What is kidney disease and can young people get it?

Kidney disease happens when your kidneys no longer work well. The job of your kidneys is to clean waste out of the body. So if they don’t do their job well, it means waste will build up in the body, making you very sick. In the early stages of kidney disease there are no symptoms, so you may not know if you have it. But once it gets worse you may have the following symptoms:

  • Tiredness
  • Swollen ankles and feet
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Blood in your pee

Many think that only old people can get kidney disease, but this is not true – young people can also get it, especially if they have diabetes or high blood pressure that is not treated. If you are a smoker, are obese, do not eat healthily or if you take many pills, then you have a higher chance of getting kidney disease.

If you are diagnosed with kidney disease, it is important to treat it as soon as possible. One way of treating kidney disease is by dialysis, which is a medical process that purifies the blood. If kidney disease is not treated, this may lead to kidney failure which is very serious. Once someone has kidney failure, they will need a kidney transplant otherwise they will die.

For more information on other chronic diseases, read our article Chronic diseases that adolescents and young people should know about.


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