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What are kidneys?

The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs in the renal system. They help the body pass waste as urine. They also help filter blood before sending it back to the heart.

The kidneys perform many crucial functions, including:

  • maintaining overall fluid balance
  • regulating and filtering minerals from the blood
  • filtering waste materials from food, medications, and toxic substances
  • creating hormones that help produce red blood cells, promote bone health, and regulate blood pressure

 

Image of a Kidney

Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) means you have lasting damage to your kidneys leading to lost of function of the kidneys. In chronic Kidney Disease the lost of function is gradual over a period of time. This condition is irreversible and it causes the kidney to stop working. This is called kidney failure.

If the kidney fails, they lose their ability to filter waste and fluid out of your blood. This leads to the accumulation of waste in the body which is harmful to your health. There is also fluid retention in the body (oedema) and this is what causes the swelling of feet and ankle and puffy face. Individual suffering from CKD gradually moves to End-stage kidney disease and at this point, dialysis will be needed to help filter waste products in the blood. Eventually a kidney transplant will be needed to restore the damaged Kidney.

Damage to the kidneys cannot be reversed. But if doctors find CKD early, there are ways you can keep the damage from getting worse, such as following a kidney-friendly eating plan, being active, and taking certain medicines.

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