Shirley Wenger is a professional journalist and editor who has been working in the publishing industry for more than 15 years. She is an award-winning...Read more

Apart from serving as a delicacy , kidneys are plugged into almost every vital process inside the body. From producing erythropoietin (that induces the production of RBCs in the bone marrow) to filtering blood and allowing the body to eliminate its waste products by excreting them in urine, kidneys are involved everywhere. As a result it explains why any insult to the kidneys raises serious alarms and why it is essential to address and manage the underlying cause before things get out of hand.

Acute vs Chronic Kidney Disease: Solving the Dilemma.

Acute kidney disease can create a frenzy as it is an emergency that requires immediate intervention. Direct trauma can acutely damage kidneys, a sudden drop of blood perfusion to the kidneys, or obstruction in outflow tracts from the kidneys (ureters). The waste products build up to a toxic level in the blood that stems from a fatality in no time. Unlike an acute disease, chronic kidney disease takes its time to settle in and sets the stage for complications in the wake of progressive renal damage. There is a gradual loss of kidney function over time which collectively accounts for chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Filtration of blood and urine production, which serves as a medium  for excretion of waste productions, is the kidney’s most essential function .Failure to perform these critical duties causes serious deleterious effects on the body, including chest pain, dyspnea, tiredness, headaches, loss of appetite, weight loss, muscle cramps, and urination problems.

What Are The Causes of a Chronic Kidney Disease? An Insight.

Chronic kidney disease can have many underlying causes, but the most pre-dominant factors that fuel the condition are high blood pressure (hypertension) and diabetes.

Diabetes:  Diabetes plays a significant part in causing kidney disease conditions and is, without doubt the most common risk factor for CKD. 

Increased blood glucose levels characterize it, and one of the….

 complications of hyperglycemic (high blood glucose levels) states is vascular injury. Damage to renal blood vessels as a consequence of diabetes is a pretty common cause of CKD.

Hypertension: High blood pressure is another common cause of a diseased kidney. Long-standing high blood pressure damages the vascular endothelium, and it is the deterioration of micro and macro vessels in the renal system that causes the diseased kidney condition (CKD). Nearly every 1 in 5 individuals with hypertension develop chronic kidney disease.

Heart diseases: Cardiac pathologies also have renal implications manifested in the form of CKD. Researches have suggested a strong connection between heart diseases and kidney disease conditions. A pre-existing heart disease always increases the risk for chronic renal disease.

Should I Consider My Familial History for a Renal Disease?

While diabetes and hypertension are risk factors that can modify, chronic kidney disease does follow a familial pattern of occurrence which means if there are people in your family who have the disease, the chances of disease development increase significantly. Because CKD tends to run in families, it is highly important to screen for any kidney damage or decreased renal function in people who are at high risk because of familial predisposition towards the disease.

What populations are at high risk for developing CKD?

Chronic kidney disease has a strong association with age. Chances of developing the disease get higher with advancing age , especially if you have diabetes or high blood pressures. The condition also targets certain ethnicities , with the risk being higher in African Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians probably because of a greater tendency of these groups towards diabetes and hypertension.

How can a CKD impact my daily life?

Chronic kidney disease is a relatively silent disease in a way that people often do not know if they have a pathology, for most of the cases. Chronic kidney disease can be asymptomatic unless it cooks into an advanced CKD whereby you can have symptoms such as tiredness, dyspnea, muscle cramps, chest pain , etc. that can impact your day-to-day work . The major problems are anemia (low red blood cell count), reflex hypertension , and disturbed urination.

How do I know if I have CKD?

Most of the cases are silent. You can feel absolutely fine despite having a CKD. This is because of the exceptional capacities of the kidneys to do their job (you can even survive on a single kidney if the other one completely fails to put in the effort!). Most cases are diagnosed when significant damage has been done.  So, it’s essential to regularly monitor your kidney functions if you fall in any of the high-risk categories for CKD and to seek professional help if the damage is suspected.

References:

  1. Ferenbach DA, Bonventre JV. Acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease: From the laboratory to the clinic. Nephrol Ther. 2016 Apr;12 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S41-8. doi: 10.1016/j.nephro.2016.02.005. Epub 2016 Mar 10. PMID: 26972097; PMCID: PMC5475438.
  2. Drawz P, Rahman M. Chronic kidney disease. Ann Intern Med. 2015 Jun 2;162(11):ITC1-16. doi: 10.7326/AITC201506020. PMID: 26030647.
  3. Wanner C, Ketteler M. Chronisches Nierenversagen [Chronic Kidney Disease]. Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 2017 Feb;142(3):193-196. German. doi: 10.1055/s-0042-123170. Epub 2017 Feb 10. PMID: 28187484.
  4. Vallianou NG, Mitesh S, Gkogkou A, Geladari E. Chronic Kidney Disease and Cardiovascular Disease: Is there Any Relationship? Curr Cardiol Rev. 2019;15(1):55-63. doi: 10.2174/1573403X14666180711124825. PMID: 29992892; PMCID: PMC6367692.
  5. 5.Chronic kidney disease (2017). [Internet] Available at: What Is Chronic Kidney Disease? | NIDDK (nih.gov)

Shirley Wenger is a professional journalist and editor who has been working in the publishing industry for more than 15 years. She is an award-winning writer and her work has been featured in various publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Time Magazine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *