Identifying the telltale signs of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is essential for avoiding long-term kidney damage. This progressive condition affects the organs’ capacity to operate correctly, and prompt medical attention is needed to support its management. In addition, by recognizing chronic kidney disease symptoms, individuals can take immediate action to prevent further harm and optimize treatment outcomes.
Symptoms and Signs of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
Although CKD may be symptomless in its early stages, there are several warning signs to look out for. In more advanced cases, individuals may experience the following symptoms:
► Fatigue and weakness: CKD can cause a myriad of unpleasant symptoms, such as the accumulation of toxins in the bloodstream. This can lead to feelings of exhaustion, lack of energy, and an overall sense of physical discomfort.
► Swelling: CKD can cause fluid to accumulate in the body, leading to swelling in lower extremities like the legs, ankles, and feet. It may even result in puffiness on the face.
► Changes in urination: CKD has the potential to disrupt normal urinary habits. This may manifest as an increase in bathroom visits, a change in the color of urine, frothy urine, or trouble urinating.
► Hypertension: High blood pressure and CKD are closely related, as the kidneys are pivotal in managing blood pressure levels. In addition, unmanaged high blood pressure can further deteriorate kidney function.
► Loss of appetite and weight changes: A loss of appetite, decreased hunger, and even malnutrition are all possible outcomes of CKD.
► Nausea and vomiting: Nausea, vomiting, and other stomach issues can be brought on by chronic kidney disease.
► Bone pain and muscle cramps: Calcium and phosphorus levels might become unbalanced due to chronic kidney disease, resulting in bone pain and muscular cramping.
► Skin changes: Skin symptoms like itching, dryness, and discolouration have been linked to chronic kidney disease.
Early Stages and Different Stages of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
The estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) is a calculation used to measure the level of kidney function and assess its efficiency in removing waste products from the blood. It is then usually classified into different stages, ranging from mild to severe. The illustrative stages of CKD are broken down as follows:
► Mild kidney damage with normal or high kidney function: There may be evidence of kidney damage, such as the presence of abnormal levels of blood or protein in the urine. However, the kidney function is still normal or near normal.
► Mild reduction in kidney function: There is a mild reduction in kidney function, but the symptoms may still be minimal or absent. Some individuals may experience symptoms like fatigue, mild swelling, or changes in urine patterns.
► Moderate reduction in kidney function: Kidney function is moderately reduced, and symptoms may become more noticeable, including swelling, increased fatigue, changes in urination, and other symptoms related to underlying conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes.
► Severe reduction in kidney function: Kidney function is significantly reduced, and symptoms may be more pronounced. There may be a higher risk of complications like anaemia, bone disorders, and cardiovascular disease.
► Possible Kidney failure: Kidney function is significantly reduced, and symptoms may be more pronounced. There may be a higher risk of complications like anaemia, bone disorders, and cardiovascular disease.
Regardless of the above illustrative mentions and description, please seek the attention of a kidney doctor or kidney specialist if you suspect anyone close to you is displaying symptoms of or facing the risk of kidney-related disease.
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Prevention, Management and Treatment
It is essential to be aware of the symptoms and signs of kidney disease and take proactive steps to help prevent and promote kidney health. Here are a few options you can try:
► Regular monitoring: Individuals with risk factors for CKD should undergo regular check-ups, including blood pressure measurements, blood tests to assess kidney function, and urine tests to detect abnormalities.
► Lifestyle modifications: Adopting a healthier lifestyle can help manage CKD. This may include maintaining a healthy diet low in salt, sugar, and processed foods, regular exercise, quitting smoking, and managing underlying conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
► Medication Management and Treatment Plan: Following prescribed medication regimens as instructed by healthcare providers is crucial in managing CKD and preventing further kidney damage.
► Educating oneself: Learning about CKD, its risk factors, and how to manage it can empower individuals to take proactive steps in kidney health.
► Working with healthcare providers: Collaborating closely with healthcare providers, kidney specialist Singapore, following their recommendations, and attending regular check-ups can help manage CKD effectively.