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Am I At Risk of Chronic Kidney Disease?

Chronic kidney disease is more commonly referred to as chronic kidney failure. The disease is basically the gradual shutdown of the kidneys, where they no longer perform their most important functions, such as filtering wastes and unnecessary fluids out of your body and into your urine. There are ways to prevent the start of kidney failure, or ways to slow down the shutdown process once it has begun. If you think you may show symptoms of kidney failure, then it is critical that you see your doctor right away. Some people might not even know they are showing signs. The question everybody wants to know is: am I at risk for chronic kidney disease?

Answer: People With Specific Illnesses or Are Showing Symptoms Are At Greatest Risk

There are many different causes that can lead to kidney failure. Some of these are other illnesses that open up the gateway to being susceptible, such as type one and type two diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, smoking, and obesity. Other factors that could play a key role in determining if you are more prone to have the disease include having a long family history of kidney failure, being older in age, and having an abnormal kidney structure from birth. Some studies have shown that our ethnicity can play a part as well, claiming that African-Americans, Native Americans, and Asian-Americans are more apt to have the disease than others. It is increasingly important for people from these ethnic groups to remember to eat a healthy diet and to get enough exercise.  

A lot of people do not even know they are carrying the disease until the symptoms reach a certain boiling point. Some symptoms may include:

  • Feeling tired
  • Lack of energy
  • Foggy thoughts
  • Trouble eating
  • trouble sleeping
  • Dry or itchy skin
  • Swelling around the feet and ankles
  • muscle cramps that will often occur at night
  • puffiness around your eyes
  • feeling the need to urinate more than usual, particularly during the evenings.

If you fear that you may be susceptible to the disease or feel that you are already experiencing symptoms of chronic kidney disease, then you should follow these tips to prepare yourself both physically and mentally for fighting the battle. The first tip is to get tested. If you test early, you can prevent it altogether. Or if you already have it, you can treat it. Lose weight and get active if you are overweight and prefer to live life as a couch potato. It is wise to quit smoking if you are a chain smoker and take all medications as directed by your doctor. Eat more fruits and vegetables, and stay away from foods that are high in salt. If you suffer from high blood pressure or diabetes, make sure to stay in your targeted range.

Chronic kidney disease can very much be treated if caught at the right time. It can even be prevented altogether if you take the right precautions. It is always better to be safe rather than sorry. Getting yourself tested and making sure you are 100% healthy most definitely falls under this category.

Additional Resources

  1. The Mayo Clinic - This website provides information to find out what the risk factors are for people who may potentially suffer from chronic kidney disease. The article gives all the information someone would need to match their current diseases with the potential risk factors of suffering from chronic kidney disease.
  2. Kidney.Org - This article goes into somewhat better detail than the previous article about why people from other specific ethnicities may suffer from chronic kidney disease more than others.
  3. The CDC - This website gives good tips for how to prevent chronic kidney disease from taking over your life. It provides health tips on how to prevent the disease, even if you are already suffering from something else, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.