Cameron Donald Green, 24-year-old Australian Cricketer recently talked about a disease that he has been struggling with his entire life. The disease is irreversible and at one time, put his life expectancy at 12 years. We are talking about Chronic Kidney Disease. Cameron has featured in 24 Tests, 23 ODIs, and eight T20Is since making his Australia debut in 2020. In a recent interview, the cricketer opened up about how he was born with the disease and has been dealing with it since. So, what is Chronic Kidney Disease?
What Is Chronic Kidney Disease?
The function of kidneys in the body is to filter wastes and fluid from the body. However, when the kidney function starts to decline progressively, it is called Chronic Kidney Disease or Chronic Kidney Failure. When kidney function declines and the toxins aren’t filtered from the body the way they should be, it can lead to conditions like high blood pressure, anemia, and electrolyte imbalances.
Stages of Chronic Kidney Disease
According to Dr. Mohit Khirbat, Consultant, Nephrology, CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram, kidney function level is measured in glomerular filtration rate or GFR which is then used to determine the stage of the disease. Based on that, it ranges from very mild kidney damage to end-stage renal disease, which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive.
- Stage 1: When the GFR is more than 90 ml per minute, it is diagnosed at Stage 1 with mild kidney damage.
- Stage 2: When the GFR is anywhere between 60 and 89 ml per minute, it is termed as mild kidney dysfunction, or Stage 2 of the condition.
- Stage 3: When the GFR goes down to somewhere in between 30 to 59 ml per minute, it is termed as Stage 3, with moderate kidney dysfunction.
- Stage 4: The disease gets serious from here when the GFR further goes down between 15 to 29 ml per minute, and is termned as a severe loss of kidney function.
- Stage 5: It is termed as an end-stage kidney disease as the GRF goes down to less than 15 ml per minute. At this point, the patient needs some form of renal replacement therapy like renal transplant, hemodialysis, or Chronic ambulatory peritoneal dialysis.
Symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease
The symptoms of chronic kidney disease are very non-specific and develop over time as the damage keeps developing. The symptoms can include:
- Loss of appetite
- Constant fatigue
- Muscle cramps
- Swelling of feet and ankles
- Uncontrably high blood pressure
- Chest pain
- Sleeping issues
- Dry and itchy skin
Causes Of Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic Kidney Disease usually occurs when the kidney function gets affected by a disease or condition. Such conditions or diseases can be:
- High Blood Pressure
- Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes
- Polycystic Kidney Disease
- Inflammation of the kidney’s tubules and surrounding structures
- Enlarged Prostate
- Kidney Stones
- Recurrent Kidney Infection
- Vesicoureteral Reflux
The treatment for Chronic Kidney Disease completely depends on the causes and stage of the condition.
- ACE Inhibitors or Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers: These medications can be prescribed to people with CKD who suffer from high blood pressure, in order to lower it and preserve kidney function.
- Statins: Statins are recommended by the doctors to treat high level of cholesterol which is commonly seen among the patients suffering from CKD.
- Dialysis: When kidney function drops to the level where the kidneys can’t filter out toxins on ther own, the process is done by artificial method called dialysis.
- Kidney Transplant: Kidney transplant refers to the procedure of removing the bad kidney and replacing it with a healthy kidney from a donor. It is performed in the case of end-stage renal disease.