Chronic kidney disease, or failure, is a dangerous condition if not caught and treated in the early stages. But, most symptoms during the first stages of kidney illness may not be as noticeable. So, if you’re experiencing some signs that you may be struggling with a kidney illness, it’s best to determine if your symptoms match up. That way, you can get the diagnosis you need to receive the treatment that could keep you alive!
What do Kidneys Do and What is Kidney Illness?
Every person is born with two kidneys. They’re located in the small of the back.The kidneys’ job is to remove waste and extra fluids the body cannot use from the blood. Also, kidneys help to control blood pressure, electrolyte levels, and even encourage the development of red blood cells. But, those living with kidney illness possess kidneys that don’t do their job correctly. So, those in the later stages of kidney disease will suffer from high excess liquid levels, electrolyte imbalance, and waste in the bloodstream. This can lead to a multitude of symptoms including death if a kidney transplant operation is not utilized.
What are the Symptoms of Kidney Illness?
You may be wondering if the symptoms you are experiencing are due to kidney illness. But, you should remember that some symptoms of kidney disease can also be shared symptoms of other conditions. So, if you are experiencing some of these symptoms, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are suffering from a kidney illness. Although, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should talk to your doctor about receiving a diagnosis. Common symptoms of kidney disease include:
- Trouble breathing
- Liquid in the lungs
- Muscle spasms or tightness
- Swelling of the feet
- Trouble falling or staying asleep
- Lack of concentration
- Constant itching of the skin
- Sharp chest pains
- Frequent or lack of urination
- Nausea and vomiting
- High blood pressure levels
The Stages of Kidney Disease
When you think of kidney disease, you may think about dialysis or even a kidney transplant. But, in reality, these measures are taken with patients in the final stage of kidney failure. There are actually five stages of kidney illness. Each stage signifies a decreased ability of the kidneys to filter what’s not needed from the blood. To identify a patient’s kidney disease stage, a doctor will perform a Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) test to determine the presence of nonfiltered excess waste from the blood. The final stage of kidney disease is also known as end-stage renal disease or kidney failure. Patients in this stage of the illness require dialysis which is a machine that filters the blood for the kidneys. Those who cannot live without frequent or constant dialysis can receive a kidney transplant by donation.
Who’s at Risk for Developing Kidney Disease?
Although there is no one cause for kidney disease, there are a few common characteristics of individuals who are diagnosed with the condition. Those at a higher risk for developing kidney disease may:
- Suffer from hypertension
- Have been diagnosed with diabetes
- Struggle with heart conditions
- Have close family members with kidney disease
Getting a Diagnosis
If you find that you may be at risk for kidney disease and also have experienced one or more of the symptoms, it’s best to get tested by your doctor. More often than not, symptoms of kidney failure are not noticeable until later stages. So, it’s important that those at risk can identify and treat kidney problems right away. Ask your doctor about receiving a test and diagnosis for kidney disease.
Medications Used in Treating Kidney Disease
There are a number of medications that may be prescribed to you if your doctor determines that you may be struggling with kidney disease. These medications may include blood pressure management, electrolyte stimulation, blood sugar pills, diuretics. It’s important to stay on top of medication schedules so that you don’t progress to the next stage of kidney disease. So, it’s also important to purchase all required medications. But, affording these prescriptions may be a challenge. For patients who cannot afford medications due to minimal or no health insurance coverage, patient assistance programs can help. To find out if The RX Helper can discount or cover the cost of your medications completely, please visit our website or give us a call at 877-767-3297.