Chronic Kidney Disease, also called chronic kidney failure, is the leading cause of the loss of kidney function. A kidney’s purpose is to filter waste and excess fluids from blood; these are excreted in urine. However, when Chronic Kidney Disease reaches an advanced state, it can cause dangerous levels of fluid, electrolytes, and waste buildup within the body. Moreover, Chronic Kidney Disease is difficult to catch until kidney function is significantly impaired. Treatment focuses on slowing the progression of kidney damage through dialysis or transplant.
Chronic Kidney Disease has several causes. The most notable and causal conditions include type 1 and type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, Glomerulonephritis (an inflammation of the kidney’s filtering units), interstitial nephritis (the inflammation of the kidney’s tubules and surrounding structures), and polycystic kidney disease. You may be thinking: None of these have to do with kidney stones–I’m in the clear! Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Prolonged obstruction of the urinary tract can lead to the development of Chronic Kidney Disease. This is most often caused by certain cancers and an enlarged prostate, but kidney stones are also to blame. Furthermore, the risk factors associated with Chronic Kidney Disease are strikingly similar to those associated with kidney stones: diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, smoking, and obesity.
So, what can you do to prevent the development of Chronic Kidney Disease? If you have a kidney stone, get it out as soon as possible. Though the blinding pain will likely be enough to get you to Urgent Care, grinding through “manageable” or “tolerable” discomfort will only complicate your situation. If you know or think you have a kidney stone, it needs to pass immediately.