Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is one of the most common disorders in the world. In fact, it is the number one cause of death by kidney-related complications. However, since most people never undergo a full body checkup, they never know how bad the condition is until it’s too late. Even if they know about CKD, they do not understand what it is and how it affects their body.
If you ask an expert cardiologist, chronic kidney disease is a huge concern for anyone who suffers from cardiovascular disease (CVD). While there is no sureshot cure for this disease, early detection allows more effective treatment options and a faster recovery. Although you can use specific urine tests to determine what stage of CKD you are in, it is best to get yourself checked regularly by a qualified physician.
What Are The Symptoms Of Chronic Kidney Disease?
One of the first signs of CKD is the formation of crystals in the urine. These crystals range in size from a grain of sand to a pea, and they significantly affect the functionality of your kidneys. Eventually, your urine will contain a much higher number of crystals, indicating that further complications, such as urinary blockage, has developed. So you should get a full-body checkup for early detection and treatment, or the situation could worsen and lead to the formation of kidney stones.
Another symptom of CKD is blood in the urine. If your kidneys are functioning correctly, the urine should be pale and yellow. However, if kidney failure develops, the urine turns pale and dark red. Blood in the urine may also be a sign of acute kidney failure. Therefore CKD must be detected and treated in the early stages to avoid a trip to the heart hospital later.
What Are The Stages Of Chronic Kidney Disease?
A cardiologist uses eGFR tests to determine how well your kidneys are working. Based on the GFR value, CKD has five stages. The different stages of chronic kidney disease progress similar to various other severe diseases. However, CKD is a little different because the condition’s exact cause is not fixed but variable. Many other intricate factors, like CVD, could be responsible for your illness.
Stage 1 CKD (eGFR value – 90 or Greater)
An eGFR value of 90 or greater indicates healthy kidneys with proper function. However, your cardiologist may find other signs of physical damage to your kidneys or protein in your urine.
Stage 2 CKD (eGFR value – Between 60 and 89)
eGFR between 60 and 89 suggests your kidneys are healthy, but you may have stage 2 CKD. So even though your eGFR is normal, you may be showing signs of physical damage or protein in your urine.
Stage 3 CKD (eGFR value – Between 30 and 59)
An eGFR value between 30 and 59 indicates that there is some damage to your kidneys, and they are not functioning as well as they should. You are also more likely to have further health complications as waste material builds up in your body.
Stage 4 CKD (eGFR value – Between 15 and 29)
eGFR between 15 and 30 suggests moderately or severely damaged kidneys that are not working correctly. You should take stage 4 CKD very seriously as it signifies the last stage before kidney failure.
Stage 5 CKD (eGFR value – Less than 15)
A less than 15 eGFR value means your kidneys are very close to acute failure or have entirely failed. If your kidneys fail, the waste buildup in your blood can make you very sick. Hence, you must remain in constant touch with a reputed heart hospital in case of emergencies.
As kidney failure progresses to the higher stages, your symptoms can get progressively worse. For example, abdominal pain will start to develop. In more severe cases, weakness and depression will become noticeable. As kidney failure worsens, the victim may find it increasingly difficult to hold on to a cup of water. They will also feel the need for more frequent urination and may need numerous trips to the bathroom.
Once kidney failure has set in, doctors can give no further treatments to prevent it. A cardiologist or urologist can prescribe medications to help patients’ kidneys function normally. However, no matter how well a person’s kidneys work, no one can replace them without major surgery. Therefore, once kidney failure has set in, dialysis or transplant is the only option available.
When the signs of CKD are present, and treatment is not provided, the victim will likely pass away due to complications relating to acute kidney failure. It is not uncommon for those diagnosed with kidney disease to spend years suffering from kidney failure without seeking professional help from a specialised heart hospital, mainly due to embarrassment or a lack of resources such as medical insurance.
However, if you are willing to undergo proper tests and treatment, they can often delay the onset of chronic kidney disease and, in some cases, prevent the deadly progression to acute kidney failure. If you suspect that you may be at risk for kidney failure, don’t hesitate to get in touch with an expert cardiologist at your nearest heart hospital or your family doctor for a consult and further treatment.