Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is
defined as the gradual loss of renal function over a period of time. Though the
disease affects more than 50 million people worldwide, awareness on prevention
and cure is very poor, says Dr. Topoti Mukherjee, consultant nephrologist for
"Millions die prematurely of complications related to CKD, either without realizing that they have kidney disease or with an extremely late diagnosis. Early detection, prevention and care are the only solutions to avoid medical complications," she says.
CKD is more common among women and senior citizens but it can affect people of all ages and races. "When caught early enough, the progression of kidney disease can be slowed down. In some cases, the disease is even prevented with a kidney-friendly diet and help from an integrated care team. But if its diagnosed at the last stage, dialysis or renal transplantation are the only options for survival," she adds.
Some of the complications that can arise as a consequence of inadequate renal care are:
- Hypertension: High prevalence even at early stages of kidney disease.
- Electrolyte and volume disturbances: Sodium (Na), Potassium (K), and even acidosis
- Bone disease
- Anemia (deficiency of red cells or of hemoglobin in the blood), accounting for many symptoms. Also, it adds to cardiac risk and is a predictor of cardiovascular related events
- Dyslipidemia (a disorder of lipoprotein metabolism, including lipoprotein overproduction or deficiency)
- Nutritional abnormalities
- Growth retardation in children
- Neurological: Cognitive decline, dementia, depression, sleep disturbances, peripheral nerve abnormalities
- Cardiovascular abnormalities: Higher risk of heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, angina, arrhythmias, strokes, sudden death. In addition to the traditional cardiac risk factors in the general population, there are uremia specific risk factors as well. In advanced stages, uremic pericarditis may present as one of the complications
- Sexual abnormalities
- Higher chances of bleeding
- Skin abnormalities
- Hormonal abnormalities
- Lower immunity