Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)- The Silent Killer
Kidney disease accounts for 26 million chronic kidney disease (CKD) adult cases, in the United States alone. People suffering from diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and those who are older than 60 years old are more prone to this dilapidating disease.
Most will have chronic kidney disease for years without realizing it as the early signs can be very subtle and it can take many years to go from chronic kidney disease (CKD) to kidney failure. Most people with CKD live out their lives without ever reaching kidney failure. Even people with stage 3 CKD have about an 80% chance of never having their kidneys fail.
Top 22 Reasons For Kidney Damage
- Medications: Long-term use of high doses of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) -prescription painkillers, that contain ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®), naproxen (Aleve®), or acetaminophen (Tylenol®), has a harmful effect on kidney tissue and structures, causing shrinkage of blood vessels in the kidneys. Diuretics (urine enhancers) medications may also cause excessive water loss, straining the kidneys.
- Cigarettes: Smoking has a direct relation to increased protein detected in the urine, affecting kidneys adversely. Diabetes and high blood pressure, diseases having an aggravating impact on kidney damage, are also exacerbated by smoking.
- Sugar: Sugar laden sweets do not impact kidneys directly but trigger and worsen other health problems like diabetes. Diabetes and obesity are two of the most common causes of kidney damage.
- Contrast Dyes: Dyes used in diagnostic radiology procedures like CT scans, X-rays and angiograms, have serious implications on the kidney, including Acute Kidney Injury (AKI), an abrupt decrease in kidney function. Insist onless toxic or diluted dyes, fluids to out toxins, or drugs to help protect the kidneys from the dye.
- High-Sodium Foods: Very little Sodium is required to maintain proper fluid balance in our body. Excessive salt intake triggers an avalanche in the body, increasing blood pressure, damaging the kidney’s filters- nephrons, accelerating kidney failure. Kidneys tend to retain water, needed for proper heart 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 lot of stress on your kidneys and causes loss of protein. So treating your blood pressure will help protect your kidneys.
- Meat: Animal protein metabolism’s acidic residue triggers our body to pull calcium and other mineral salts from the bones, in order to return you to the preferred alkaline state, overstraining kidney functions. Uric acid –a byproduct of high purine foods such as meat, seafood and fish; causes kidney stones and calcium oxalate stones, due to increase in the amount of calcium excreted in urine.
- Drug Allergies: Allergic reactions put unprecedented load on the kidneys. Avoid medicines that you are allergic to, and ask about a drug’s effects on the kidneys any time you take a newmedication, to avoid kidney damage.
- Genetically Modified (GM) Foods: Processed foods contain genetically modified ingredients to increase plant’s pest resistance, immunity to herbicides, or improve crop yields. Studies have shown that these foods create a state of hepatorenal (liver and kidney) toxicity. Opt for organically grown produce and avoid common sources of GM ingredients such as processed and prepackaged foods.
- Artificial Sweeteners: Though sweeteners assert that they are non-caloric, studies have shown a decline in kidney function with an intake of just two diet sodas per day.
- Carbonated Beverages: Foods, like carbonated beverages (with or without artificial sweetener), and energy drinks that are high in phosphates, are known to have a damaging effect on blood vessels in the kidneys, and increase the chances of kidney stone formation.
- Dairy Products: Over consumption of dairy products (contain animal proteins), increases the excretion of calcium in the urine, which has been associated with a higher risk of developing kidney stones.
- Caffeine: Caffeine in coffee, tea, soda, and foods can stimulate blood flow, increasing blood pressure and stress on the kidneys. If substantially raises the kidney failure prospects of obese and diabetic consumers. Caffeine consumption has also been linked to kidney stone formation by increasing calcium excretion in urine.
- High-Oxalate Foods: Oxalates, which form oxalate stones, obstruct the flow of urine and damage kidneys. If you are prone to oxalate stones, stay away or moderate foods like nuts, chocolates and spinach.
- Gluten Induced: Gluten Intolerant people have shown a higher tendency of gluten-induced kidney damage. So do check your levels regularly.
- Vitamin D Deficiency: Vitamin D is not just a vitamin but a steroid hormone that is critical to the health of kidneys and the body in general. So get out and get a piece of your sun.
- Pre-Renal Causes: Lead to decrease in blood supply to the kidney through: (1) hypovolemia- low blood volume due to blood loss; (2) dehydration- through vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, fever; (3) poor intake of fluids; (4) abnormal blood flow-due to obstruction of the renal artery or vein.
- Sepsis: Any bout of infection sends the body’s immune system for a toss. The overwhelming effect causes inflammation, damage and fatal shutdown of the kidneys. So do not ignore common ailment symptoms and get the right treatment early.
- Rhabdomyolysis: Muscle fibers, resulting from significant muscle damage due to trauma, crush injuries, and burns, clog the filtering system of the kidneys. Some medications used to treat high cholesterol can also cause rhabdomyolysis.
- Multiple Myeloma: Multiple myeloma, a type of bone marrow cancer arising from plasma cells, which are normally found in the bone marrow, puts immense strain on the kidney’s filtration and waste disposal functions.
- Diseases: Diseases like systemic lupus erythematosus, Wegener’s granulomatosis, and Goodpasture syndrome, lead to inflammation of glomeruli, the filtering system of the kidneys, severely impacting its efficiency.
- Post Renal Causes: Affect outflow of the urine through: (1) Obstruction of the bladder or the ureters – creates back pressure on the kidneys leading to damage and eventual shut down; (2) Prostatic 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 sizeable kidney stone may cause the lone kidney to fail.
Get Yourself Tested
Whatever stage you are, being aware what signs and symptoms to look out for is of paramount importance to fight, delay, or heal CKD. A family history of kidney disease can also put you at risk. Suffering from other ailments like obesity, autoimmune diseases, and urinary tract infections also enhance your risk of developing kidney disease. The only way to know the cause of YOUR symptoms is to see your doctor.