About Kidney DiseaseWhen kidneys can no longer regulate the waste, salt, water and other chemicals in the blood, patients often need to turn to dialysis.
Decreased kidney function can be the result of a number of conditions. The most common condition that leads to dialysis is chronic kidney disease.
What is chronic kidney disease?
When kidneys are no longer able to clean toxins and waste from the blood stream at full capacity, chronic kidney disease is diagnosed. This build-up of water and waste can lead to high levels in your blood, causing a feeling of sickness. A patient with chronic kidney disease may develop complications such as high blood pressure, anemia, weak bones, poor nutritional health and nerve damage. Also, kidney disease increases your risk of having heart and blood vessel disease. When kidney disease progresses it may eventually lead to kidney failure, which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant.
What are the symptoms of chronic kidney disease? Knowing the symptoms of kidney disease can help to detect the disease early enough to get treatment. Symptoms can include: Changes in urination — making more or less urine than usual, feeling pressure when urinating, changes in the color of urine, foamy or bubbly urine, or having to get up at night to urinate
Swelling of the feet, ankles, hands, or face — fluid the kidneys cannot remove may stay in the tissues Fatigue or weakness — a build-up of wastes or a shortage of red blood cells (anemia) can cause these problems when the kidneys begin to fail
Shortness of breath — kidney failure is sometimes confused with asthma or heart failure because fluid can build up in the lungs
Ammonia breath or an ammonia or metal taste in the mouth — waste build-up in the body can cause bad breath, changes in taste, or an aversion to protein foods like meat
Back or flank pain — the kidneys are located on either side of the spine in the back
Itching — waste build-up in the body can cause severe itching, especially of the legs
Nausea and vomiting
More hypoglycemic episodes, if diabetic
What are the main causes of kidney disease?
The number one cause of kidney disease is diabetes, responsible for about 40% of all kidney failure. High blood pressure is the second cause, responsible for about 25% of all kidney failure. Genetic diseases, autoimmune diseases, birth defects, and other problems can also cause kidney disease.