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Leading Cause And Symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

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What is chronic kidney disease? How chronic kidney disease can affect health?

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a condition where the kidney losses it’s functioning over a prolonged period of time. The function of the kidney is to filter blood and remove waste products produced from the cells and tissues of the body. Along with the wastes it removes excess fluid from the bloodstream which are excreted out from the body in the form of urine. Instead of it, here we will cover each topics like leading Causes of chronic kidney disease and symptom of chronic kidney disease and many other factors.

Thus, chronic kidney disease affects the ability of the body to remove wastes and excess fluid resulting in their accumulation which in turn affects other parts of the body and their functioning resulting in serious complications and even death.

causes of chronic kidney disease and symptoms of chronic kidney desease

How common is CKD?

CKD has a high prevalence which is estimated between 11% to 13%, with the majority of stage 3 CKD. Just have a look at causes of Chronic kidney disease and also we will talk about  symptoms of CKD later.

What are the causes of chronic kidney disease?

The conditions or substances that damage the kidneys over a prolonged period of time can leading causes of chronic kidney disease.
Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two most common causes of chronic kidney disease (CKD).

The doctor would take a thorough clinical history and do examination and blood tests to find out the causes of Chronic kidney disease. Accordingly, the treatment plan and goals are decided by the doctor.


The high amount of glucose in the blood causes damage to the filtering mechanism of the kidneys. Over prolonged time, the kidneys become incapable to filter wastes and extra fluid from the body.

When diabetes causes chronic kidney disease it is called diabetic kidney disease.

High blood pressure:

It can damage the blood vessels of the kidneys resulting in the inability to remove wastes and extra fluid. The extra fluid in the blood vessels in-turn raises blood pressure even resulting in a vicious cycle.

Other causes of Chronic Kidney Disease:

Rest of the causes of chronic kidney disease forms a smaller group that causes chronic kidney disease. These all causes of chronic kidney disease include:

• Polycystic kidney disease (PKD): a condition where numerous cysts develop within the kidneys which replaces a significant volume of renal tissue reducing its functioning capacity

• Drug causing damage to the kidneys

• Lupus nephritis: kidney disease caused by lupus

• IgA glomerulonephritis

• Autoimmune conditions: like Goodpasture syndrome, where the body’s immune system attacks its own cells and organs.

• Heavy metal poisoning, such as lead poisoning

• Alport syndrome

• Hemolytic uremic syndrome in children

• Henoch-Schönlein purpura

• Renal artery stenosis

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Who is more likely to develop chronic kidney disease(CKD)?

Diabetes: is the commonest cause of CKD with approx. 1 in 3 people with diabetes develops CKD. Diabetes results in a high level of glucose in the blood which tends to damage the blood vessels in kidneys causing CKD.

• High blood pressure: is the second leading causes of chronic kidney disease. Approx. 1 in 5 adults with high blood pressure has CKD.

High blood pressure also tends to cause damage to the blood vessels of the kidney resulting in CKD.

• Heart disease: It is found that people with heart disease are more prone to develop chronic kidney disease. The opposite is also true where people with CKD are found to be more prone to heart disease.

• Family history: a person is more prone to develop CKD if his or her first-degree family member like mother, father, sister, or brother has kidney failure.

Kidney disease tends to run in families, thus if a family member suffers from causes of chronic kidney disease, the rest of the family members should be encouraged to get tested.

• Age: with increasing age the chances of having kidney disease increase. The risk of CKD increases with the duration he suffers from diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease. The lowest prevalence of CKD is found between the age of 30 to 50 years, which subsequently increases with each decade being 16% at the 50s to 34.3% in the 70s age group.

• Race: The researches have shown that the developed regions such as Europe, the USA, Canada, and Australia have higher rates of CKD prevalence than developing regions like India, sub-Saharan Africa, etc. The increased risk in these population groups is considered due to higher rates of diabetes and high blood pressure, dietary risks, high BMI, and other co-morbid conditions.

• Sex: more studies have found CKD to be more prevalent in women than in men.

• Smoking: was not seen to be associated with an increased prevalence of CKD.

• Obesity: increases the risk of end-stage kidney disease.

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What are the symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease (Symptoms of CKD)? 

Most people don’t show any symptoms of chronic kidney disease unless the functioning of the kidney is severely affected. This is because when a person’s both kidneys function normally, they have a greater capacity to filter blood than required by our body to stay healthy. Therefore, a healthy person is able to donate one kidney and still stay fit with the help of the other normal kidney.

Thus, during the early stage of CKD, most of the people look healthy despite kidney damage. This can only be detected by blood and urine tests, done to assess kidney function. With increasing damage to the kidney, the person may initially develop swelling/edema which is generally seen in legs, feet, or ankles and less often in hands and face. This occurs due to the retention of water and salts in the body.

In advanced kidney disease a person may show the following signs and symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease:

Swelling/edema (feet, ankles, or legs),

Loss of appetite

Increased sleepiness

Nausea & vomiting

Confusion and difficulty thinking

High BP


Weight loss

Electrolyte imbalance eg: high potassium levels


Muscle cramps

Dry skin

Bone disease

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Are there any other health issues or diseases caused by the CKD?

Chronic kidney disease can result in other serious conditions, some of which in turn can cause worsening of the CKD.
Kidney disease can lead to the following health problems. Previously we have talked about causes of Chronic Kidney Disease and symptoms of CKD, now lets know about any other health issues or disease caused by the CKD.

Heart diseases: kidney disease increases the chances of a heart attack.

High blood pressure: kidney disease can result in high BP due to the inability of the damaged kidneys to regulate BP as it normally does. High blood pressure in-turn results in further damage to the kidney worsening the condition further.

Stroke: CKD can result in stroke due to an increased risk of hypertension and heart diseases.

Acute kidney injury (AKI): CKD predisposes to higher chances of worsening of kidney function caused by illness, infection, injury, or certain medicines, called acute kidney injury (AKI).

What does the diagnosis of CKD suggest and what is the likely course (prognosis) of CKD?

The diagnosis of CKD suggests that there is damage to the kidney due to prolonged insult. CKD is usually progressive and can’t be reversed, however further kidney damage can be stopped or kept under check once diagnosed. The diagnosis doesn’t necessarily mean that a person would need dialysis or renal transplant and can’t live a healthy life. However, it is important to diagnose the disease at an early stage so that timely medical interventions can be taken to halt the progression of CKD to kidney failure. May be now you can understand how much important is to know about causes of Chronic Kidney Disease and symptoms of CKD.

What is kidney failure?

Kidney failure means that the kidneys have lost their ability to function less than 15 % of the original capacity. This condition is also known as end-stage renal disease. It requires a person to undergo either dialysis or renal transplant to maintain good health or even life.

How to know or diagnose chronic kidney disease?

Mostly, there are no symptoms produced by early kidney disease thus, the only way to diagnose or to rule out chronic kidney disease is to do tests to check for kidney functioning.

What is the treatment of chronic kidney disease (CKD)?

The treatment depends on the cause, stage of kidney disease, and other associated health issues. Some causes are reversible, including the use of medications that affects the kidney function, obstruction in the urinary tract, or decreased blood flow to the kidneys. Treatment of reversible causes may prevent CKD from worsening further.


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