Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a condition characterized by a gradual loss of kidney function over time. To read more about kidney function, see How Your Kidneys Work. CKD is also known as chronic renal disease.
Find answers about kidney disease during the COVID-19 outbreak here.
Chronic kidney disease includes conditions that damage your kidneys and decrease their ability to keep you healthy by doing the jobs listed. If kidney disease gets worse, wastes can build to high levels in your blood and make you feel sick. You may develop complications like high blood pressure, anemia (low blood count), weak bones, poor nutritional health and nerve damage. Also, kidney disease increases your risk of having heart and blood vessel disease. These problems may happen slowly over a long period of time. Chronic kidney disease may be caused by diabetes, high blood pressure and other disorders. Early detection and treatment can often keep chronic kidney disease from getting worse. When kidney disease progresses, it may eventually lead to kidney failure, which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant to maintain life.
33% of drivers next to you
on a busy highway could be
at risk for kidney disease.
Are you the 33%? Take the Kidney Risk
quiz to find out.
The two main causes of chronic kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure, which are responsible for up to two-thirds of the cases. Diabetes happens when your blood sugar is too high, causing damage to many organs in your body, including the kidneys and heart, as well as blood vessels, nerves and eyes. High blood pressure, or hypertension, occurs when the pressure of your blood against the walls of your blood vessels increases. If uncontrolled, or poorly controlled, high blood pressure can be a leading cause of heart attacks, strokes and chronic kidney disease. Also, chronic kidney disease can cause high blood pressure.
Other conditions that affect the kidneys are:
Most people may not have any severe symptoms until their kidney disease is advanced. However, you may notice that you:
Anyone can get chronic kidney disease at any age. However, some people are more likely than others to develop kidney disease. You may have an increased risk for kidney disease if you:
GFR—glomerular filtration rate is the best test to measure your level of kidney function and determine your stage of kidney disease. Your doctor can calculate it from the results of your blood creatinine test, your age, race, gender and other factors.
The earlier kidney disease is detected, the better the chance of slowing or stopping its progression.
Your doctor will want to pinpoint your diagnosis and check your kidney function to help plan your treatment. The doctor may do the following:
Your doctor may also ask you to see a kidney specialist who will consult on your case and help manage your care.
For help making sense of your lab values, click here.
Read more about Chronic Kidney Disease
© 2020 Kidneyplaybook. All Rights Reserved