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Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

Patients may have Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) without knowing about it, so early detection is important if we want to save your kidney function

Risk factors for CKD;

  • Having a relative with CKD, on dialysis or with a kidney transplant
  • Having diabetes
  • Having high blood pressure or a heart or blood vessel problem
  • If you have had an episode of kidney failure already
  • Smoking
  • Being overweight

Often symptoms appear quite late, you can lose up to 90 % of your kidney function without knowing.

Early detection is key, here are a few things you can do;

  • Keep your blood pressure controlled (buy your own machine to use at home if you can afford it) – seek advice if your home blood pressure is more than 140 (mmHg) systolic 90 (mmHg) diastolic.
  • Ask for a kidney check (at any AHS facility) this consists of;
    • A blood pressure check
    • A blood test to detect waste products in the blood stream
    • A urine test to look for protein in the urine

The Advantages of Early Referral in Patients with CKD

  • Management of medication to delay or prevent the need for dialysis or transplantation
  • Dietary instructions which may help manage chronic kidney disease
  • Allows time for discussion, understanding and choice of  potential therapies if the kidneys look like they will fail at some point, including;
    • Transplantation
    • Peritoneal dialysis
    • Haemodialysis
    • Conservative care options
  • Preparation for dialysis including the best vascular access if needed
  • Possibility of using incremental dialysis (i.e you many not need to start on full dialysis treatment immediately)
  • Greater utilization of transplantation and self-care dialysis (i.e., peritoneal dialysis or home haemodialysis).