What to Know About Kidney Disease: A Guide for Patients

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Our kidneys are primarily responsible for regulating proper levels of bodily substances and removing waste, which makes them the body’s filter system. They also ensure the body’s healthy state of chemical balance. In short, they play a major role in maintaining your overall health and well-being. Unfortunately, the filtering part of the kidneys can get damaged from different causes. When this happens, kidney disease occurs.

What Is Kidney Disease?

Kidney disease, or kidney failure, occurs when nephrons responsible for filtering substances get damaged. Since blood is not filtered the way it should, it can lead to a buildup of harmful fluids and waste in the body. Other complications can also occur due to an imbalanced chemical makeup in your blood.

This disease can happen quickly and usually occurs after an accident, infection, or a sudden loss of large amounts of blood. In addition, chronic kidney disease occurs when one-third of kidney function is lost in a span of three months. 

The longer your kidney function deteriorates, the more waste will begin to accumulate in the blood. This can lead to lasting kidney damage. For this reason, you will require a kidney transplant or dialysis to stay alive.

What Are the Symptoms?

Unlike other severe health conditions, kidney disease is considered a silent killer. Often, there are no warning signs or noticeable symptoms, with kidney function gradually worsening over several years. As kidney disease progresses, you may start noticing some red flags reflecting your condition. Here are several common signs to watch out for:

  • Decreased urine output
  • Fluid retention
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Itching
  • Confusion
  • Seizures or coma in severe cases
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Chest pain or pressure

Kidney disease is often detected through lab tests done for another medical diagnosis. When discovered early, this disease can be managed through taking medication and making the necessary dietary and lifestyle changes.

How to Make the Condition More Manageable?

If you’ve already gone past kidney failure, remember that there are several treatments available. Your situation can also be more manageable through dialysis or kidney transplant.

  • Dialysis: Dialysis involves connecting you to a portable catheter bag or a large machine. This bag or machine filters and purifies your blood and performs the function of the kidneys. Although this doesn’t cure the disease itself, it can help prolong your lifespan as long as you get regular treatments.
  • Kidney Transplant: In this option, dialysis is no longer needed if a transplanted kidney works properly. The downside here is that the donor kidney must be compatible with your body, which is why there is usually a long wait. Having a living donor, on the other hand, may speed up the transplant process.

While your body recovers, the symptoms of chronic kidney disease can affect your ability to perform daily activities. The good news is there are home care services available to make your situation much easier. Best of all, since you will receive the care you need at the comfort of your home, you will feel more at ease.

Conclusion

It’s no secret that struggling with a severe health condition like kidney disease can be difficult. Fortunately, alleviating your symptoms and making your everyday life more manageable is possible by receiving much-needed support through home care services. For this reason, look for the right company to help meet your needs.

Gateway Home Health is a home care agency with locations in Denver and Colorado Springs. Our clinicians and therapists can provide patient care at your home for your comfort and convenience. Contact us today to request more information!

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