Hypertension and Diabetes: Protect Your Kidneys
Did you know that the three main causes of kidney disease are hypertension, diabetes, and heredity? More than 1.2 million people around the world suffer from end stage renal disease which is the final stage of kidney disease.The frightening thing is that in the United States alone over 400,000 people are diagnosed with end stage renal disease. The number of sufferers has doubled in the past decade and is estimated to increase by 2010 to approximately 650,000 sufferers in the United States alone. Chronic kidney disease effects close to 20 million people living in the United States. Like end stage renal disease it has doubled in the past decade and is expected to increase by 2010. Since there really is no turning back once kidney disease reaches its final stages, it is imperative for those that suffer from hypertension and diabetes to watch their kidney functions very closely.
What is Kidney Disease?
Chronic kidney disease is a disease that effects the kidneys and how they function. Normally, chronic kidney disease happens gradually over time and results in total loss of kidney function. According to E-Medicine Health there are five stages of chronic kidney disease: slight kidney damage with increased filtration, mild decrease in kidney function, moderate decrease in kidney function, severe decrease in kidney function, and kidney failure or end stage renal disease. (1) There are many causes of kidney disease; however, the three main causes are hypertension, diabetes, and heredity/ethnicity. There are certain ethnic groups that are naturally more susceptible to chronic kidney disease. Those of African American, Pacific Islander, Hispanic, and Native American decent naturally have a greater chance of developing chronic kidney disease over others. (1) Other causes include: obesity, lupus, and extensive long term use of analgesics (aspirin, pain killers, and ibuprofen).
As long as someone detects chronic kidney disease in its early stages it can be controlled and the more drastic stages of the disease can be prolonged. (1) There are several symptoms of chronic kidney disease that you can look out for. First be aware of any changes in your urination. If you are experience increased urination, urine that is foamy or has bubbles in it, pressure from urination, dark colored urine, or blood in the urine you might be developing the first stages of chronic kidney disease. You should also watch for swelling in your extremities, fatigue, skin rash or itching, a metallic taste in your mouth, nausea or vomiting, shortness of breath, dizziness, Anemia or feeling cold all the time, and leg pain. (2)
Hypertension Prevention and Treatment
As mentioned hypertension is the single highest cause of chronic kidney disease. There are many ways to prevent and treat hypertension. One way is through a healthy and well balanced diet. You should also stay away from smoking and drinking alcohol as well as incorporate a consistent exercise program into your life style.