An estimated 31 million people in the United States are living with chronic kidney disease (CKD).
The term “chronic kidney disease” means lasting damage to the kidneys that can get worse over time. If the damage is very bad, your kidneys may stop working. This is called kidney failure, or end-stage renal disease (ESRD). If your kidneys fail, you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant in order to live.
Who can get chronic kidney disease (CKD)?
Anyone can get CKD. Some people are more at risk than others. Some things that increase your risk for CKD include:
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Heart disease
- Having a family member with kidney disease
- Being African-American, Hispanic, Native American or Asian
- Being over 60 years old
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) usually gets worse slowly, and symptoms may not appear until your kidneys are badly damaged. In the late stages of CKD, as you are nearing kidney failure (ESRD), you may notice symptoms that are caused by waste and extra fluid building up in your body.
You may notice one or more of the following symptoms if your kidneys are beginning to fail:
- Muscle cramps
- Nausea and vomiting
- Not feeling hungry
- Swelling in your feet and ankles
- Too much urine (pee) or not enough urine
- Trouble catching your breath
- Trouble sleeping
If your kidneys stop working suddenly (acute kidney failure), you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:
- Abdominal (belly) pain
- Back pain
Having one or more of any of the symptoms above may be a sign of serious kidney problems. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should contact your doctor right away.
Complications of CKD
Your kidneys help your whole body work properly. When you have CKD, you can also have problems with how the rest of your body is working. Some of the common complications of CKD include anemia, bone disease, heart disease, high potassium, high calcium and fluid buildup.
How can I prevent CKD?
Diabetes and high blood pressure are the most common causes of CKD. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, working with your doctor to keep your blood sugar and blood pressure under control is the best way to prevent kidney disease.
Living a healthy lifestyle can help prevent diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney disease, or help keep them under control. Follow these tips to lower your risk for kidney disease and the problems that cause it:
- Follow a low-salt, low-fat diet
- Exercise at least 30 minutes on most days of the week
- Have regular check-ups with your doctor
- Do not smoke or use tobacco
- Limit alcohol
Kidney-friendly diet for CKD
You need to have a kidney-friendly meal plan when you have chronic kidney disease (CKD). Watching what you eat and drink will help you stay healthier. A kidney-friendly diet may also help protect your kidney from futher damaage by limiting certain foods to prevent the minerals in those foods from building up in your body.
United Dialysis Center is a state-of-the-art inpatient dialysis facility in Pompano Beach, Florida. Call us by dialing (754) 307-1536 today!