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Chronic Kidney Failure

Chronic Kidney Failure

Chronic kidney failure (CKD) is a condition characterized by a gradual loss of kidney function over time. CKD is also known as chronic renal disease.

As chronic renal insufficiency (chronic renal failure), medical professionals refer to the loss of renal function, which progresses slowly over months or years. Usually both kidneys are affected. The most common causes of chronic renal insufficiency are diabetes and hypertension. The loss of functional renal tissue can usually not be reversed.

Chronic renal insufficiency:

The term “chronic renal insufficiency” is used by medical professionals when renal function has decreased to less than 60 percent. The severity of the disease can be divided into five stages. In Western Europe, about 10 out of every 100,000 people develop chronic renal insufficiency per year. It has dangerous effects on the body.

Chronic renal insufficiency: Most frequent triggers

The most common causes of chronic renal insufficiency are:

  • Diabetes: In about 35% of all cases, chronic renal insufficiency is caused by diabetes.
  • Hypertension: It can be the cause of chronic kidney failure (due to damage to the renal corpuscles), but on the other hand Hypertension is one of the consequences.
  • Renal inflammation: Both inflammation of the renal corpuscles and inflammation of the urinary track and the surrounding space (interstitial nephritis) can lead to chronic renal insufficiency.
  • Cystitis: In this congenital malformation of the kidneys, numerous fluid-filled cavities occur in the kidneys, which severely restricts their function.
  • Medicines: Medications are harmful, especially over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol, ibuprofen or diclofenac. They can cause chronic renal insufficiency, especially during prolonged use.

Chronic Renal Failure: Symptoms

How chronic renal failure (chronic renal insufficiency) occurs depends mainly on the underlying disease (such as diabetes or hypertension). The sequelae, which result from renal failure, characterize the symptoms in later stages.

Initial stage

Initially, chronic renal failure causes no symptoms for a long time: As long as the renal function is only slightly restricted, the patient mostly does not notice it. Some sufferers complain about uncharacteristic symptoms such as lack of performance and fatigue. Another sign of chronic renal failure may be frequent urination, with the urine being very light and low in concentration.

Advanced stage

Chronic kidney failure is often accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension) – for the first time occurring or increasingly difficult to adjust
  • Low amounts of urine (less than half a liter a day – normally about one and a half liters per day)
  • Sometimes red-colored urine (by decomposition products of the red blood dye)
  • Foaming urine during urination (reference to protein in the urine)
  • Fluid accumulation (edema) in the body, especially on the legs and eyelids
  • Increased susceptibility to infections
    (Renal anemia) and associated fatigue, weakness, concentration problems, decreasing physical resilience as well as pallor or coffee-au-lait staining of the skin (dirty yellow skin coloring)
  • Bone pain
  • Muscle aches
  • Itching and burning in the legs
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Read here of a personal experience of Chronic Kidney Failure symptoms.  

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