What You Need to Know About Kidney Disease and Senior Health
Kidney disease is a condition that affects the kidney's ability to function normally. Kidneys are two bean-shaped organs whose function is to filter out waste, extra water, and other impurities from your blood and make urine. Kidney disease is characterized by a gradual loss of function over time. Many people don't realize they have this disease until it is advanced. It can happen at any age, but it is more common in seniors. When it advances, this disease can lead to dangerous fluid levels, electrolytes, and toxin buildup in the body.
Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Disease
Kidney disease is hard to detect because symptoms occur after progression, and damage has occurred. The signs and symptoms include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Fatigue and weakness due to buildup of toxins
- Urinating more or blood in the urine
- Swelling of hands and legs
- Itching can be due to an imbalance of minerals and nutrients in the blood.
- Lower back pain
- High blood pressure can occur because of excess water and sodium buildup.
Kidney disease occurs when a condition impairs kidney function, including:
- Recurrent kidney infections
- Obstruction of the urinary tract
- Inherited kidney diseases like polycystic kidney disease
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Lastly, abnormal kidney structure
Kidney Disease Prevention
Prevention is possible by minimizing the chances of getting it. Here are some of the things you can do to prevent it:
- Manage conditions like high blood pressure and hypertension that can lead to kidney disease.
- Maintain a healthy weight by being physically active and eating healthy, balanced meals.
- Avoid cigarette smoking as it can damage your kidneys or worsen existing conditions. Further, smoking increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, which is a risk factor.
- Go for regular checkups if you are at risk of developing this disease. Regular checkups can help you detect and manage the disease early, lowering disease progress.
- Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol as it can raise your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, putting you at risk of developing this disease.
- Lastly, use over-the-counter medicines and prescribed medications responsibly. Follow the given instructions when using any medicine.
Kidney Disease and Seniors Health
Aging increases the risk of developing chronic illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. All these diseases put you at risk of developing kidney disease. Regular screening for these diseases is important.
Kidney disease is more prevalent in seniors. According to research, more than 50% of seniors above 75 years are believed to have it. The belief is that as you age, you lose kidney function, so screening for seniors of ages 60 and above is vital.
Kidney disease in seniors can greatly affect their quality of life and sometimes be fatal. It is therefore important for you to work with your doctor to:
- Manage any disease that can put you at risk of developing this disease.
- Know the underlying condition causing your disease and manage symptoms and complications.
- Evaluate treatment options available to slow the progression.
About Elite Home Health Care and Their Role as a Home Health Aide
Elite home health care is a company that offers home care services to seniors. We have a team of health aides and registered nurses who provide the best home care services tailored for you or your loved ones. We design a care plan according to an individual's needs, prioritizing their recovery, reducing hospitalization, and maximizing the independence of seniors. Indeed, our registered nurses are well trained to monitor vital signs of disease and medication requirements.
Written by: Leah Ganz
Leah Ganz, RN, BSN is the Director of Patient Services at Elite Home Health Care. She has an extensive background in homecare and previously worked in various specialties including pediatrics, pain managemnet and internal medicine. She oversees allpatient services across Elite's departments.