Chronic Kidney Disease

What is chronic kidney disease (CKD)?

Chronic kidney disease is the loss of kidney function over time. Kidneys contribute to the elimination of waste products from cellular metabolism, which may accumulate when they are impaired. Further complications may arise, such as anemia, weak bones, and high blood pressure.

What causes CKD?

Two of the most common causes of chronic kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure. Diabetes and high blood pressure are responsible for over 60 percent of chronic kidney disease diagnoses. Inherited diseases, untreated or repeating urinary tract infections, and immune system diseases such as lupus may also result in CKD.

What are the symptoms of CKD?

The symptoms of CKD are often insidious at onset may start small and gradually worsen as the disease intensifies. Symptoms include fatigue, swelling of the feet and ankles, irritated skin, decreased urination, insomnia, and lack of appetite.

Who is the most at risk?

Older adults with diabetes, hypertension or a family history of kidney disease and who belong to an ethnic group with a high-prevalence of diabetes and or hypertension including:

  • American Indians
  • Asians
  • Hispanic Americans
  • African Americans
  • Pacific Islanders

How is CKD diagnosed?

One problem with chronic kidney disease is its insidious symptoms in the early stages. If you know you are at an increased risk for CKD, you should be tested regularly to detect any development. This must be done in a lab and cannot be completed in-home.

There are multiple types of tests you may receive to detect kidney disease including blood, urine testing and possible renal ultrasound. Depending on the results of the a formationed tests, a renal biopsy may be needed for further evaluation of Kidney Disease.