Have you known the signs of kidney disease yet? Typically, kidney disease doesn’t show any symptoms until it has progressed. Therefore, for those who are at high risk of kidney disease, regular check-ups are necessary. In many cases, early diagnosis and treatment have prevented the progression of chronic kidney disease. Let’s explore information about this type of disease with Easyheathylive.com.
What is kidney failure?
Kidney failure is a condition in which the kidneys lose their functions and are no longer able to filter waste products from the blood. If not treated with dialysis or kidney transplant in time, it can be life-threatening.
The kidneys are organs located on each side of the spine in the lower back of the body. The kidneys play a role in maintaining the body’s fluid balance, excreting waste products from metabolism and other functions such as preserving and eliminating other substances from the body through urine.
The early signs of kidney failure often do not have any prominent symptoms and will develop over time. As the human body has two kidneys and they can support each other effectively, many cases of kidney failure go undetected and untreated according to the correct protocol. By the time it is detected and treated at a late stage, many dangerous complications can arise and even lead to death.
Classification of kidney failure
How is kidney failure classified and what are the symptoms of kidney failure? There are 5 common types of kidney failure, including:
Prerenal acute renal failure
Acute pre-renal kidney failure is a condition in which acute kidney failure occurs when the blood flow to the kidneys is insufficient, leading to impaired ability to excrete toxins. The main cause of this condition is due to injury, surgery, or other medical conditions. Symptoms of acute pre-renal kidney failure include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, seizures, and more. This type of kidney disease can still be treated if the doctor identifies the underlying cause of reduced blood flow.
Acute kidney injury at the kidney
Acute intrinsic kidney injury can be caused by direct injury to the kidney, such as physical trauma or accidents. Causes include overload of toxins and local hypoperfusion or hypoxia to the kidney. The causes of local hypoperfusion include renal artery obstruction, severe bleeding, and glomerulonephritis.
Chronic kidney disease before the kidney
What is chronic kidney disease before the kidney? Once the kidney is not sufficiently perfused for a long period of time, it begins to shrink. Gradually, the kidney loses its ability to function, which is called chronic kidney disease before the kidney.
Chronic kidney disease at the kidney
This condition of chronic kidney disease at the kidney occurs when the kidney is damaged for a long time due to diseases such as glomerulonephritis, interstitial nephritis, and tubulointerstitial nephritis. Intrinsic kidney diseases usually develop from direct kidney injury such as severe bleeding or hypoxia.
Chronic kidney disease after the kidney
When the urinary tract is obstructed for a long time, high urinary tract obstruction and low urinary tract obstruction will impede the flow of urine out of the body. This will cause pressure on the kidney and ultimately damage the kidney.
The stages of kidney disease to pay attention to
Before learning about the signs of kidney disease, let’s briefly understand the stages of this condition. Kidney disease is divided into 5 stages, from very mild in stage 1 to complete loss of kidney function in stage 5. Symptoms and complications of the disease also increase as the stages progress. Specifically:
Stage 1: This stage is very mild. Patients may not have noticeable symptoms or complications. In stage 1, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help control and slow down the progression of the disease.
Stage 2: Kidney weakness in stage 2 is still considered a mild form. However, issues such as reduced glomerular filtration rate, protein in urine, or damage to renal parenchyma may become more apparent.
Positive lifestyle habits should still be maintained in this stage. However, patients need to discuss with their doctors about the underlying causes of the disease to take effective preventive measures.
Stage 3: The disease at this stage is considered moderate, sometimes divided into stages 3A and 3B. Patients’ kidneys show signs of poor function compared to normal. Symptoms may become more apparent, such as swelling in hands and feet, back pain, or frequent urination.
Stage 4: Kidney disease at stage 4 is considered moderate to severe. The kidneys are not functioning well, but the patient’s renal function has not yet completely deteriorated. Symptoms may occur, such as anemia, high blood pressure, and bone and joint diseases.
At this stage, patients need to regularly see their doctors to receive appropriate treatment methods to slow down renal damage.
Stage 5: In stage 5, the patient’s kidneys have completely failed. Symptoms of decline become more apparent, including nausea, vomiting, itching, and difficulty breathing.
Causes of Kidney Failure
There are many causes that lead to kidney failure. However, for the convenience of treatment, scientists have divided them into the following categories.
Frequent Urinary Retention
Frequent urinary retention is one of the leading causes of this dangerous disease. When urine is not expelled regularly, it increases pressure on the bladder, causing a decrease in urinary function. In the long term, this can lead to urinary reflux, affecting the functions of the kidneys.
Lazy drinking habits
You may already know that the minimum amount of water needed to maintain daily activities for a healthy person is from 1.5-2 liters of water. However, for kidney patients, it is from 2-2.5 liters. Failing to supplement enough water every day will affect the kidney’s filtration and excretion process. Toxins and waste products are not excreted and accumulate, which increases in the body. Over time, this can form kidney stones and obstruct the kidney’s ability to filter blood.
Eating salty food
The habit of eating salty food not only has a negative impact on the heart, blood pressure, and skin, but it also seriously affects the urinary and kidney system. The reason is that when you eat salty food, it will make it difficult for the water in the body to be excreted, thereby increasing the burden on the bladder and kidney. Moreover, eating salty food makes kidney patients have a habit of drinking water continuously, making the kidney work excessively, gradually accumulating and leading to disease.
Due to kidney-related diseases
Some kidney-related diseases such as kidney infection, kidney stones, glomerulonephritis, kidney damage… if not treated or promptly addressed, can cause kidney damage and prolonged kidney failure.
Notable signs of kidney failure
Detecting the disease early has an important significance for early treatment and recovery time. Here are 10 early signs of kidney failure:
For patients with chronic kidney disease, they often experience sleep apnea, which causes temporary cessation of breathing one or more times during the night. Although the breath stoppage lasts only for a few seconds to a minute, patients may snore loudly and for a prolonged time afterward.
Almost all patients with chronic kidney disease will experience anemia, which leads to reduced kidney function by 20% to 50% compared to normal people.
If you still feel rested and get enough sleep but your body always feels tense, tired, and fatigued, it could be a sign of kidney failure.
Itchy and rashy skin
When the kidneys have problems, it affects the process of filtering waste in the blood, causing skin to break out in rashes and itchiness. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to these symptoms of skin rashes.
When back pain gradually spreads to the hip or pelvic area, it can also be an early sign of kidney failure that you need to pay attention to. Therefore, if the pain lasts for several days without any signs of improvement, you should go to a medical facility and see a specialist for timely examination and treatment.
Kidney failure is a disease that makes it difficult for patients to filter waste from the blood and affects the production of red blood cells. This also causes the body to retain fluid and leads to decreased lung function. In addition, a decrease in red blood cells will lead to difficulties in oxygen transport. That is why people with kidney disease often have difficulty breathing.
When waste cannot be filtered out of the body, it will accumulate too much in the blood and cause bad breath. In addition, patients will feel a metallic taste in their mouths. This symptom is often easily mistaken for symptoms of dental disease.
Waste that cannot be eliminated from the body will cause patients to experience conditions such as water retention, causing swelling in the feet, hands, and face.
The function of the kidneys has a significant impact on urination. It is important to pay attention to issues such as urinating more or less than usual, urine color, unusual odor, or the presence of blood in the urine.
Leg cramps or cramps in other areas are a common sign of kidney disease. Imbalances in sodium, potassium, calcium, and other electrolytes can disrupt the function of muscles and nerves.
Difficulty sleeping is a common sign of kidney disease. If a person is facing insomnia, sleeplessness, or shallow sleep for a long period of time with no clear cause, it may be a sign of kidney problems.
Complications of kidney disease
Above are the signs of kidney disease that we cannot ignore. So what are the complications when kidney disease develops? Although filtering the blood can help reduce pressure on the kidneys and make them healthier, it cannot completely replace the function of the kidneys. Some of the most common complications of kidney disease include:
Anyone can suffer from anemia, but it is also a sign of chronic kidney disease. Patients may start to experience anemia in the early stages, but it is more severe in stages 3-5. The reason for this condition is that the kidneys help the body produce red blood cells. When the kidneys do not function properly, the body will lack red blood cells and cause anemia.
Bone disease and high levels of phosphorus in the blood
Everyone needs calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus to maintain strong bones. When the kidneys are healthy, they can keep the levels of these substances stable and protect bone health. If the kidneys are impaired, they may not be able to maintain this balance. In particular, when the kidneys are weak, phosphorus may not be excreted from the body but instead accumulate in the blood, leading to many dangers.
The Heart Disease
Cardiovascular and kidney diseases are closely related to each other. In addition, heart disease is also a common cause of death in people undergoing blood filtration.
This is explained by the fact that heart disease affects blood circulation. Blood congestion in the heart causes the accumulation of pressure in the main vein connecting to the kidney, which can lead to obstruction and decrease the supply of oxygenated blood to the kidney. This can also cause kidney disease.
In a vicious cycle, when the kidneys are not functioning properly, the patient’s blood pressure regulatory hormone system needs to work harder to increase the amount of blood supply to the kidneys. At that time, the heart will have to work harder, leading to heart disease.
High Blood Potassium
Potassium is mainly found in food and plays a role in muscle activity, including controlling heart and breathing rhythms. If the kidneys are healthy, they can excrete excess potassium to balance the concentration of this substance in the blood.
For people with kidney failure, the kidneys cannot excrete excess potassium, leading to an excessive accumulation of this substance in the blood called hyperkalemia. This condition can cause heart palpitations or even death. The most common symptoms of high blood potassium are fatigue, weakness, muscle pain or cramps, abdominal pain, nausea, difficulty breathing, irregular heartbeat, and chest pain.
Fluid Retention in the Body
Healthy kidneys will eliminate all excess fluid in the blood, avoiding the risk of fluid accumulation causing problems in the heart and lungs, high blood pressure, etc. Signs of kidney failure include rapid heartbeat and swollen feet. When fluid accumulates inside the body, patients are often advised to limit their water intake and eat less salt.
Preventing kidney disease at home
One of the main causes of kidney disease is improper eating habits and lifestyle. Therefore, patients can actively prevent this disease by following these methods:
- Regularly exercise for 30 minutes every day to not only boost immunity but also prevent kidney diseases.
- Maintain a relaxed and optimistic mindset, avoid stress and fatigue.
- Regularly check your health every six months to detect any abnormalities in the kidney early.
- Individuals with high risk of kidney disease such as diabetes, hypertension, or family history should have regular screening for kidney disease.
- When experiencing suspicious symptoms related to the kidney, seek medical attention immediately.
- Limit alcohol, beer, tobacco, and other harmful stimulants for the kidney as they not only pose a danger to health but also seriously affect kidney function.
Kidney disease is a dangerous condition that can directly threaten one’s life if not detected and treated in time. Therefore, to minimize the risk of dangerous complications and detect kidney disease early, each of us should actively adopt a scientific and healthy lifestyle from today.
John Alen was born in 1971 and is a doctor in the healthcare and psychology fields with many years of experience. He is currently working at easyhealthylive.com, a leading health and psychology blog. Having studied at Y1 National Medical University named after IM Sechenov, John Alen is using his knowledge and experience to help improve the physical and mental health of people in the United States.