CKD and Aging Can Be Strongly Connected 

Does CKD and aging have any real connection as we get older, or can it affect us at any time?

CKD, chronic kidney disease, can affect us at any age, but for the vast majority of us, if we do develop it, will have one common denominator—our age.

In fact, it is by far and away the most common kidney disease as we get older.

However, there does seem to be one other factor that could put us at even a higher degree of risk; our heritage.

For reasons still not fully understood, there are certain ethnic communities that are at a much higher degree of risk and they include African Americas, American Indians, and Hispanics.

What Is Happening With CKD and Aging

The connection with CKD and aging all begin with understanding exactly what it is, as well as how it affects us.

However, there are two very important misconceptions about this condition that we all need to understand as they may help us control it.

It does not develop suddenly, and it is not one of the major causes of hypertension, better known as high blood pressure.

The real factors are that once it does begin to affect us, it is the result of several years of development, and we are just beginning to see the symptoms.

The second is that while it can and does cause high blood pressure, high blood pressure is the single biggest cause of it, if left untreated or poorly treated.

There are also some other interesting facts with CKD and aging and they include the following.

  • Over 30 million adults, the majority over 60, have it and millions more are at risk
  • The earlier we catch it the easier it is to treat
  • Excessive protein in our urine that will not go down means we have it
  • If left unchecked, it will affect our hearts

In fact, the vast majority of people in our age group that do not survive it die as the result of heart conditions.

How Aging and Chronic Kidney Disease Is Affecting Us

CKD and aging connection continues with how it is actually affecting us and our kidneys.

Our kidneys have several critical jobs including filtering our blood, as well as eliminating waste.

They eliminate the waste in our bodies through our urine, and because of this, if we begin to see any changes in how we urinate, we should be on full alert.

Here is what is happening.

  • When are kidneys are affected, they begin to slow down
  • Once slowed, waste begins to build up in our body but more importantly, our blood
  • It is the result of years of bad lifestyles or some underlying condition
  • The millions of tiny fibers, called “nephrons”, become damaged
  • Once damaged, they begin to shut down one by one if not checked
  • If not checked, they can no longer filter out waste products from our body

However, high protein levels is not the only way the connection between CKD and aging can be tested for, it can also be tested by a process known as GFR.

Couple On The Beach With Their DogCouple On The Beach With Their Dog

What GFR Means

GFR stands for glomerular filtration rate, and is calculated by using our blood creatinine results. 

If we see or begin to experience any of the symptoms, we need to have both tests done as soon as possible.

If we do have this potential beast, these tests will tell us which stage it is in.

Here are the first set of the most common symptoms of CKD and aging.

  • Changes in urination in two critical ways
  • The first is urinating less than we used to
  • The second is urinating more at night than we used to
  • A loss of appetite, but we are gaining weight
  • A slow development of swelling that is causing the weight gain

This swelling is the result of edema, which is another very challenging condition on its own.

Here is the second set of the common symptoms.

  • Starting to have problems sleeping
  • Muscle cramps that seem to come out of nowhere
  • Swelling in our ankles, feet, our eyes, and our face
  • A slow developing skin itching
  • Headaches that we cannot get rid of that begin to affect our thought process

Most of these symptoms have affected us throughout our years, but not all at the same time or in clusters like this.

The 2 Most Dangerous Symptoms

There are however two other symptoms with CKD and aging, and they include a sudden development of nausea, and then vomiting.

While most of us can easily confuse this with the flu, be very alert if the other symptoms also develop.

There are several potential causes with the connection between CKD and aging, but by far and away the two biggest causes are High blood pressure and Diabetes.

As we all know, Diabetes occurs as the result of our blood sugar being too high, and it affects several organs, including damaging our kidneys.

However, high blood pressure over several years if not checked can controlled, can and does do several things in our body, and none of them are good.

Most of us, even with the knowledge that we have gained though our years of life, do not realize that high blood pressure is the single biggest cause of kidney damage.

There are also a few other potential causes and they include the following.

  • Glomerulonephritis
  • Inherited diseases
  • Repeated urinary infections

Glomerulonephritis is not a single disease, but rather a group of diseases.

How We Can Control It

This group of diseases attacks the key filtering units in our kidneys and cause inflammation, and once inflamed, it damages them in several ways.

It is considered to be the third leading cause of kidney damage.

The connection with CKD and aging also includes some inherited conditions such as polycystic cysts.

These cysts form in our kidneys and damage the filtering process as well. If we have repeated urinary infections, this can also damage our kidneys.

There is some good news with the connection with CDK and aging, in that it can be controlled if caught and treated early.

Here is how we can help control it

  • Control--the key word is “control”, our blood pressure.
  • Select diets that are safe and easy on our kidneys
  • Exercise, exercise, exercise
  • If we drink—stop

As we all get older and pass the 60 year old mark, blood pressure is critical. If we are passive and do not take it serious, we are living “on borrowed time”.

Eating the right diet is also very important as is exercise. Exercise stimulates all of our organs, and our kidneys are no different.

Drinking goes without saying, as alcohol has now become a poison if we have this condition.

 References

https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/about-chronic-kidney-disease      

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