Kidney disease means that your kidneys are damaged and cannot carry out their functions, for example, to filter the blood in the way they should. The disease is “progressive” because the damage to your kidneys progresses slowly for a long time. This damage can cause debris to accumulate in your body. Kidney disease can also cause further health complications.
The main function of the kidneys is to filter waste and excess water into the blood in the form of urine. To keep your body functioning properly, the kidneys balance the salts and minerals – for instance, calcium, phosphorus, sodium, and potassium – that circulate in the blood. Your kidneys also help control blood pressure and produce hormones that are important for making red blood cells and keeping your bones strong.
Kidney disease usually progresses over time and can lead to kidney failure. In that case, you will need to undergo dialysis or a kidney transplant in Delhi to maintain your health.
The sooner you know you have kidney disease, the sooner you can make the changes to protect your kidneys.
How common is kidney disease?
Kidney disease is common among adults in India. More than 20 million adults may have kidney disease.
Who is more likely to develop kidney disease?
You are at risk for kidney disease if you have:
- Diabetes. Diabetes is the main cause of kidney disease. High blood glucose, also called hyperglycemia, from diabetes can damage blood vessels in the kidneys. About 1 in 3 people with diabetes have kidney disease.
- High blood pressure. High blood pressure is the second cause of kidney disease. Like hyperglycemia, high blood pressure can also damage blood vessels in the kidneys. About 1 in 5 people with high blood pressure have kidney disease.
- Heart disease. Research shows a relationship between kidney disease and heart disease. People with heart disease have a higher risk of kidney disease, and people with kidney disease have a higher risk of heart disease. Researchers are working to better understand the relationship between kidney disease and heart disease.
- Family history of kidney disease. If your mother, father, sister or brother suffers from kidney disease, you are at risk for kidney disease. Kidney disease tends to run in families. If you have kidney disease, encourage family members to check up. Use the tips in the Family Health Meeting Guide and talk with your family during special meetings.
Your odds of having kidney disease increase with age. The longer you have had diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease, the more likely you are to suffer from kidney disease.
What are the symptoms of kidney disease?
The disease of the kidneys in its initial stage may not present any symptoms.
You may wonder how you can have kidney disease and feel good. Our kidneys have a greater capacity to do their job than is necessary to keep us healthy. For example, you can donate a kidney and remain healthy. You can also have kidney damage without any indications because, regardless of the damage, your kidneys keep working enough to keep you feeling good. For many people, the only way to know if they have kidney disease is to get an evaluation of their kidneys with blood and urine tests.
Symptoms develop very late. Already when people are close to needing dialysis or transplant. As kidney disease progresses, a person may present with swelling, called edema. Edema occurs when the kidneys cannot get rid of excess fluid and salt. Edema can appear on the legs, feet or ankles and less frequently on the hands or face.
Symptoms of advanced kidney disease
- chest pain
- Dry Skin
- itching or numbness
- increase or decrease in urination
- loss of appetite
- muscle spasms
- short of breath
- trouble sleeping
- concentration problems
- weight loss
People with kidney disease can also develop anemia, bone disease, and malnutrition.
Does kidney disease cause other health problems?
Kidney disease can cause other health problems, such as heart disease. If you have kidney disease, your chances of having a stroke or heart attack increase.
High blood pressure can be both the cause and the consequence of kidney disease. High blood pressure damages your kidneys and damaged kidneys do not work equally well to help control your blood pressure.
If you have kidney disease, you are also more likely to have a sudden change in kidney function due to illness, injury or certain medications. This is called acute kidney injury.
How can kidney disease affect my daily life?
Many people are afraid of knowing that they have kidney disease because they think that the disease always ends in dialysis. However, most people with kidney disease will not need to undergo dialysis. If you suffer from kidney disease, you can continue to live a normal life, spend time with friends and family, work, stay physically active and do other things that you like. You may need to change your diet and add healthy habits to your daily routine to help protect your kidneys.
Will my kidneys improve?
Often, kidney disease is “progressive,” meaning it will get worse over time. The damage to your kidneys produces scars and is permanent.
You can take steps to protect your kidneys, such as controlling your blood pressure and blood glucose if you have diabetes and consult kidney specialist in Delhi for more information.