Chronic renal insufficiency is a disease in which mild, repeated inflammations over the number of years injure the kidneys and cause scars on them, thus affecting their effectiveness even though they do not have to be minimized. Inflammation can be caused by various diseases – mostly chronic pyelonephritis or glomerulonephritis, but also longer lasting diseases such as kidney stones, kidney cysts, high blood pressure, and sometimes excessive amounts of pain medications.
If you are suffering from rhronic renal insufficiency, your blood gradually accumulates waste materials and chemical compounds, the kidneys are not able to limit the amount of water in the urine, and you will probably get high blood pressure. (Kidneys are controllig the blood pressure, along with other functions, meaning high blood pressure can be the cause and consequence of chronic insufficiency).
Symptoms occur gradually, though they do not have to be manifested for many years. Suddenly the patient notices that he urinates more often than usual, and may feel tired and slow. If the disease worsens, the patient will start to feel symptoms of end stage kidney disease.
The main danger obviously comes from a creating of scarring tissue that is becoming more and more likely to lead to end stage kidney disease, and that occurs in 75% of cases. Additional dangers are associated with high blood pressure, anemia, osteomalacia and hyperparathyroidism. These diseases sometimes appear because the kidneys can no longer control the balance of chemical compounds in the blood.
What to do?
If you notice that you have to urinte too often and that it lasts for more than a week for no apparent reason, contact your doctor who will probably first measure your blood pressure. Frequent urination associated with high blood pressure will require further tests, especially if someone in your family has (or had) kidney problems. You will probably need to take a variety of blood and urine tests, perhaps biopsy, and most certainly intravenous pyelogram (IVP).
Self-help: be sure to follow your doctor’s advice regarding the nutrition; food with low protein content (see kidney acute renal insufficiency article) and a few liters of fluid per day are usually recommended for people with renal insufficiency. Do not take any medicines without the physician’s instructions. Additionally – and most importantly – you go to the control on a regular basis, even if you feel completely good and healthy, because this is how the problems can be detected early and the treatment adjusted as needed.
Professional help: damaged kidney tissue (due to scarring) can not be restored with any therapy, but attentive medical attention can slow chronic renal insufficiency and alleviate its unpleasant symptoms. The doctor will prescribe iron tablets and vitamins, as well as medications for high blood pressure. In order to prevent the development of osteomalacia, you may also need a special preparation – aluminum hydroxide. With regular controls, careful nutrition and medicines that are appropriate to your condition, you should not have special problems for years.