Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) – The Silent Killer:
Kidney damage or disease affects 10% of the population worldwide. People with diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and those over 60 are more prone to this dilapidating disease. Most of us will have chronic kidney disease for years without realizing it, since the first signs can be very subtle and it can take many years to go from chronic kidney disease (CKD) to chronic kidney failure (CKD). Most people with CKD live their lives without reaching renal failure. Even people with stage 3 chronic kidney disease have about 80% chance of never having their kidneys fail.
The 22 Main Reasons for Kidney Damage:
- Medications: The long-term use of high-dose over-the-counter pain relievers that contain ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®), naproxen (Aleve®) or paracetamol (Tylenol®), has a harmful effect on kidney tissue and structures , causing the contraction of blood vessels in the kidneys. Diuretics (urine enhancers) can also cause excessive water loss, which can damage the kidneys.
- Cigarettes: Smoking has a direct relationship with the increase in protein detected in the urine, affecting the kidneys adversely. Diabetes and high blood pressure, diseases that have an aggravating impact on kidney damage, are also aggravated by smoking.
- Sugar: sugar- laden sweets do not directly affect the kidneys, but trigger and worsen other health problems such as diabetes. Diabetes and obesity are two of the most common causes of kidney damage.
- Contrast dyes: Dyes used in diagnostic radiology procedures such as CT scans, x-rays and angiograms have serious implications on the kidney, including acute kidney injury, an abrupt decrease in renal function. Insist on inert or diluted dyes, liquids to eliminate toxins or medications to help protect the kidneys from dye.
- Foods with high sodium content: very little sodium is required to maintain an adequate fluid balance in our body. Excessive salt intake triggers an avalanche in the body, which increases blood pressure and damages kidney filters, nephrons, which accelerates kidney failure. The kidneys tend to retain water, necessary for proper cardiac function, in order to dilute this excess electrolyte in the bloodstream.
- High blood pressure: weight control, exercise and proper diet can control blood pressure, which puts a lot of pressure on the kidneys and causes protein loss. Therefore, treating your blood pressure will help protect your kidneys.
- Meat: The acidic residue of animal protein metabolism activates our body to extract calcium and other mineral salts from the bones, in order to return it to the preferred alkaline state, overloading the kidney functions. Uric acid: a byproduct of foods rich in purines such as meat, shellfish and fish; It causes kidney stones and calcium oxalate stones, due to the increase in the amount of calcium excreted in the urine.
- Allergies to medications: allergic reactions exert an unprecedented burden on the kidneys. Avoid the medications you are allergic to and ask about the effects of a medication on the kidneys each time you take a new medication to prevent kidney damage.
- Genetically modified foods: Processed foods contain genetically modified ingredients to increase the resistance of plant pests, herbicide immunity or improve crop yield. Studies have shown that these foods create a state of hepatorenal toxicity (liver and kidney). Opt for organically grown products and avoid common sources of genetically modified ingredients, such as processed and prepackaged foods.
- Artificial sweeteners: Although sweeteners claim that they are not caloric, studies have shown a decrease in renal function with an intake of only two light sodas per day.
- Carbonated beverages: It is known that foods, such as carbonated beverages (with or without artificial sweetener) and energy drinks high in phosphates have a harmful effect on the blood vessels of the kidneys and increase the chances of kidney stone formation.
- Dairy products: Excessive consumption of dairy products (containing animal proteins) increases the excretion of calcium in the urine, which has been associated with an increased risk of developing kidney stones.
- Caffeine: Caffeine in coffee, tea, soda and food can stimulate blood flow, increasing blood pressure and kidney stress. If it substantially increases the chances of renal failure of obese and diabetic consumers. Caffeine consumption has also been linked to the formation of kidney stones by increasing the excretion of calcium in the urine.
- Foods high in oxalate: oxalates, which form oxalate stones, obstruct the flow of urine and damage the kidneys. If you are prone to oxalate stones, stay away or moderate foods such as nuts, chocolates and spinach.
- Gluten: gluten Intolerant people have shown a greater tendency to gluten-induced kidney damage. So check your levels regularly.
- Vitamin D deficiency: Vitamin D is not just a vitamin but a steroid hormone that is critical for the health of the kidneys and the body in general. So go out and have a sunny session.
- Prerenal causes: leads to a decrease in the blood supply to the kidney through: (1) hypovolemia: low blood volume due to blood loss; (2) dehydration through vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, fever; (3) poor fluid consumption; (4) abnormal blood flow due to obstruction of the renal artery or vein.
- Sepsis: any attack of infection sends to the body’s immune system for a release. The overwhelming effect causes inflammation, damage and fatal closure of the kidneys. Therefore, do not ignore the common symptoms of the disease and get the right treatment early.
- Rhabdomyolysis: muscle fibers, as a result of significant muscle damage due to trauma, crush injuries and burns, clog the kidney’s filtration system. Some medications used to treat high cholesterol can also cause rhabdomyolysis.
- Multiple myeloma: Multiple myeloma, a type of bone marrow cancer that arises from plasma cells, which are normally found in the bone marrow, puts great pressure on the kidney’s filtration and waste removal functions.
- Diseases: Diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus, Wegener’s granulomatosis and Goodpasture syndrome lead to inflammation of the glomeruli, the kidney’s filtration system, which seriously affects its effectiveness.
- Posterior renal causes: They affect urine output through: (1) Obstruction of the bladder or ureters: creates a back pressure in the kidneys that causes damage and eventual closure; (2) Prostate hypertrophy or prostate cancer: blocks the urethra and prevents the bladder from emptying; (3) Tumors in the abdomen: surround and obstruct the ureters; (4) Kidney stones: for patients with only one kidney present, a considerable kidney stone can cause solitary kidney failure.
Regardless of the stage you are in, being aware of the signs and symptoms that you should pay attention to is of the utmost importance to combat, delay or cure chronic kidney disease. A family history of kidney disease can also put you at risk. Suffering from other ailments such as obesity, autoimmune diseases and urinary tract infections also increase the risk of developing kidney disease. The only way to know the cause of your symptoms is to consult your doctor.