What is Chronic Kidney Disease?
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a long-term health problem where the kidneys slowly stop working. About 8 people out of every 100 (8%) in the UK have CKD. As people get older, they are more likely to get CKD. People are more likely to have CKD if they are South Asian or Black African. Many diseases can cause the kidneys to stop working properly. The most common causes are diabetes and high blood pressure.
What do Kidneys do?
Kidneys act as a filter and “clean” the blood. Waste products and excess water leave the body in people’s urine.
Kidney’s control the levels of water and different minerals needed for good health e.g salt and potassium.
Kidney’s make hormones to control other bodily functions such as blood pressure and anaemia.
Kidney’s keep the acid-base levels of the blood constant
Kidney’s control the body’s calcium levels and bone health
Symptoms of Chronic kidney disease
Usually people with early stage chronic kidney disease have no symptoms and feel quite well. As the disease get worse, people can experience some symptoms such as:
Weakness, tiredness, Itching, loss of appetite, headaches, weight loss, nausea, swollen ankles or hands
Coping with chronic kidney disease
People with chronic kidney disease can lead full lives but they often need to make changes to manage their disease. People choose to cope with their illness in different ways. Being active in choosing treatments and managing the illness helps maintain a feeling of being in control and helps people make sure they get the treatment that best suits their lives. People with CKD who become more involved in the management of their care have better health outcomes.