What Is Kidney Disease?
What Are Symptoms of Kidney Disease?
Symptoms of advanced kidney disease may include:
- Chest pain
- Dry skin
- Itching or numbness
- Feeling tired
- Increased or decreased urination
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle cramps
- Shortness of breath
- Sleep problems
- Trouble concentrating
- Weight loss
Patients with kidney disease can also develop other health problems, such as:
What Causes Kidney Disease?
The most common causes of chronic kidney disease include:
Other causes of kidney disease include:
- Polycystic kidney disease, a genetic disorder that causes cysts to form in the kidneys
- Drugs that are toxic to the kidneys
- Lupus (lupus nephritis is the name for kidney disease caused by lupus)
- Iga glomerulonephritis
- Autoimmune conditions, such as Anti-GBM (Goodpasture's) disease
- Heavy metal poisoning, such as lead poisoning
- Rare genetic conditions, such as Alport syndrome
- Hemolytic uremic syndrome in children
- Iga vasculitis
- Renal artery stenosis
A family history of kidney failure is a risk factor for developing kidney disease.
How Is Kidney Disease Diagnosed?
People who have risk factors for developing kidney disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and a family history of kidney failure, should get their kidney function checked since early kidney disease often has no symptoms.
Tests used to diagnose kidney disease include:
- Blood test: glomerular filtration rate (GFR)
- Urine test to check for albumin, a protein that can pass into the urine when the kidneys are damaged
What Is the Treatment for Kidney Disease?
Treatment for chronic kidney disease involves measures to prevent further damage to the kidneys.
- Control blood pressure
- Patients with diabetes should keep blood glucose in check
- Monitor your kidney health and work with your medical team
- Take medicines as prescribed
- Get regular exercise
- Maintain a healthy weight/lose weight if overweight
- Get adequate sleep
- Stop smoking
- Learn ways to manage stress and depression
- Work with a dietitian to develop a meal plan
- One aspect of a diet for kidney disease is paying attention to the amount of potassium in foods
- Patients with kidney disease may need to limit the amount of potassium in the diet
- Foods high in potassium to avoid include:
- Oranges and orange juice
- Winter squash
- Bran products such as cereals
- Beans (baked, black, pinto, etc.)
- Brown or wild rice
- Dairy foods
- Whole-wheat bread and pasta
If kidney disease worsens, treatment options may include:
- Peritoneal dialysis
- Organ transplantation
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors