Lowering the Risk of Chronic Kidney Disease | Sparsh Hospital

Published in : Organ Transplant | July 7, 2024 |

Lowering the Risk of Chronic Kidney Disease

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Introduction to Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) occurs when the patient’s kidneys gradually lose their ability to filter waste, toxins, and excess bodily fluids. As the disease advances, waste products can build up in the blood, which can have severe consequences on overall health. The medical fraternity often refers to CKD as a “silent disease” because it can be present for years without being detected, with symptoms only appearing in the later stages.

What is Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)?

Patients with CKD exhibit the gradual loss of the kidney’s normal function over the years. The kidneys filter waste, toxins, and excess water from the blood, and when their function is impaired, these harmful substances can accumulate in the body. CKD can be classified in any of the five stages, with stage 1 being the mildest form and stage 5 being the most severe of the condition, often requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant. Sometimes, in the early stages, patients may have few signs or symptoms, resulting in delayed diagnosis of the condition.

Understanding the Risk Factors for Chronic Kidney Disease

Several factors can increase an individual’s risk of developing chronic kidney disease. Here are some of the most common risk factors:

  • Diabetes: High blood glucose levels can damage damage of the small blood vessels in the kidneys, resulting in chronic kidney disease.
  • High Blood Pressure: Uncontrolled hypertension can put an undue strain on the kidneys, causing them to deteriorate over time.
  • Obesity: Being overweight or obese can enhance the risk of developing various conditions, like diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure), which are major risk factors for CKD.
  • Family History: Genetic factors and a family history of kidney disease can make individuals more susceptible to developing CKD.
  • Older Age: As people age, the kidneys can lose some of their function, making them more vulnerable to chronic kidney disease.
  • Certain Medications: Long-term use of some medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can potentially damage the kidneys.
  • Kidney Diseases: Recurrent kidney infection (pyelonephritis), polycystic kidney disease, nephrotic syndrome, or other inherited kidney diseases can increase the possibility of chronic kidney disease.

How Do I Know If I Have Kidney Disease?

There may be no noticeable symptoms in the early stages of chronic kidney disease. However, as the condition progresses, individuals may experience:

  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Swelling in the legs, ankles, and feet
  • Decreased urine output
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Dry and itchy skin
  • Sleep problems


To diagnose chronic kidney disease, doctors will typically perform a series of tests, including:

  • Blood tests to detect the levels of waste products, such as creatinine levels and blood urea nitrogen (BUN)
  • Urine tests are prescribed to check for the protein or blood in the urine
  • Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) describes how efficiently your kidneys filter blood. GFR also helps determine the stage of your kidney disease
  • Imaging tests, like ultrasounds or CT scans, to examine the structure and size of the kidneys
  • Kidney biopsy to identify a specific type of kidney ailment or to determine the amount of kidney damage.

What If I Have Chronic Kidney Disease?

If you are diagnosed with CKD, your doctor will curate a treatment plan for you. The treatment of CKD depends on the disease stage and the underlying cause. In the early stages, the focus is on decreasing the progression of the disease and preventing further kidney damage. These may include:

  • Controlling underlying conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, through medication and lifestyle changes
  • Limiting the consumption of certain nutrients, such as protein, sodium, and potassium, to reduce the workload on the kidneys
  • Taking medications to manage complications, such as anaemia or bone disease
  • Dialysis or kidney transplant in the advanced stages of the disease

What Can I Do to Keep My Kidneys Healthy?

Taking proactive measures to maintain kidney health can help us prevent or delay the onset of chronic kidney disease. says Dr. Avinash T S. Some key tips include:

  • Get Regular Checkups: Scheduling regular visits with your doctor can help you monitor your kidney function and detect any issues early on.
  • Manage Underlying Conditions: If you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or other conditions that increase the risk of CKD, work closely with your medical team to keep them under control.
  • Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle: To support overall kidney health, maintain a balanced, kidney-friendly diet, exercise regularly, and avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink an optimal quantity of water throughout the day to help your kidneys function properly.
  • Limit Use of Certain Medications: Avoid long-term use of over-the-counter pain relievers, as they can potentially damage the kidneys.

What Diet Should I Take?

Managing chronic kidney disease through diet involves mindful consumption of the foods. Here’s the Chronic Kidney Disease Diet Food List:

Foods to Include:

  • Whole grains (e.g., brown rice, quinoa, oats)
  • Fruits and vegetables (in moderation, as some may be high in potassium or phosphorus)
  • Lean proteins (e.g., chicken, fish, eggs)
  • Healthy fats (e.g., olive oil, avocado, nuts)
  • Low-fat dairy products

Foods to Avoid:

  • High-sodium foods (e.g., processed meats, canned soups, snacks)
  • High-potassium foods (e.g., bananas, oranges, potatoes, tomatoes)
  • High-phosphorus foods (e.g., red meat, dairy products, whole grains)
  • Sugary and high-fat foods (e.g., sweets, fried foods, high-calorie beverages)


Chronic kidney disease is complex and often goes unnoticed for years, but it can have serious consequences if left untreated. By understanding the risk factors, recognising the symptoms, and taking precautionary steps to manage and prevent the disease, individuals can take control of their kidney health and lower the possibility of developing this debilitating condition.


Dr. Avinash T S

Consultant Urologist and Renal Transplant Surgeon

4 Mins Read

Categories: Organ Transplant

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