Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD is it a health crisis in America?

Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD is a true national health crises. More than ten percent of those aged 20 and older, in the US, have Chronic Kidney Disease – that is more than 20 million adults!  Here are just a few more startling facts:  CKD is more common in women, it is found in 35 percent of those adults with diabetes, and 20 percent of adults with hypertension.

What exactly is CKD

When the kidneys become damaged and no longer has filter the blood as it should, then chronic kidney disease developed.  Chronic kidney disease, or CKD, is when a damaged kidney allows waste to build and therefore, other health problems soon develop.  Conditions such as cardiovascular disease, or CVD, for example, bone disease and anemia.  Sometimes there aren’t any symptoms when CKD is in its early stages and only a blood test can determine at what level the kidneys are functioning; a urine test can also be used to measure the extent of kidney damage.  When irreversible kidney damage is present, then kidney failure can occur; this last phase is known as End State Renal Disease, or ESRD.   If CKD is detected early enough, then lifestyle changes and medications can be put into place to try and halt further kidney damage, prevent and perhaps delay possible kidney failure.  When kidney failure occurs, the only two options are either dialysis or a full kidney transplant.

Who tends to get CKD

Besides those with diabetes or hypertension, adults who are obese, have high cholesterol, or a family history of chronic kidney disease.  As we age, the risk of developing the disease increases, just for the simple reason that these health problems become more common in older adults.

Risk factors and causes of (CKD)

When diabetes and hypertension are left untreated, then CKD and a total kidney shut down is a real possibility. The progression of CKD is linked to injuries to the kidneys through infections, toxins, or drug use, and the elderly are the population most at risk.  Women seem to suffer the most cases of CKD, however, men are more likely to experience total kidney failures.

What happens to the body when CKD is present?

When CKD is present, other areas of the body suffer, in fact, the risk of cardiovascular disease increases.  Heart attacks, heart failure, irregular heartbeats, and strokes are all possible results of CKD.  Those with kidney disease should carefully monitor their lifestyle habits, such as smoking, ignoring high blood pressure, high sugar and cholesterol levels, and obesity.

Ways of preventing, or delaying CKD

Preventing CKD means preventing and treating the risk factors that lead to kidney disease.  Those with a higher risk factor such as the elderly, those with a family history, those suffering from hypertension and cardiovascular disease.  Consulting with a kidney doctor, or nephrologist, for treatment when CKD is diagnosed can slow down further kidney damage.

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