The kidneys are a pair of small bean-shaped vital organs found on either side of the spine in the lower back of the human body and connected to the urinary bladder through the tubes called ureters. Their sizes of about 4 inches long and 2 and half inches wide may be relatively small for the functions they take on in the human body where they work so hard to maintain internal order.
But, no matter how capable they are in carrying out such important responsibilities in the body, it is inevitable that do get down at times; although this seldom happens, occurring only in one in every 2,000 people. But in case it happens, other organs, like the muscles or the brain, will never be able to carry on. One ailment that could hurt these organs is chronic kidney disease.
Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease, or CKD, is a condition characterized by a gradual, and in most cases, permanent loss or damage to the kidneys, which decreases their ability to keep the human body in good health. When this happens, wastes, toxic substance, and water would build up in the blood making the person sick, feeling unusually tired and lacking in energy, and having a poor appetite. He may even find it difficult to sleep, develop swollen feet and ankles, muscle cramps at night, and may need to urinate often. In some cases, the affected individual may develop complications like acidosis or too much acidity of body fluids, or low blood count, high blood pressure, weak bones, disorder in his nutritional health, and nerve damage.
Also known as chronic renal disease, or CKD is usually caused by diabetes and high blood pressure. But experts also found that other factors may harm the kidneys, such as:
Glomerulonephritis, considered to be the third most common type of , is a group of diseases that gradually inflames the filtration system of the kidneys, and which eventually cause it to fail.
Polycystic kidney disease, which is a hereditary kind of ailment, is characterized by the growing of several fluid-filled cysts in the kidneys that prevent these vital organs to function properly. This impairment eventually leads to kidney failure. Polycystic kidney disease has two major genetic forms, namely: the autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, or the adult polycystic kidney disease, and; the autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease, or the juvenile polycystic kidney disease.
Blockage in the flow of urine caused by stones, dilated prostate gland among men, hardening of the arteries, lupus, recurring urinary infection, and cancers also result in kidney damage.
Chronic kidney disease has now become an escalating health issue, as statistics revealed a steady increase in the number of affected individuals since the previous decade. Reports have it that the incidence may be due to the growing number of people getting diabetes mellitus, hypertension, obesity, and/or aging population.
These reports should not be a cause for alarm, though, since chronic kidney disease (CKD) can be avoided with proper care. It only takes a well-disciplined individual, especially those who are prone to it, to stop or refrain from smoking; manage their blood sugar level as well as their blood pressure; keep physically fit by doing regular exercise; maintain healthy diet and appropriate weight; lessen salt intake; limit alcoholic drinks, and; drink plenty of water every day.
Nevertheless, for those who are already diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD), it is important to consult with their respective doctors and follow prescriptions and advice accordingly to avoid further complications.