Kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs that play the specialized role of filtering wastes and excess fluid from the blood, removing them as urine. A gradual loss of kidney function which occurs over months or years is referred to as Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).
This condition is marked by the presence of kidney damage or an increased Glomerular Filtration Rate for more than 3 months.
CKD occurs in 5 stages; Stage 1 (with normal or increased GFR), Stage 2 (mild reduction in GFR), Stage 3 (moderate reduction in GFR), Stage 4 (Severe reduction in GFR), and Stage 5 (kidney failure). These stages are progressive.
Chronic Kidney Disease is a worldwide public health challenge, particularly in low and middle-income countries. According to a report by the College of Medicine, the University of Ibadan, more than 100 thousand cases of CKD occur yearly in Nigeria.
The two major causes of CKD are long-term diseases which are Diabetes and High Blood Pressure. These two are responsible for about two-thirds of CKD cases. Other causes are High Cholesterol, Glomerulonephritis, Polycystic Kidney Disease, Blockage in urine flow over a long period, smoking, long-term use of certain medications and Inherited Kidney Disease.
The risk factors are obesity, smoking, family history, cardiovascular disease, Glomerulonephritis, and Polycystic Kidney Disease.
The asymptomatic nature of CKD makes it difficult to detect until the condition is advanced and irreversible. At the advanced stage, the symptoms include nausea, loss of appetite, sleep disorders, muscle cramps, oedema, reduced urine output, anorexia, fatigue, and reduced mental acuity.
There are four major methods of diagnosing CKD. They are Imaging tests, Kidney Biopsy, Urinalysis and Blood Tests. The blood tests are kidney function tests (Electrolytes, Creatinine, Urea) and estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR).
CKD is irreversible but the progression of damage can be slowed down by controlling the causes of CKD. Kidney transplants and dialysis are also means of treating CKD.
To prevent CKD, healthy body weight must be maintained, smoking must be avoided, instructions must be observed when using medications and salt intake should be reduced.
Visit MedBioTech Laboratory for accurate and reliable laboratory tests to detect chronic kidney disease early. Early diagnosis increases the chance of recovery.