Kidney Disease - Symptoms, Diagnosis, Test

Did you know that 17 in every 100 Indians suffer from some form of kidney disease?

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Overview

In India, 1.36 Lakhs adults die due to chronic kidney disease, which is more than AIDS.

The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs located at the bottom of the rib cage and are mainly responsible for:

  • Filtering waste products, excess water, and other impurities out of the blood.
  • Regulating pH, salt, and potassium levels in the body.
  • Regulating blood pressure and the production of red blood cells.
  • Activating a form of vitamin D that enhances calcium absorption.

Symptoms of Kidney Disease

The following symptoms are early warning signs of developing kidney disease:

  • Fatigue and Muscle Cramps

  • Trouble Sleeping

  • Poor Appetite

  • Edema - Swollen feet, hands and ankles

  • Puffiness around the eyes

  • Frequent urination, especially late at night

  • Decreased mental alertness

  • Fatigue due to a buildup of toxins and impurities in the blood.
  • Trouble sleeping, due to decreased kidney function resulting in buildup of toxins in the blood.
  • Poor appetite due to a buildup of toxins and impurities in the blood resulting from reduced kidney function
  • Muscle cramping, due to Electrolyte imbalances resulting from impaired kidney function.
  • Edema - Swollen feet, hands and ankles, due to decreased kidney function leading to sodium retention.
  • Puffiness around the eyes due to the kidneys leaking a large amount of protein in the urine.
  • Dry/Scaly skin, when the kidneys are no longer able to keep the right balance of minerals and nutrients in the blood.
  • Frequent urination, especially late at night
  • Decreased mental alertness due to a buildup of toxins and impurities in the blood.

Severe symptoms may include:

  • Nausea & Vomiting

  • Loss of appetite

  • Changes in urine output

  • Fluid retention

  • Anemia (a decrease in red blood cells)

  • Decreased sex drive

  • Sudden rise in potassium levels

  • Nausea, Vomiting due to a buildup of toxins and impurities in the blood.
  • Loss of appetite due to a buildup of toxins and impurities in the blood resulting from reduced kidney function
  • Changes in urine output
  • FFluid retention is common in kidney disease and manifests with swelling
  • Anemia (a decrease in red blood cells), can cause weakness and fatigue.
  • Decreased sex drive, is very common in patients with kidney disease.
  • Sudden rise in potassium levels

Are you at risk for kidney disease?

The major risk factors for kidney disease are:

  • Diabetes,
    the most common cause and can damage the blood vessels in the kidneys.
  • Hypertension,
    the second most common cause, can cause damage to the blood vessels and filters in the kidney,
  • Age,
    more common among people over 60
  • Family history
    of kidney disease
  • Atherosclerosis
    can reduce blood flow and cause scarring of the kidney.
  • Smoking
    is harmful for the kidneys and can cause kidney disease to progress.
  • Obesity
    increases the risk of developing major risk factors for chronic kidney disease, like diabetes and hypertension.

Types of Kidney Disease

Kidney disease occurs when the kidneys cannot function properly.

  • Chronic Kidney Disease

  • Kidney Stones

  • Glomerulonephritis

  • Polycystic kidney disease

  • Urinary tract infections

  • Chronic Kidney Disease
    - Chronic kidney disease is a condition characterized by a gradual loss of kidney function over time and is mainly caused by diabetes, high blood pressure and other disorders.
    - High blood pressure is dangerous for the kidneys because it can increase the pressure on the glomeruli. Glomeruli are the tiny blood vessels in the kidneys where blood is cleaned. Over time, the increased pressure damages these vessels and kidney functions begin to decline.
    - Diabetes is also a major cause of chronic kidney disease. The increased level of sugar in the blood damages the blood vessels in the kidneys over time.
    - Early detection and treatment can often keep chronic kidney disease from getting worse. When kidney disease progresses, it may eventually lead to kidney failure, which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant to maintain life.
  • Kidney Stones
    - Kidney stones occur when minerals and other substances in the blood crystallize in the kidneys, forming solid masses (stones). Kidney stones usually come out of the body during urination.
  • Glomerulonephritis
    - Glomerulonephritis is an inflammation of the glomeruli. Glomeruli are extremely small structures inside the kidneys that filter the blood. Glomerulonephritis can be caused by infections, drugs, or congenital abnormalities.
  • Polycystic kidney disease
    - Polycystic kidney disease is a genetic disorder that causes numerous cysts (small sacs of fluid) to grow in the kidneys. These cysts can interfere with kidney function and cause kidney failure.
  • Urinary tract infections
    - Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are bacterial infections of any part of the urinary system. Infections in the bladder and urethra are the most common. If left untreated, these infections can spread to the kidneys and cause kidney failure.

How is Kidney disease diagnosed?

There are various tests used to diagnose kidney disease.

  • Glomerular filtration rate (GFR)
    Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is a test used to check how well the kidneys are working. Specifically, it estimates how much blood passes through the glomeruli each minute. Glomeruli are extremely small structures inside the kidneys that filter the blood.
  • Urine Examination
    A urinalysis is a group of physical, chemical, and microscopic tests. The tests detect and measure several substances in the urine including glucose, protein, bilirubin, red blood cells, white blood cells, crystals, and bacteria.
  • Protein – Creatinine Ratio, Urine A urine protein test is often used to screen for, help evaluate, and monitor kidney function and to help detect and diagnose early kidney disease. Urine Protein-Creatinine ratio is a simple & convenient method to quantitate & monitor proteinuria in adults with chronic kidney disease.
  • Microalbumin Creatinine Ratio
    This test is useful in the management of patients with early Diabetes mellitus to assist in avoiding or delaying the onset of renal disease.
  • Kidney Panel, KFT
    A kidney panel is a group of tests that may be performed together to evaluate kidney function. The tests measure levels of various substances, including

    • Electrolytes, electrically charged chemicals that are vital to normal body processes. Electrolytes include
      - Sodium
      - Potassium
      - Chloride
    • Minerals, electrically charged chemicals that are vital to normal body processes. Electrolytes include
      - Phosphorus, vital for energy production, muscle and nerve function, and bone growth
      - Calcium, essential for the proper functioning of muscles, nerves, and the heart and is required in blood clotting and the formation of bones.
    • Albumin
      a protein essential to keeping fluid from leaking out of blood vessels and transporting hormones, vitamins, drugs, and ions like calcium throughout the body.
    • Waste products
      - Urea, a nitrogen-containing waste product that forms from the metabolism of protein
      - Creatinine, produced by the body's muscles. Almost all creatinine is eliminated by the kidneys.
      - Uric Acid, the end product of protein metabolism.
    • Glucose,
      supplies energy for the body
    • A:G Ratio, the calculated ratio of albumin to globulins. It may provide a clue as to the cause of the change in protein levels.
  • Creatinine Clearance Test
    Creatinine clearance reflects the glomerular filtration rate, the ability of kidneys to filter waste products. A moderate decrease in renal function is detected by creatinine clearance. It also monitors the progression of renal disease.
  • Uric Acid
    Uric acid is the end product of protein metabolism. The uric acid blood test is used to diagnose the cause of recurrent kidney stones and to monitor people with gout for stone formation.
  • Beta-2 Microglobulin
    Beta-2 microglobulin is a protein that is found on the surface of nucleated cells and functions as part of the human immune system. The beta-2 microglobulin test may be used when known physical or suspected kidney damage occurs to distinguish between glomerular and tubular disorders of the kidney.
  • Vitamin D 1, 25-Dihydroxy
    Vitamin D is a family of compounds that is essential for the proper growth and formation of teeth and bones. This test measures the level of vitamin D in the blood. A low level of 1,25-dihydroxy Vitamin D can be seen in kidney disease and is one of the earliest changes to occur in persons with early kidney failure.
  • Kidney scans
    Kidney scans may include a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, computed tomography (CT) scan, or an ultrasound scan. The aim is to determine whether there are any blockages in the urine flow. These scans can also reveal the size and shape of the kidneys.
  • Kidney biopsy
    A small sample of kidney tissue is extracted and examined for cell damage. An analysis of kidney tissue makes it easier to make a precise diagnosis of kidney disease.

How can kidney disease be prevented?

Following measures can be taken to prevent kidney disease:

  • Drink plenty of water

  • Control blood sugar

  • Control blood pressure

  • Reduce salt intake

  • Quit smoking

  • Drink plenty of water: It helps to flush out infection-causing bacteria
  • Control blood sugar: The best way to prevent or slow kidney damage
  • Control blood pressure: High blood pressure can increase damage to the kidneys.
  • Reduce salt intake: Too much salt can be harmful for people with kidney disease
  • Quit smoking: Smoking is harmful for the kidneys and can cause kidney disease to progress.

Overview

In India, 1.36 Lakhs adults die due to chronic kidney disease, which is more than AIDS.

The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs located at the bottom of the rib cage and are mainly responsible for:

  • Filtering waste products, excess water, and other impurities out of the blood.
  • Regulating pH, salt, and potassium levels in the body.
  • Regulating blood pressure and the production of red blood cells.
  • Activating a form of vitamin D that enhances calcium absorption.

Symptoms of Kidney Disease

The following symptoms are early warning signs of developing kidney disease:

  • Fatigue and Muscle Cramps

  • Trouble Sleeping

  • Poor Appetite

  • Edema - Swollen feet, hands and ankles

  • Puffiness around the eyes

  • Frequent urination, especially late at night

  • Decreased mental alertness

  • Fatigue due to a buildup of toxins and impurities in the blood.
  • Trouble sleeping, due to decreased kidney function resulting in buildup of toxins in the blood.
  • Poor appetite due to a buildup of toxins and impurities in the blood resulting from reduced kidney function
  • Muscle cramping, due to Electrolyte imbalances resulting from impaired kidney function.
  • Edema - Swollen feet, hands and ankles, due to decreased kidney function leading to sodium retention.
  • Puffiness around the eyes due to the kidneys leaking a large amount of protein in the urine.
  • Dry/Scaly skin, when the kidneys are no longer able to keep the right balance of minerals and nutrients in the blood.
  • Frequent urination, especially late at night
  • Decreased mental alertness due to a buildup of toxins and impurities in the blood.

Severe symptoms may include:

  • Nausea & Vomiting

  • Loss of appetite

  • Changes in urine output

  • Fluid retention

  • Anemia (a decrease in red blood cells)

  • Decreased sex drive

  • Sudden rise in potassium levels

  • Nausea, Vomiting due to a buildup of toxins and impurities in the blood.
  • Loss of appetite due to a buildup of toxins and impurities in the blood resulting from reduced kidney function
  • Changes in urine output
  • FFluid retention is common in kidney disease and manifests with swelling
  • Anemia (a decrease in red blood cells), can cause weakness and fatigue.
  • Decreased sex drive, is very common in patients with kidney disease.
  • Sudden rise in potassium levels

Are you at risk for kidney disease?

The major risk factors for kidney disease are:

  • Diabetes,
    the most common cause and can damage the blood vessels in the kidneys.
  • Hypertension,
    the second most common cause, can cause damage to the blood vessels and filters in the kidney,
  • Age,
    more common among people over 60
  • Family history
    of kidney disease
  • Atherosclerosis
    can reduce blood flow and cause scarring of the kidney.
  • Smoking
    is harmful for the kidneys and can cause kidney disease to progress.
  • Obesity
    increases the risk of developing major risk factors for chronic kidney disease, like diabetes and hypertension.

Types of Kidney Disease

Kidney disease occurs when the kidneys cannot function properly.

  • Chronic Kidney Disease

  • Kidney Stones

  • Glomerulonephritis

  • Polycystic kidney disease

  • Urinary tract infections

  • Chronic Kidney Disease
    - Chronic kidney disease is a condition characterized by a gradual loss of kidney function over time and is mainly caused by diabetes, high blood pressure and other disorders.
    - High blood pressure is dangerous for the kidneys because it can increase the pressure on the glomeruli. Glomeruli are the tiny blood vessels in the kidneys where blood is cleaned. Over time, the increased pressure damages these vessels and kidney functions begin to decline.
    - Diabetes is also a major cause of chronic kidney disease. The increased level of sugar in the blood damages the blood vessels in the kidneys over time.
    - Early detection and treatment can often keep chronic kidney disease from getting worse. When kidney disease progresses, it may eventually lead to kidney failure, which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant to maintain life.
  • Kidney Stones
    - Kidney stones occur when minerals and other substances in the blood crystallize in the kidneys, forming solid masses (stones). Kidney stones usually come out of the body during urination.
  • Glomerulonephritis
    - Glomerulonephritis is an inflammation of the glomeruli. Glomeruli are extremely small structures inside the kidneys that filter the blood. Glomerulonephritis can be caused by infections, drugs, or congenital abnormalities.
  • Polycystic kidney disease
    - Polycystic kidney disease is a genetic disorder that causes numerous cysts (small sacs of fluid) to grow in the kidneys. These cysts can interfere with kidney function and cause kidney failure.
  • Urinary tract infections
    - Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are bacterial infections of any part of the urinary system. Infections in the bladder and urethra are the most common. If left untreated, these infections can spread to the kidneys and cause kidney failure.

How is Kidney disease diagnosed?

There are various tests used to diagnose kidney disease.

  • Glomerular filtration rate (GFR)
    Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is a test used to check how well the kidneys are working. Specifically, it estimates how much blood passes through the glomeruli each minute. Glomeruli are extremely small structures inside the kidneys that filter the blood.
  • Urine Examination
    A urinalysis is a group of physical, chemical, and microscopic tests. The tests detect and measure several substances in the urine including glucose, protein, bilirubin, red blood cells, white blood cells, crystals, and bacteria.
  • Protein – Creatinine Ratio, Urine A urine protein test is often used to screen for, help evaluate, and monitor kidney function and to help detect and diagnose early kidney disease. Urine Protein-Creatinine ratio is a simple & convenient method to quantitate & monitor proteinuria in adults with chronic kidney disease.
  • Microalbumin Creatinine Ratio
    This test is useful in the management of patients with early Diabetes mellitus to assist in avoiding or delaying the onset of renal disease.
  • Kidney Panel, KFT
    A kidney panel is a group of tests that may be performed together to evaluate kidney function. The tests measure levels of various substances, including

    • Electrolytes, electrically charged chemicals that are vital to normal body processes. Electrolytes include
      - Sodium
      - Potassium
      - Chloride
    • Minerals, electrically charged chemicals that are vital to normal body processes. Electrolytes include
      - Phosphorus, vital for energy production, muscle and nerve function, and bone growth
      - Calcium, essential for the proper functioning of muscles, nerves, and the heart and is required in blood clotting and the formation of bones.
    • Albumin
      a protein essential to keeping fluid from leaking out of blood vessels and transporting hormones, vitamins, drugs, and ions like calcium throughout the body.
    • Waste products
      - Urea, a nitrogen-containing waste product that forms from the metabolism of protein
      - Creatinine, produced by the body's muscles. Almost all creatinine is eliminated by the kidneys.
      - Uric Acid, the end product of protein metabolism.
    • Glucose,
      supplies energy for the body
    • A:G Ratio, the calculated ratio of albumin to globulins. It may provide a clue as to the cause of the change in protein levels.
  • Creatinine Clearance Test
    Creatinine clearance reflects the glomerular filtration rate, the ability of kidneys to filter waste products. A moderate decrease in renal function is detected by creatinine clearance. It also monitors the progression of renal disease.
  • Uric Acid
    Uric acid is the end product of protein metabolism. The uric acid blood test is used to diagnose the cause of recurrent kidney stones and to monitor people with gout for stone formation.
  • Beta-2 Microglobulin
    Beta-2 microglobulin is a protein that is found on the surface of nucleated cells and functions as part of the human immune system. The beta-2 microglobulin test may be used when known physical or suspected kidney damage occurs to distinguish between glomerular and tubular disorders of the kidney.
  • Vitamin D 1, 25-Dihydroxy
    Vitamin D is a family of compounds that is essential for the proper growth and formation of teeth and bones. This test measures the level of vitamin D in the blood. A low level of 1,25-dihydroxy Vitamin D can be seen in kidney disease and is one of the earliest changes to occur in persons with early kidney failure.
  • Kidney scans
    Kidney scans may include a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, computed tomography (CT) scan, or an ultrasound scan. The aim is to determine whether there are any blockages in the urine flow. These scans can also reveal the size and shape of the kidneys.
  • Kidney biopsy
    A small sample of kidney tissue is extracted and examined for cell damage. An analysis of kidney tissue makes it easier to make a precise diagnosis of kidney disease.

How can kidney disease be prevented?

Following measures can be taken to prevent kidney disease:

  • Drink plenty of water

  • Control blood sugar

  • Control blood pressure

  • Reduce salt intake

  • Quit smoking

  • Drink plenty of water: It helps to flush out infection-causing bacteria
  • Control blood sugar: The best way to prevent or slow kidney damage
  • Control blood pressure: High blood pressure can increase damage to the kidneys.
  • Reduce salt intake: Too much salt can be harmful for people with kidney disease
  • Quit smoking: Smoking is harmful for the kidneys and can cause kidney disease to progress.