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General Info on Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease is a chronic and long-term medical condition. It features with kidneys inability to perform its basic functions-elimination of excess of water and waste products from the body. Chronic kidney disease does not have to cause any symptoms at all until it reaches terminal stage. The problem with function of the kidneys is discovered accidentally with routine urine analysis. In case of advanced disease patients complain about fatigue, swelling of the ankles, feet and hands caused by water retention, shortness of breath, nausea and blood in urine.

Chronic kidney disease generally affects older people. It is estimated that one men out of 5 and one women out of 4 between the age of 65 and 74 suffer from certain degree of chronic kidney disease. In many cases damage to the kidneys and consequent onset of chronic kidney disease is connected with high blood pressure and diabetes. The condition is more frequent among people of south Asian origin and black people.

Clinical Characteristics of Chronic Kidney Disease

As it has already been said the condition is usually asymptomatic and in initial stages it can be found accidentally with routine urine analysis. The body is able to tolerate large reduction in kidney function. This drives to conclusion that each and every human is actually born with a lot more kidney function than necessary for survival. This is why many people can live even with one kidney.

In case one is diagnosed with chronic kidney disease he/ she is closely monitored and goes for regular examinations and with certain treatments doctors try to reduce and prevent further damage to the kidneys and further loss of their function.

In case of serious loss of kidney's function and progression of the disease a patient develops kidney failure and develops many symptoms and signs of the condition. For example, advanced stage of the diseases features with tiredness, water retention and subsequent swelling of the ankles, feet and/ or hands, shortness of breath, presence of blood or protein in urine, itchy skin, nausea etc.

The prognosis of chronic kidney disease is not so good. This is a very serious condition that eventually leads to total loss of kidney function. Furthermore, people suffering from chronic kidney disease are also highly susceptible to stroke and heart attack. In terminal stage of the disease, once the kidneys completely lose their function a person may only survive with dialysis. Such people may benefit from kidney transplantation as well.

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