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Chronic Kidney Failure: Symptoms, Prevention, and Support

Chronic kidney disease is a slowly progressive loss of kidney function over several years. It’s a common condition, affecting about 1 in 7 adults, and eventually a person can develop kidney failure. As kidney disease progresses, dangerous levels of waste products can quickly build up in the body. Treatment aims to stop or slow the progression of kidney dysfunction by controlling the underlying cause. Read on to learn more about CKD, including its causes, symptoms, and treatments.

Symptoms of chronic kidney disease

People at high risk of CKD should have regular kidney function tests. Early detection can help prevent serious kidney damage.

What is IRC?

CKD is a slowly progressing disease that leads to kidney dysfunction. However, if one kidney stops working properly, the other can still perform its normal functions. A kidney may and may not deteriorate to a certain degree of dysfunction. However, sometimes the condition can progress to kidney failure. Most people with CKD don’t know it because symptoms don’t usually appear in the early stages of the disease. Generally, by the time a person notices symptoms, the disease is in an advanced stage. At this stage, kidney damage is irreversible.

How to recognize IRC

The symptoms of CKD are as follows:

– High blood pressure or high blood pressure
– anemia
– Edema or swelling of the feet, hands and ankles
– Fatigue or tiredness
– Decrease in urine output
– sometimes bloody urine
– dark urine, in some cases
– a decrease in mental alertness when the condition is serious
– Loss of appetite
– Persistent itching of the skin if the condition is severe
– more frequent urination, in some cases especially at night.

Treatment of symptoms and side effects

The damage to the kidneys of a person with CKD is usually permanent. However, certain treatments can help control symptoms, reduce the risk of complications, and slow the progression of the condition.

Here are some of the conditions caused by CKD that need treatment.

High blood pressure

High blood pressure can be the cause or a symptom of CKD. It is important to lower blood pressure to protect the kidneys and subsequently slow the progression of CKD. A person with high blood pressure may need to take certain medications. Lifestyle changes, such as healthy eating and regular exercise, can also help lower a person’s blood pressure.


Hemoglobin is the substance in red blood cells that carries vital oxygen around the body. If hemoglobin levels are low, the person is likely anemic.
Injections of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) are the most common treatment for CKD and anemia. ESAs mimic the protein erythropoietin, which is secreted by the kidneys to stimulate red blood cell production.

phosphate balance

The body of people with kidney disease may not be able to properly eliminate phosphate. Treatment is to reduce dietary phosphate intake. This usually means reducing your consumption of dairy products, red meat, eggs and fish.

itchy skin

Itching is a common problem in people with advanced CKD or those on dialysis who have kidney failure. The itching can be difficult to control, and a person may find that they have trouble sleeping. A person can try talking to a dermatologist about their itch. The dermatologist may give the person medication or moisturizers to reduce the itching.

Vitamin D deficiency

People with chronic kidney disease are at high risk of vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is essential for bone health. The kidneys activate vitamin D, which is obtained from sunlight or food, before the body can use it. Low vitamin D levels can lead to a loss of bone density, which can lead to osteoporosis or bone fractures.
People with vitamin D deficiency may need a supplement. However, evidence of its effectiveness is limited, so doctors usually make decisions based on the person’s needs and health status.

water retention

People with CKD should watch their fluid intake and limit their salt intake. When the kidneys aren’t working properly, a person is much more likely to accumulate fluids and become overloaded. Consuming a large amount of salt can also cause the body to retain even more fluid. Fluid retention due to sodium can lead to high blood pressure, which can lead to the progression of kidney disease and serious heart problems.


Adhering to a proper diet is an essential part of treating kidney failure. Limiting the amount of protein in the diet can help slow the progression of the disease, as excess protein consumption can cause kidney overload. However, the specific amount of protein a person should consume depends on their size, general health, and exercise regimen. A doctor or nutritionist should be consulted to learn the best sources of protein and how much to consume. Changing your diet can also help relieve symptoms of nausea. A person with high blood pressure must carefully control their salt intake to control high blood pressure. A person may also need to limit potassium and phosphorus as they can be dangerous for people with CKD.


Dialysis is the mechanical removal of excess waste and fluid from the blood when the kidneys can no longer perform this function. Dialysis carries serious risks, including infections.

Main causes of chronic kidney failure

The kidneys take care of the complex filter system of our organism. It removes waste and excess fluids from the blood and excretes them from the body.

The kidneys filter toxins and waste products from a person’s blood. However, problems can arise:

– if the blood flow does not reach the kidneys properly
– if the kidneys are not working properly due to an injury or illness
– if an obstruction prevents the flow of urine

CKD is often the result of diabetes or high blood pressure.

When a person has uncontrolled diabetes, sugar (glucose) builds up in the blood and can damage the kidneys. High blood pressure, on the other hand, can damage the glomeruli. These are parts of the kidney that filter out waste.

risk factors

Most causes of CKD are also risk factors for this disease. In addition to diabetes and high blood pressure, the risk factors are:

– have a family history of kidney disease
– Be older, as CKD is much more common in people over 60
– obesity
– have a heart condition
– have suffered previous kidney damage.

prevention and management

Certain diseases, such as diabetes, increase the risk of CKD. Controlling diabetes can reduce the risk of kidney failure. Affected individuals should follow the directions, advice, and recommendations of their physician.


Eating a healthy diet can help a person lower their blood pressure. Some heart-healthy foods are:

– Fruits and vegetables
– Full grain
– lean meat
– Fishes

physical activity

Regular physical activity is great for maintaining healthy blood pressure. It also helps control chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. People should consult a doctor to determine if an exercise program is appropriate for their age, weight, and medical condition.

Avoid certain substances

Excessive alcohol and drug use, as well as long-term exposure to heavy metals like lead, fuels, solvents, and other toxic chemicals can contribute to kidney disease.

Those affected should see a doctor to get tested. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise can help prevent CKD.

* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace the advice of a doctor.

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