Understanding kidney disease: Risk factors, symptoms, treatment 

Chronic kidney disease is described by the Mayo Clinic as the gradual loss of kidney function over a period of time. In fact, the loss of proper function may be so slow that people fail to realize their kidneys are not working properly until severe damage has already occurred. 
Kidneys are critical in the proper functioning of your body because they eliminate waste. The waste exits through urination, but when kidneys fail to work, that waste builds up in your body, which can lead to a number of health concerns. 
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Causes
According to the National Kidney Foundation, the leading causes of kidney failure are diabetes and high blood pressure. These conditions account for two-thirds of the cases of chronic kidney disease. If either condition is left untreated, it can damage the kidneys beyond repair. Other conditions that can cause kidney issues include:
• Lupus
• Glomerulonephritis
• Malformations during fetal development
• Inherited diseases such as polycystic kidney disease• Chronic urine infections or kidney obstructions
 
Symptoms
WebMD says that early detection is critical when it comes to managing kidney disease. Being mindful of any changes in your body is important. Common symptoms include:
• Urinating a small amount
• Persistent nausea and vomiting
• Swelling around the ankles
• Urine-like smell on your breath
• Chronic fatigue
• High blood pressure
• Muscle cramps
• Dry, itchy skin
• Loss of appetite
• Poor growth in children
• Pale skin
In some instance, people experience absolutely no symptoms. This means the only indication of a problem is when serious damage occurs. WebMD indicates that prevention is key through proper diet, regular exercise and management of existing conditions that impact your kidneys. 
Treatment
The Mayo Clinic reports that by most accounts, chronic kidney disease has no cure, but it can be managed. If there is an underlying condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure, then those conditions should be controlled through proper diet, exercise and appropriate medication. However, once kidneys have been significantly damaged, the next step is usually dialysis and a kidney transplant. 
Dialysis. Dialysis actually filters and removes the waste from your body through machines since your kidneys can no longer do it. 
Kidney Transplant. A transplant replaces the diseased kidney with a healthy one, and you require ongoing medication to ensure that your body does not reject the transplant. 
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If you suffer from any of the symptoms described here, speak to your doctor. Spread the knowledge — share with your friends. 
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