKD.
So, CKD treatment aims to relieve symptoms and preventing further deterioration. Generally, the treatment revolves around:
Lifestyle changes: Some lifestyle changes include eating healthy, balanced meals, exercising, quitting smoking, and reduction or total avoidance of alcohol.
Medications: This involves using drugs to treat some of the symptoms and also manage the underlying condition that led to CKD.
Dialysis: This is usually for end-stage kidney disease, and it involves connecting the person to a machine that helps the body get rid of toxic waste products and excess water that the kidneys can no longer remove.
Transplant: Patients with end-stage kidney disease may eventually need a transplant to stay healthy.
How Can You Avoid Having CKD?
- Stop smoking
- Don’t self-medicate
- Take your hypertension medicine (or any chronic medication at all) judiciously
- Stay fit and trim.
- Visit the hospital if you are unwell.
- Eat healthy meals
By Dr. Okonkwor Oyor C.