ChroniC kid­ney dis­ease

Many of us don’t re­alise when our kid­neys stop work­ing prop­erly

Woman's Weekly (UK) - - Cookery -

Our kid­neys con­tin­u­ously fil­ter our blood, ad­just­ing fluid

and chem­i­cal lev­els, and

flush­ing waste prod­ucts and

wa­ter out into the urine.

They also reg­u­late blood

pres­sure and the pro­duc­tion

of red blood cells, and

pro­duce vi­ta­min D for our

bones and teeth. CKD –

grad­u­ally de­te­ri­o­rat­ing

kid­ney func­tion – af­fects

one in eight of us.

The causes

CKD some­times fol­lows tem­po­rary kid­ney fail­ure caused, for ex­am­ple, by tox­ins, blood loss or sep­sis. But it usu­ally de­vel­ops grad­u­ally, of­ten in di­a­betes, raised blood pres­sure, obe­sity and/or car­dio­vas­cu­lar (ar­te­rial)

dis­ease, es­pe­cially in peo­ple

of Asian, African or AfricanCaribbean eth­nic ori­gin.

Smok­ing, in­fec­tions, cysts, im­mune sys­tem dis­or­ders, can­cer and uri­nary block­ages, as well as drugs, such as ibupro­fen and lithium, can also dam­age our kid­neys.

Peo­ple who have these con­di­tions or take these drugs should have reg­u­lar blood and urine tests to spot CKD early.

The symp­toms

CKD has no symp­toms at first. It is of­ten de­tected dur­ing tests for other con­di­tions or

by find­ing pro­tein or blood in your urine. But as it pro­gresses, you may re­tain fluid, lose valu­able nu­tri­ents, de­velop vi­ta­min D de­fi­ciency and be­come anaemic. You’ll no­tice tired­ness, swelling of the hands or feet, mus­cle cramps, breath­less­ness, nau­sea, poor ap­petite, weight loss, headaches, or a need to pass urine more of­ten.

CKD and many medicines are mon­i­tored us­ing the eGFR blood test, which cal­cu­lates your kid­neys’ fil­tra­tion rate (ef­fi­ciency). You’ll need other

tests, too, and per­haps

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