What Are the Stages of Chronic Kidney Disease? (Continued)
Warning Signs of Kidney Disease
Although kidney disease often shows no symptoms in the early stages, there are some warning signs that you should be aware of. If you experience any of these, please contact your health care provider right away.
- Weight loss
- Trouble sleeping
- Change in appetite
- Shortness of breath
- Pain or difficulty urinating
- Elevated blood pressure
- Blood or protein in the urine
- Urine that is foamy, bloody or coffee-colored
- Swelling or puffiness of hands, wrists, feet, thighs, abdomen or around the eyes
Tests for kidney disease
The only way to determine if you have CKD is through the use of laboratory tests. Your health care provider will perform tests of your blood or urine to see how well your kidneys are removing fluid and waste from your body.
One test to determine if kidney disease is present is called glomerular filtration rate (GFR). It is calculated by your health care practitioner after taking a sample of your blood, and it indicates how well your kidneys are functioning. If the results of your test are outside the normal range, it is likely that you will be diagnosed with kidney disease.
When you go to the doctor for a routine check-up, a urine sample is often taken and analyzed. As part of the analysis, your urine will be reviewed for indicators of kidney disease. The person analyzing the sample will be looking at the levels of red blood cells, white blood cells and protein in the urine.
Anyone with diabetes or high blood pressure should have yearly urine tests to determine if kidney disease is present. It is important to make the diagnosis when CKD is in its early stages.
Once diagnosed with kidney disease, laboratory tests are used on a regular basis to check for kidney function. A urine analysis will be used to determine the levels of BUN (blood urea nitrogen) and creatinine (chemical waste filtered by the kidneys) in your urine to see if the disease is progressing. Minerals, including calcium and phosphate, are also monitored. Often the level of parathyroid hormone will increase with kidney disease, so it is monitored to ensure that there is enough calcium and vitamin D in your body to prevent bone damage.
What if you are diagnosed with kidney disease?
There is no cure for CKD; however, if kidney disease is diagnosed in the early stages, diet changes and medications may be able to slow its progression so that you feel better, longer. In fact, with early detection, kidney disease can sometimes be halted.
If you are found to have CKD, your dietitian will provide you with an eating plan to balance the amounts of sodium, fluid and protein in your body. If the cause of your kidney disease is diabetes or high blood pressure, treating those conditions may also slow damage to your kidneys. There are many resources available today for people with CKD. You can learn more about kidney disease talking with your doctor and visiting reputable websites online.
Reprinted with permission by DaVita, Inc. Discover more about kidney disease at YourKidneys.com.
Surveys Find Adults with Type 2 Diabetes Are More Willing to Take Action to Achieve A1C Targets Quicker than Physicians and Other Medical Professionals Perceive
FDA Votes to Change Jardiance Label to Show Reduction in Heart-Related Deaths
Low Carb vs. High Carb II – My Diabetes Diet Battle Continued
Garlic Stock Creamy Cucumber and Tomato Salad Turkey Curry Crispy Apple Strudel Penne Mediterranean Delight Salad Fudgy Cherry Crunch Cake Taste of Italy Soup Herbed Grit Cakes Carb Free Sweet-and-Sour Sauce Cheesy Potato Casserole
There are two reasons it took me as long as it did to "come out" publicly with diabetes (and hypertension). One was denial: in my mind, I was too young to have type 2 diabetes — a condition I only knew in people over the age of 55 — and the other was fear of public shaming. Turn back the clock several years before my own diagnosis. Our workplace was a bit more stratified, with two editors above me. The elder of the two was somewhat overweight and, like many...