Kidney disease is diagnosed when a person’s kidneys are unable to filter blood the way they should. This lack of filtration can cause waste to build up in the body and ultimately lead to other health-related complications. Chronic kidney disease is a common condition that affects 30 million adults in the United States and is the ninth leading cause of death. While anyone can be diagnosed with CKD, there are some who are at a higher risk of developing the disease.
Diabetes is the leading cause of chronic kidney disease. About one in three people living with diabetes will develop CKD during their lifetime. The second leading cause of CKD is hypertension (high blood pressure). High blood pressure can damage the vessels in your kidneys therefore leading to kidney disease.
If you have been diagnosed with heart disease, you are also at an increased risk for developing chronic kidney disease, and vice versa. It is important to understand, being diagnosed with both heart disease and chronic kidney disease increases your risk of having a stroke. As with most diseases, family history plays a factor with CKD as well.
Additionally, the risk of kidney disease increases with age. The longer you have had diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease, the more likely you will be diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. Due to higher rates of diabetes and high blood pressure, African Americans, Hispanics and American Indians tend to have a greater risk of CKD.
Many people have kidney disease and do not even know it. Despite the damage caused, symptoms of kidney disease do not normally present until the condition is at an advanced state. In some instances, individuals will have complaints of change in color and odor of urine or abdominal pain, which then triggers them to seek our help. More often than not, I have noticed that most of the patients I see for the first time do not know much about kidney disease.
The good news is with early detection, the disease can be prevented from progressing into kidney failure. Also, many are able to manage chronic kidney disease with a balanced diet, medication and a healthy lifestyle.
At Lima Memorial Internal Medicine & Kidney Specialists, our highly-trained clinical staff offer a wide array of services for both men and women, including screening and modification of risk factors, patient-specific therapy for various kidney diseases including, but not limited to, treatment of uncontrolled hypertension, acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease, glomerulonephritis and kidney stones. In addition, we offer all forms of kidney failure dialysis therapies including hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis and home hemodialysis services. When warranted, we will work closely with other healthcare facilities to refer patients for kidney transplants.
Most important, we are an advocate for the patient. Learning you have chronic kidney disease can be a scary and uncertain time. Our dedicated expert team of compassionate professionals will be a source of support for you, ensuring you have all of your questions answered. If you feel you or a family member might be at risk for chronic kidney disease, please talk to your primary care provider today. Getting ahead of the disease is the key to managing it effectively.
Dr. Farnaz Mohammadi is a board-certified nephrologist with Lima Memorial Physicians.