Chronic kidney disease can mean debilitation and death if not properly managed and prevented. A recent study shows that walking may protect against heart disease and infections in patients with chronic kidney disease.
What is Chronic Kidney Disease?
Chronic kidney disease is a medical condition wherein there is damage to one or both kidneys. Damaged kidneys can no longer perform their usual duties of blood filtering and waste excretion through the urine. Patients with chronic kidney disease often have high levels of waste products in their bloodstream, bringing about damage to other organs of the body. Complications that may arise from chronic kidney disease include high blood pressure, diabetes, blood vessel problems, poor nutritional health, anemia, osteoporosis and damage to nerves. Eventually, chronic kidney disease can lead to kidney failure which requires dialysis ir kidney transplantation for life. This is why chronic kidney disease needs to be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.
Millions of people around the world are at risk for chronic kidney diseases. This deterioration to kidney damage may be prevented by early detection and treatment. In people with chronic kidney disease, heart disease is a major killer. People who are at high risk of developing chronic kidney disease are those who have diabetes and those who have high blood pressure. Diabetes is manifested by high levels of blood glucose in the body; this further leads to organ damage which may occur in the kidneys, the blood vessels, the heart, the nerves and the eyes. On the other hand, high blood pressure can occur when blood pressure in the walls of the blood vessels increase. High blood pressure can later on lead to chronic kidney disease, heart attacks, stroke and other medical problems.
Other problems that may bring about chronic kidney disease include glomerulonephritis which is a condition wherein there is inflammation and damage to the kidney, inherited diseases such as polycystic kidney disease, kidney malformations, lupus, other autoimmune disorders, obstructions by stones or tumors and urinary infections.
There are many symptoms of chronic kidney disease, which may include unexplained fatigue, difficulty in concentrating, poor appetite, trouble sleeping, muscle cramping, swelling of the feet and ankles, puffiness of the face, dryness and itchiness of skin, and frequent urination.
Those who are more likely to acquire chronic kidney disease include those who have diabetes, those who have high blood pressure, those who have a positive family history of kidney failure and those who are older. Chronic kidney disease is diagnosed by laboratory tests that calculate the glomerular filtration rate such as serum creatinine, ultrasound, CT scan or kidney biopsy.
Walking and Chronic Kidney Disease Complications
Heart disease and infections are common complications which may occur in patients with chronic kidney disease. In both of these conditions it is stipulated that immune system dysfunction may be involved. Immune system dysfunction can predispose to infections and can lead to inflammation of blood vessel wall which can lead to heart disease. A new study has found out that physical exercise such as walking may prevent infections and heart disease in patients with chronic kidney disease.
The said study gathered data from 15 patients who were subjected to 30 minutes walking every day. The researchers found out that this particular physical activity was able to improve the responsiveness of immune cells such as neutrophils. These cells exhibited anti-inflammatory reactions against bacteria. The patients were subjected to six months of regular walking which lasted for 30 minutes per day for five times a week. The researchers encourage patients with chronic kidney disease to start walking if they want to prevent infections and heart disease in the near future.
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