The community feel from the entire network of kidney patients is absolutely amazing.
Darren has Chronic Kidney Disease and Nephrotic Syndrome. This is his story.
Darren initially dismissed his symptoms as just the effects of stress and working hard. He suffered from headaches, stomach pain, and fatigue, believing that it was just the natural outcome of hard work. He never consulted his GP despite experiencing swollen ankles, nosebleeds and cramps. It was not until he woke up one morning feeling “unusual,” with hazy vision and slurred speech that he realized he might be having a stroke. Medics at the hospital initially suggested the same diagnosis but eventually discovered that his kidneys were not functioning well. After having tests and a biopsy, doctors confirmed Darren had Chronic Kidney Disease and Nephrotic Syndrome, which was all brought on by uncontrolled high blood pressure. Nephrotic syndrome is a group of symptoms that indicate your kidneys are not working properly. These symptoms include; too much protein in your urine, called proteinuria, low levels of a protein called albumin in your blood, called hypoalbuminemia & swelling in parts of your body, called oedema. After diagnosis, Darren didn’t know where to turn and descended into depression ‘I went into auto-pilot for a while’ as he described it.
After knuckling down with advice from his Nephrologist and information he had gathered from various medical websites, Darren decided to take the fight to kidney disease himself.
He took the initiative to educate himself about the disease and worked hard to recover. He changed his diet, stopped smoking, and exercised more. After close to 6 years of following advice, and a complete overhaul of his condition, Darren has managed to reverse some of the damage caused to his kidneys and recent tests show his proteinuria has completely disappeared.
Now, he aims to raise awareness of the warning signs of kidney disease and to motivate people to prioritize their health. He uses social media to raise awareness of kidney disease and its symptoms. You may know him as The TikTok Kidney Warrior. Darren is also an ambassador for Kidney Wales.
His story is a reminder that early detection is crucial in managing kidney disease and that a healthy lifestyle can play a vital role in preventing it.