Friday, November 7, 2014

Complications of kidney disease – everything you should know

Kidney disease is known as a silent killer, as most people suffering from this health complication show no significant symptoms until late in its course. Most people with kidney disease realize the seriousness of the condition only after its too late, making treating the condition more difficult. Kidney disease is best tackled as soon as the problem is detected, if not, it can lead to a whole host of complications. Here are some of the health ailments that you may suffer from, if you ignore kidney disease.

Recent doctors have stated, ‘If kidney disease is left untreated, it progresses to the entire organ deteriorating the functional units of the kidney. Due to this, kidney function reduces gradually leading to various health complications. The key changes that occur in the kidneys include accumulation of harmful toxins and excess body fluids in the organ, electrolyte imbalance and low blood cell count.’

In severe stages of kidney disease, patients usually complain ofvomiting, loss of appetite, fatigue, itching, nausea, sleep disturbances and breathing difficulty. In some cases, swelling over the ankles, puffiness of the eyes and leg cramps are also reported. The serious and life-threatening health complications that are observed in rare cases include uncontrolled blood pressureseizures and cardiac arrest (due to high potassium levels in the body) may prove fatal.

How to deal with the complications of kidney disease?
Doctors says, ‘In addition to improving or stabilizing the kidney function with the use of specific drugs, a nephrologists will initiate treatment measures to manage chronic kidney disease. For example, to protect kidney function and control blood pressure, ACE inhibitors are used. In the case of problems with the kidney’s filtration process, steroids are commonly prescribed.’ Other measures that are commonly used to deal with the complications of kidney disease are as follows.
  • Treatment of anemia, a common side effect of defunct kidneys.
  • Control of phosphorus levels in the blood with the use of tablets.
  • Controlling and treating lipid abnormalities. This is commonly believed to be due to malnutrition; since the kidneys do not function optimally, making absorbtion of nutrients and elimination of waste difficult.
  • Control acid-water buildup in the kidneys with bicarbonate tablets.
  • Control the patient’s diet, by reducing the consumption of salt and potassium.
While these are clinical measures that your healthcare professional will take care of, there are few precautionary tips to be followed by people with kidney disease to prevent worsening of the condition. Here are few tips from some expert doctors.
  • The first and foremost measure is to take your medications as prescribed by your doctor and on time (without fail).
  • Follow your diet as advised by your doctor. Avoid foods that contain high amounts of salt and phosphorus like aerated cold drinks and other junk foods, as they may aggravate kidney disease.
  • Avoid smoking and drinking excess alcohol.
  • Start an exercise regime to keep your blood pressure, blood sugar levels and weight in check.
  • Avoid using over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, especially painkillers without consulting your doctor.
  • Monitor your BP and blood sugars levels, making sure to get health check-ups done annually and a follow-up with your doctor.
  • If you have a family history of kidney disease, get yourself screened at regular intervals with simple blood tests, urine tests and BP measurements.
Hence, visit a doctor if you experience any symptoms of kidney disease and get treated immediately. Early detection and safe treatment is the key to prevent various health complications and live a healthy life.

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