Chronic kidney disease also known as chronic renal failure, chronic renal disease, or chronic kidney failure, is much more widespread than people realize.It often goes undetected and undiagnosed until the disease is well advanced.
It is not unusual for people to realize they have chronic kidney failure only when their kidney function is down to 25 percent of normal.
As kidney failure advances and the organs function is severely impaired, dangerous levels of waste and fluid can rapidly build up in the body. Treatment is aimed at stopping or slowing down the progression of the disease.This is usually done by controlling its underlying cause.
SYMPTOMS OF CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE
Chronic kidney disease rarely shows symptoms until the later stages, so screening is recommended for those who are at risk..
Chronic kidney failure, as opposed to acute kidney failure, is a slow and gradually progressive disease. Even if one kidney stops functioning, the other can carry out normal functions. It is not usually until the disease is fairly well advanced and the condition has become severe that signs and symptoms are noticeable; by which time most of the damage is irreversible.
It is important that people who are at high risk of developing kidney disease have their kidney functions regularly checked. Early detection can significantly help prevent serious kidney damage.
The most common signs and symptoms of chronic kidney disease include:
- Blood in urine
- Dark urine
- Decreased mental alertness
- Decreased urine output
- Edema - swollen feet, hands, and ankles (face if edema is severe)
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Itchy skin, can become persistent
- Loss of appetite
- Male inability to get or maintain an erection (erectile dysfunction)
- Frequent urination, especially at night
- Muscle cramps
- Muscle twitches
- Pain on the side or mid to lower back
- Panting (shortness of breath)
- Protein in urine
- Sudden change in bodyweight
- Unexplained headaches
STAGES OF CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE
Changes in the GFR rate can assess how advanced the kidney disease is. In the UK, and many other countries, kidney disease stages are classified as follows:
Stage 1 - GFR rate is normal. However, evidence of kidney disease has been detected.
Stage 2 - GFR rate is lower than 90 milliliters, and evidence of kidney disease has been detected.
Stage 3 - GFR rate is lower than 60 milliliters, regardless of whether evidence of kidney disease has been detected.
Stage 4 - GRF rate is lower than 30 milliliters, regardless of whether evidence of kidney disease has been detected.
Stage 5 - GFR rate is lower than 15 milliliters. Renal failure has occurred.
The majority of patients with chronic kidney disease rarely progress beyond Stage 2. It is important for kidney disease to be diagnosed and treated early for serious damage to be prevented.
Patients with diabetes should have an annual test, which measures microalbuminuria (small amounts of protein) in urine. This test can detect early diabetic nephropathy (early kidney damage linked to diabetes).
CAUSES OF CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE
Kidneys carry out the complex system of filtration in our bodies - excess waste and fluid material are removed from the blood and excreted from the body.
In most cases, kidneys can eliminate most waste materials that our body produces. However, if the blood flow to the kidneys is affected, they are not working properly because of damage or disease, or if urine outflow is obstructed, problems can occur.
In most cases, progressive kidney damage is the result of a chronic disease (a long-term disease), such as:
- Diabetes- chronic kidney disease is linked to diabetes types 1 and 2. If the patient's diabetes is not well controlled, excess sugar (glucose) can accumulate in the blood. Kidney disease is not common during the first 10 years of diabetes; it more commonly occurs 15-25 years after diagnosis of diabetes.
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)- High blood pressure can damage the glomeruli - parts of the kidney involved in filtering waste products.
- Obstructed urine flow- If urine flow is blocked it can back up into the kidney from the bladder (vesicoureteral reflux). Blocked urine flow increases pressure on the kidneys and undermines their function. Possible causes include an enlarged prostate, kidney stones, or a tumor.
- Kidney diseases- Including polycystic kidney disease, pyelonephritis, or glomerulonephritis.
- Kidney artery stenosis- The renal artery narrows or is blocked before it enters the kidney.
- Certain toxins- Including fuels, solvents (such as carbon tetrachloride), and lead (and lead-based paint, pipes, and soldering materials). Even some types of jewelry have toxins, which can lead to chronic kidney failure.
- Fetal developmental problem- If the kidneys do not develop properly in the unborn baby while it is developing in the womb.
- Systemic lupus erythematosus- An autoimmune disease. The bodies own immune system attacks the kidneys as though they were foreign tissue.
- Malaria and yellow fever- known to cause impaired kidney function.
- Some medications- Overuse of, for example, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
- Illegal substance abuse- Such as heroin or cocaine.
- Injury-Sharp blow or physical injury to the kidney(s).
RISK FACTORS OF CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE
The following conditions or situations are linked to a higher risk of developing kidney disease:
- Family history of kidney disease
- Age - chronic kidney disease is much more common among people over 60
- Bladder obstruction
- Chronic glomerulonephritis
- Congenital kidney disease (kidney disease which is present at birth)
- Diabetes - one of the most common risk factors
- Overexposure to some toxins
- Sickle cell disease
- Some medications
DIAGNOSIS OF CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE
A doctor will check for signs and ask the patient about symptoms. The following tests may also be ordered:
- Blood test-Blood test may be ordered to determine whether waste substances are being adequately filtered out. If levels of urea and creatinine are persistently high, the doctor will most likely diagnose end-stage kidney disease.
- Urine test-Urine test helps find out whether there is either blood or protein in the urine.
- Kidney scans- Kidney scans may include a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, computed tomography (CT) scan, or an ultrasound scan. The aim is to determine whether there are any blockages in the urine flow. These scans can also reveal the size and shape of the kidneys - in advanced stages of kidney disease the kidneys are smaller and have an uneven shape.
- Kidney biopsy-Small sample of kidney tissue is extracted and examined for cell damage. An analysis of kidney tissue makes it easier to make a precise diagnosis of kidney disease.
- Chest X-ray- Aim here is to check for pulmonary edema (fluid retained in the lungs).
- Glomerular filtration rate (GFR)- GFR is a test that measures the glomerular filtration rate - it compares the levels of waste products in the patient's blood and urine. GFR measures how many milliliters of waste the kidneys can filter per minute. The kidneys of healthy individuals can typically filter over 90 ml per minute.
COMPLICATION OF CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE
If the chronic kidney disease progresses to kidney failure, the following complications are possible:
- Central nervous system damage
- Dry skin or skin color changes
- Fluid retention
- Hyperkalemia, when blood potassium levels rise, possibly resulting in heart damage
- Lower sex drive
- Male erectile dysfunction
- Osteomalacia, when bones become weak and break easily
- Pericarditis, when the sac-like membrane around the heart becomes inflamed
- Stomach ulcers
- Weak immune system
HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT FOR CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE
Chronic kidney disease also known as chronic renal disease is a form of kidney disorder where renal function is progressively lost over a long period. This disease has got unspecific symptoms and includes loss of appetite, feeling unwell, etc. People with high blood pressure or diabetes are more likely to have CKD. This disease leads to other complications, such as cardiovascular disease, anaemia and pericarditis.
Homeopathy is an ideal and effective form of treatment chronic kidney diseases. Homeopathy is natural and tries to correct all the underlying causes of the condition. General symptoms and constitutional indications are considered in homeopathy before choosing the best medicine. Here is a list of several homeopathic medicines, which are used to treat chronic kidney diseases like Kidney Stone Treatment, along with the symptoms in case of which they are used.
APIS MELLIFICA : Useful for ckd with edematous swelling on the face, paleness, headaches, pain in the back and limb, edema.Useful when there are dull aches in the kidney, reduced urination and micturition. Given for urine contains albumen in high levels and blood corpuscles.
ARSENIC ALBUM : Useful in all stages of CKD. More useful in later stages of the disease when the patient's skin becomes pale, and he develops a waxen appearance, excess thirst and diarrhoea. There is dark shade of the urine and full of albumen.Useful for dyspnoea attacks while lying down during the night.
AURUM MUR : Useful to cure renal diseases such as morbus brightii caused from a gout or from syphilis. Helpful in digestive and nervous problems with great irritability. Vertigo may also be caused.
BELLADONA : Useful homeopathic medicine for treating inflammation of the kidneys accompanied by piercing or burning pain in the lumbar region of the kidney.Given when pain reappears repeatedly with increased intensity each time.
CANTHARIS : Useful medicine for nephritis. There is a cutting pain in the lumbar region.Given when urine contains blood and the flow is in the form of drops.Very usefull in post diphtheric kidney disorders with dropsy.
CONAVALLARIA : Useful in cases of nephritis occurring due to heart disorders.Given in irrgular heart functions and also in anasarca and ascites because of mitral insufficiency.
RL - 25