Chronic Kidney Disease
BIO 105, sec M02
The Kidney is one of the most important organs in the human body. Its primary function is the removal of waste & toxins from the blood stream. So if the kidney stopped working correctly and is no longer able to properly function that would lead to serious problems. Blood is no longer being cleaned. The waste and the toxins aren’t being removed. Instead it’s all building up in the blood stream causing serious damage and problems like anemia, hypertension, weak bones, nerve damage and possibly death. This is what happens to people who suffer from Chronic Kidney Disease aka CKD. Chronic Kidney Disease disorders are among the top ten leading causes of death in the United States. From 2010-2011 it was estimated that almost 50,000 people died form some form of severe kidney disease or kidney failure. There are almost 4 million people diagnosed with CKD in the U.S. totaling almost 2% of the entire population. Chronic Kidney Disease is not a disease that can be cured with the exception of a kidney transplant, but rather one that can be treated; and a quality of life can be sustained if the afflicted person makes the necessary commitments and life style changes. If not then kidney disease can turn into full blown kidney failure.
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) has two main causes; high blood pressure and diabetes. High blood pressure can lead to and also be a warning sign for kidney disease. People who suffer from diabetes are likely to have complications in areas and organs of the body, the kidney usually being one. Other possible causes for CKD include: family – some forms of the disease such as Polycystic Kidney Disease is inherited, glomerulonephritis – an inflammation of the kidney’s filtering unit, lupus & other auto-immune diseases, malformations that occur within the womb or to the fetus during gestation can cause an infection which may cause kidney disease, also obstructions within or surrounding the kidney such as kidney stones, tumors or enlarged prostates, may lead to kidney disease. Repeated urinary infection may cause kidney disease, but they can also be a warning sign for kidney disease. Some of the risk factors to developing CKD are an unhealthy nutritional diet, lack of exercise and poor well being. Also people who belong to certain ethnic groups like African American, Hispanic, Native American and Pacific Islander are at higher risk to developing kidney disease.
Chronic Kidney Disease is not a disease that has obvious or severe symptoms right from the beginning. In actuality there aren’t any severe symptoms until kidney disease has advanced into the higher stage levels. Minor signs and symptoms that can be noticed are; tired / less energy, trouble concentrating, no appetite, insomnia, muscle cramps at night, swollen feet and ankles, puffy eyes, itchy dry skin & excessive urination (especially at night). If kidney disease worsens conditions that will develop are hypertension and ultimately kidney failure.
Testing for CKD consists of three preliminary screenings. There’s a blood pressure test. There’s a urinalysis. The urinalysis is looking for the presence of protein, glucose, bilirubin, bacteria and red & white blood cells in the urine. A urinalysis is essential for early detection. There’s also a blood test for serum creatinine (a waste produced during muscle metabolism found in the blood stream) the levels of this waste found in the blood stream can help determine the kidney’s functionality. The levels of waste found in the blood combined with the patient’s body mass, sex and age create a GFR (Glomerular Filtration Rate). Ultrasounds and CT scans are also used to check for abnormalities with the kidney’s size, shape, location and or residual urine. For further diagnostic testing a kidney biopsy maybe performed in order to examine the kidney’s cellular status under a microscope. The...
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