Chronic Kidney Disease

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Kidney disease happens when there is damage to the kidneys that causes the kidney to not work well. When kidneys stop working, your body is faced with a build up of fluid and waste. Without treatment, kidney disease can cause death.

Generally kidney damage happens gradually over time. Individuals may not even know there is damage until damage is severe. As kidney damage increases, waste products that are normally filtered by the kidney and flushed away from your body as urine start to build up in your blood. This video created by Dr. Tangri explains the stages of kidney disease and how to know if you are at risk.

This build up of waste product can make you feel sick and, depending on what stage of kidney function you are at, can lead to other complications such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Anemia
  • Weak bones
  • Increased risk of heart and blood vessel disease

SIGNS OF CKD

Kidney disease can sneak up on you, particularly in the very early stages simply because there are no noticeable symptoms (asymptomatic) associated. Having your health-care provider measure your kidney function with basic tests is the best way to find out how your kidneys are doing.

Eventually, people with kidney disease may notice:

  • foaming, bloody (resembling cola or tea) or cloudy urine
  • edema (swelling)
  • nocturia (having to pee during the night)

Later signs of kidney disease include:

  • nausea and vomiting
  • persistent, ongoing itching
  • bone or joint pain
  • decreased urine output  (less than 2 cups per day)
  • generalized swelling
  • shortness of breath

 

The amount of damage to your kidneys is categorized by five stages.

When you visit your doctor for regular check ups including urine and blood tests, the results will let your doctor know how your kidneys are doing. A number they use to determine your kidney function is eGFR. Automatic estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR) reporting was introduced in Manitoba in 2010 to assist practitioners in the early identification of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Your doctor will refer you to Manitoba Renal Program based on your results. They can also work with you to manage your concerns and risk factors when it comes to kidney health in general.

STAGE 1 – Normal or High Function

eGFR greater than 90
  • Follow a healthy lifestyle: Healthy eating, Be physically active, Stop smoking, Limit alcohol intake.
  • Take medications as prescribed
  • Aim for a healthy weight
  • Avoid anti-inflammatory pain medications e.g. ibuprofen, naproxen, high-dose ASA (more than 325 mg per day)
  • Maintain good blood pressure (less then 130/80)
  • If you have diabetes maintain good blood sugar *A1c less then 7% (blood test done at a lab)

STAGE 2 – Mildly Decreased Function

eGFR between 60 - 90
  • Follow a healthy lifestyle: Healthy eating, Be physically active, Stop smoking, Limit alcohol intake.
  • Take medications as prescribed
  • Aim for a healthy weight
  • Avoid anti-inflammatory pain medications e.g. ibuprofen, naproxen, high-dose ASA (more than 325 mg per day)
  • Maintain good blood pressure (less then 130/80)
  • If you have diabetes maintain good blood sugar *A1c less then 7% (blood test done at a lab)

STAGE 3 Mildly to Moderately Decreased Function

eGFR between 30 and 59.9
  • Follow a healthy lifestyle: Healthy eating, Be physically active, Stop smoking, Limit alcohol intake.
  • Take medications as prescribed
  • Aim for a healthy weight
  • Avoid anti-inflammatory pain medications e.g. ibuprofen, naproxen, high-dose ASA (more than 325 mg per day)
  • Maintain good blood pressure (less then 130/80)
  • If you have diabetes maintain good blood sugar *A1c less then 7% (blood test done at a lab)

STAGE 4 Moderately to Severely Decreased Function

eGFR between 15 and 29
  • Follow a healthy lifestyle: Healthy eating, Be physically active, Stop smoking, Limit alcohol intake.
  • Take medications as prescribed
  • Aim for a healthy weight
  • Avoid anti-inflammatory pain medications e.g. ibuprofen, naproxen, high-dose ASA (more than 325 mg per day)
  • Maintain good blood pressure (less then 130/80)
  • If you have diabetes maintain good blood sugar *A1c less then 7% (blood test done at a lab)
  • Follow a prescribed kidney friendly diet

STAGE 5 Kidney Failure

eGFR between 15 and 29

Stage 5 chronic kidney failure is also referred to as end–stage kidney disease, wherein there is total or near–total loss of kidney function. As CKD progresses through the five stages, it eventually leads to kidney failure, which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant to maintain life.

Are you a new patient or have you been referred to the renal program?