Chronic Renal Failure (CRF) or Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is continuous degradation in the normal functioning of kidney with the passage of time. A patient of chronic kidney disease might have only few symptoms sometimes like reduced hunger, weakness or feeling tired all the time. There are many reasons for kidney problems. Major diagnosed diseases which lead to Chronic Renal Disease is High Blood Pressure, Diabetes or it may be hereditary.
If Serum Creatinine is more in your blood then there is a possibility of having Chronic Renal Disease. Now, there are various other investigations which will tell you about Renal Failure i.e. Serum Urea, or Urine Examination. In Urine Examination you may find high levels of Protein or albumin which are indicated as ++++. The more positive marks imply more the kidney is being damaged. Your doctor may also suggest you for an Ultrasound Imaging & an invasive test named as Biopsy which means taking a tissue sample from kidney & examining it.
According to Modern Science, there are five stages of CKD. Stage I is said to be the mildest form with Stage V representing the severity of the disease & named as Chronic Renal Failure. Chronic Renal Failure is sometimes characterized by anemia, bone & joint problems. In Allopathy, there is only one treatment viz. renal replacement. You may require dialysis for months to years until your condition is suitable for replacement.
Signs and Symptoms
This condition is characterized by symptoms like
- Person feels lethargic due to increased weakness in body.
- In initial stages there are no prominent symptoms. It can only be detected by increase in Serum Creatinine & Urea or presence of protein in the urine. This is because kidney’s filtration activity gets affected. Increased Creatinine in blood is observed.
- Fluid starts accumulating in body, a condition known as Fluid Volume Overload. Pedal edema starts.
- High Blood Pressure is a main symptom- which is due to malfunctioning of RAS (Renin-Angiotenin System).
- Due to decreased filtration activity of kidney, elements are not excreted out of the body through proper means and can lead to different issues like urea gets excreted by sweating, reduced phosphate excretion leads to Hyperphosphatemia etc.
- Patient may also suffer from accelerated atherosclerosis (thickening of artery walls) and also develop cardiovascular disease in later stages.
- As kidney doesn’t function properly many enzymes which are critically involved in Hemoglobin synthesis are reduced i.e. Erythropoietin leading to anemia in 70 % of cases.
- Metabolic Acidosis- acidic content in body increase as kidney is not maintaining the acid-base balance. This is quiet a serious symptom as it can lead to coma or finally death.
Risk factors involving Renal Disease
This is true that anybody can suffer from kidney disease. But risk is higher in different cases:
- 30% risk if you have Diabetes
- 20 % risk if you have high B.P.
- Hereditary Factor
- Above 60 years of age
- High intake of Allopathic Medicine like Pain Killers/NSAIDs.
Prevention is better than Cure for Kidney Problems
If you are diabetic the more are the chances of developing kidney diseases. High Blood Pressure also attributes to renal failure. So, every individual should keep a close eye & monitor his sugar & BP levels regularly. Do keep a record of it along with.
Lifestyle management is the need of the hour. Due to our hectic lifestyle we are not able to give due importance to our health. Some Lifestyle management tips are as follows:
- Reducing excess body fat. Regular gym, Exercise & Yoga can make you fit.
- Visiting your doctor twice a year is mandatory.
- Regular Liver Function & Renal Function should be investigated.
- Eat food according to your Prakruti. A vegetarian low fat diet supports a healthy system.
- Regular use of seasonal fruits and vegetables in your diet.
- Use only recommended medicines. Avoid spurious drugs.
- Alcohol in moderate quantities. Quit smoking.
- Reduce stress by practicing Pranayama & Meditation (Dhyana)
Diagnosing Renal Disease
Gold standard method to diagnose renal function is by examining Serum Creatinine & Blood Urea values.
- By Creatinine we will be able to calculate GFR i.e. Glomerular Filtration Rate. Lesser the GFR value, more is the kidney Damage.
- Fasting Blood Sugar & Glycoslated Hemoglobin LevelsRegular monitoring of blood glucose and HbA1c levels can give you a clear picture of diabetes. The high levels of blood sugar can initiate organ damage.
- Total Lipid ProfileLipid profile tests should be done at least twice a year so that Blood Pressure would be monitored.
- CT/MRI or an Ultrasound to check the physical condition, shape & size of kidney.
- Biopsy of kidneyA sample tissue from kidney is taken and examined to identify the renal structure under a microscope.
- Urine AnalysisUrine test to identify the excretion of proteins/albumin which will indicate kidney malfunctioning.
Ancient system of medicine Ayurveda has treatment for kidney failure. Dr. Aggarwal’s Ayurvedic Panchakarma & Research Centre is the ray of hope for many patients who have been suffering from kidney failure.