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How to Recognize Kidney Failure: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

How to Recognize Kidney Failure: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Singapore is facing a significant challenge with kidney failure, boasting the highest rate globally, especially caused by diabetes. The statistics reveal one new patient diagnosis every 5 hours. Understanding the causes of kidney failure is paramount for prevention.

Dr. Akira Wu, a renal physician at Mount Elizabeth Hospital, provides insights into what kidney failure is, its causes, and the symptoms to watch out for.

What is Kidney Failure?

Kidney failure, or renal failure, occurs when the kidneys are unable to effectively filter waste products from the blood. This can lead to dangerous accumulations of waste in the body, posing life-threatening risks if left untreated. Chronic kidney failure is diagnosed if the lack of function persists for more than three months.

Stages of Kidney Failure

The progression of kidney disease is categorized into five stages based on the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), indicating how well the kidneys filter waste. These stages range from mild kidney damage (Stage 1) to severe impairment (Stage 5), where dialysis or a kidney transplant becomes necessary.

Causes of Chronic Kidney Failure

Chronic kidney failure can stem from various causes, including certain diseases, exposure to environmental pollutants or specific medications, severe dehydration, kidney injury, and diabetes. Diabetes stands out as the primary cause in Singapore, contributing to over 60% of kidney failure cases requiring dialysis.

Symptoms of Chronic Kidney Failure

Recognizing the symptoms of chronic kidney failure is crucial for early intervention. Symptoms include nausea, changes in urination, fluid retention causing leg swelling, sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, upset stomach, weakness, persistent itching, and high blood pressure. Early signs may not be evident, emphasizing the importance of regular screenings.

Diagnosis of Chronic Kidney Failure

Chronic kidney disease can be a silent condition with minimal symptoms until it advances. Doctors may use urinalysis, urine microalbumin tests, blood tests to check creatinine levels, and filtration rate tests to diagnose and assess kidney function.

Early detection is critical for effective management. The BUZUD ONE-STEP MICROALBUMINURIA TEST provides a simple and reliable means of detecting microalbumin in urine, a key indicator of kidney damage.

Prevention and Treatment

Preventing the worsening of chronic kidney disease involves maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, adhering to a low-protein diet, controlling blood pressure, avoiding kidney-toxic painkillers, and lowering cholesterol. When kidney failure progresses to the end-stage, treatments like dialysis (haemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis) and kidney transplants become necessary.

Complications and Management

Chronic kidney failure may lead to complications such as anaemia, high phosphorus and bone disease, heart disease, high potassium, and fluid build-up. Managing these complications involves a combination of medications, dietary adjustments, and lifestyle changes.

Quick Facts on Kidney Disease

  • Early detection is crucial for preventing progressive kidney disease.
  • Diabetic kidney disease is the primary cause of end-stage kidney failure.
  • Embracing a healthy lifestyle significantly reduces the risk of developing kidney failure.

If you have concerns about kidney failure, consult your doctor for guidance and consider incorporating the BUZUD ONE-STEP MICROALBUMINURIA TEST into routine screenings for proactive kidney health management.

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