If you or your loved one suffers from chronic kidney disease (CKD), then it’s important to know about the potential complications of this disorder. People with CKD can have anemia, cardiovascular disease, skin problems, bone and muscle issues, difficulty with hormone levels, and neuropathy. Kidney neuropathy can be especially concerning, as it can lead to a number of symptoms that affect daily living activities.
What Are the Symptoms of Kidney Neuropathy?
In the early stages of kidney neuropathy, a person might feel tingling in the fingers or the feet as the nerves start to become damaged. As the neuropathy progresses, however, the tingling can turn into numbness. Then, in the later stages of kidney neuropathy, the impaired nerve function can lead to degeneration of the affected muscles. The loss of muscle can be debilitating as kidney neuropathy progresses.
Why Does Kidney Neuropathy Occur?
We depend on our nerves for movement, touch, taste, vision, hearing, and smell, as well as a number of other essential functions that help us exist. Kidney neuropathy may happen due to the kidneys not removing some of the harmful chemicals our bodies are trying to dispose of. In turn, this can cause damage to nerves or the blood vessels that support these nerves.
Another reason for kidney neuropathy is due to an imbalance in electrolytes. Our nerves depend on electrolytes being in a normal range to properly send signals. When your body’s levels of these electrolytes become either too low or too high, this can increase your risk of developing conditions like hyperkalemia and hyponatremia. People with CKD are especially susceptible to them.
Who is at Risk for Kidney Neuropathy?
If you have a family member with CKD, then you may be at higher risk of developing this condition, as well. Other risk factors include:
- Diabetes, high blood pressure, or other vascular diseases
- Older individuals or those with impaired health
- Obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, and poor dietary choices
- People who are African American, Asian American, or Native American
- The use of tobacco or alcohol products
You may be able to reduce your risk of CKD with healthy lifestyle choices. Maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking can go a long way in helping your kidneys, as can engaging in regular exercise. You should also use over-the-counter medications as directed. The usage of an excessive amount of non-prescription pain relievers can increase your risk.
What Can Be Done for Kidney Neuropathy?
Most current treatment options are designed to make people affected by kidney neuropathy more comfortable, but they do not treat the underlying problem. For instance, there are oral medications available to help ease existing nerve pain. There are also topical pain relievers that may also be helpful in alleviating the symptoms of CKD.
Another option is being developed by Klotho Therapeutics. This biotech company is working on a therapy utilizing the Klotho enzyme, or type of protein, that is natural to our bodies. The Klotho enzyme can help reduce inflammation, as well as a destructive process called “oxidation.” It is not only found in the kidneys, but also in the brain, heart, liver, and blood. Klotho is also believed to have a positive effect on aging and longevity.
Klotho levels tend to be lower in patients with advanced chronic kidney disease. These levels are extremely low in patients undergoing dialysis. Klotho Therapeutics has been working on research-based treatments to address the complications of low Klotho levels for the kidneys. Research has shown that injections of Klotho into the bloodstream of mice led to a significant reduction of damage to the kidneys.
Staying Healthy With Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease can cause life-altering effects for you or someone you love. One of these major risks that can arise from CKD is kidney neuropathy. Individuals with kidney neuropathy can also find it difficult to perform daily living activities, especially in later stages with muscle loss. However, research has given a glimmer of hope for improving kidney function and reducing the risk of kidney neuropathy.
Increasing the levels of Klotho in the bloodstream through injections has been effective in animal studies. Klotho Therapeutics is at the forefront of developing a viable treatment for CKD that may bring comfort to those you care about. By making your health a priority, and looking into alternative treatments for this condition, you can help ensure your risk of complications remain as low as possible.
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