CKD Stage 4: What Should I Do to Help My Husband

Patient’s wife: my husband has been diagnosed with CKD stage 4 and latterly, his tolerance level has changed. I am concerned as his ability to make clear and rational decisions and it seems that he is rattling off at times. I am trying to continue my job because I am the only source of income. What should I do about that? Why would all those changes happen? I’m open to any suggestions. Thank you very much.

This is an Email from a wife whose husband is diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease stage 4. She wrote to me and asks what to do about all the weird changes in his husband.

CKD is the abbreviation of Chronic Kidney Disease. It is divided into 5 stages in line with the GFR (glomerular filtration rate). CKD-4 is also regarded as the Chronic Renal Failure, meaning one’s kidneys fail to filter properly. Normally speaking, the GFR is 15-30ml/min at this time, and most kidney function has been lost.

Due to the irreversible damage has posed to the kidneys at this stage, obvious signs and symptoms will appear as the result of serious damaged kidney function. Swelling is one of them. Swelling also called edema is caused by the fluid retention. This occurs as a result of malfunctioned kidneys. One may notice that the swelling occurs in legs, hands and feet; more commonly, it appears around the eyelid especially in the morning.

As the medical condition progresses, the accumulated toxins may affect one’s metal sharpness. That may explains why your husband experiences decreased tolerance level and reduced mental sharpness. Besides, nerve problems such as numbness and tingling in the toes or fingers happens in people with CKD stage 4. People with Chronic Kidney Disease suffer a lot even their close friend or families can’t understand. Because of itching, muscle twitches or restless legs, they suffer from sleep problems. The problems make them awake at night while cranky in the daytime.

I know you get bills to pay and works that couldn’t be finished like forever. All those make us exhausted, yes, I do understand. But, I still suggest you to spend some quality time with him. Ask him what is bothering him, and listen what he is complaining. All these can make him feel much better.

Any other annoying problems bother you or your cared ones. Don’t freak out. We can help you as much as possible.


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