June 9, 2011
WHAT IS KIDNEY DISEASE?
to the National Kidney Foundation, chronic kidney disease (CKD)
includes conditions that damage your kidneys and decrease their ability
to keep you healthy by detoxifying and eliminating wastes in your blood,
maintaining normal blood pressure, supporting healthy bones and
tissues, regulating your body's salt potassium and acid content, and
producing hormones that affect the way other organs function.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF
Kidney disease has no symptoms. Typically,
people are unaware anything is wrong until they've lost much of their
WHAT ARE THE RISK
FACTORS FOR CKD?
Risk factors associated with CKD include obesity, diabetes,
heart disease and high blood pressure. But these are all risk factors
which can be eliminated or managed via healthy lifestyle changes in diet
WHAT IS THE TESTING
PROCEDURE FOR CKD?
Doctors primarily use blood
and urine tests to check kidney function. These tests measure the levels
of various substances in the body, such as urea, creatinine, certain
electrolytes (sodium and potassium, for example), glucose (sugar)
hormones in the blood, and protein in the urine. Doctors may also use
other tests to monitor reduced kidney function or determine if another
kidney disease condition is contributing to decreased kidney function.
Some of these tests are an ultrasound of the kidneys, to assess the
size, shape, and location of the kidneys and, at times, blood flow to
the kidneys; an angiogram of the kidney (to check for problems caused by
restricted blood flow), and a kidney biopsy, to obtain a sample of your
kidney tissue so that it can be examined under a microscope. A urine
test is indicated in particular for people with diabetes. And for people
with high blood pressure, doctors recommend that on the first diagnosis
of the condition, they ask for an estimate of their glomular filtration
rate (GFR), the flow rate of filtered fluid through the kidney and a
measurement used to check its function. After that, doctors suggest they
have their overall health and kidney function evaluated yearly
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR
For more information on the
kidneys and kidney disease, visit the National Kidney Foundation at
- Dialysis: This procedure cleans the blood and acts as an
artificial kidney to get rid of body waste, excess salt and water and
regulate blood pressure.
- Kidney transplant: In this procedure the failed kidney is
replaced with a working kidney from another person, called a donor.
Kidney transplants are of two types; those that come from living donors
and those that come from unrelated donors who have died (non-living
donors). Approximately more than 70,000 Americans are waiting for a
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