Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a progressive condition in which the kidneys gradually lose their ability to filter waste products from the blood. The disease develops over time and can lead to a wide range of complications, including high blood pressure, anemia, bone disease, and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
CKD can be caused by a variety of factors, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and glomerulonephritis (inflammation of the kidneys). Other possible causes include polycystic kidney disease (an inherited disorder that causes fluid-filled cysts to form in the kidneys), urinary tract obstruction, and long-term use of certain medications.
In the early stages of CKD, there may be no symptoms at all. As the disease progresses, however, symptoms may include fatigue, swelling of the hands and feet, decreased urine output, loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting. In some cases, CKD can lead to anemia, bone disease, and neurological symptoms such as confusion, seizures, and coma.
Diagnosis of CKD typically involves a blood test to measure creatinine levels (a waste product that the kidneys normally remove from the body), as well as a urine test to check for the presence of protein (which can indicate kidney damage). Other tests may be ordered to evaluate kidney function, such as a glomerular filtration rate (GFR) test.
The treatment of CKD depends on the underlying cause of the disease and the severity of symptoms. In some cases, lifestyle changes such as diet modifications, exercise, and smoking cessation may be recommended to help slow the progression of the disease. Medications may be prescribed to help manage high blood pressure, anemia, and other complications of CKD. In some cases, dialysis or kidney transplant may be necessary to replace the function of the damaged kidneys.
There are several steps that can be taken to help prevent CKD, including maintaining a healthy diet, staying physically active, managing blood sugar levels (in the case of diabetes), and controlling high blood pressure. Regular kidney function tests may also be recommended for individuals at increased risk of developing CKD.
Chronic Kidney Disease - CKD Resources