Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease, also known as renal disease, is progressive loss of kidney function.

Stages of kidney disease:

  • Chronic Renal Insufficiency is the first stage of kidney disease where there is damage to the kidney that affects its function. There are minimal effects for the rest of the body. Kidney disease can affect the cardiovascular system as early as this stage.
  • Chronic Renal Failure is the second stage and kidney function has been impaired enough to cause damage throughout the body. Waste products normally removed by kidneys increase in the blood stream.
  • End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) is the last stage and is most often irreversible. Renal replacement therapy, such as dialysis or a kidney transplant, is required to sustain life. Most people with ESRD die from cardiovascular complications.

Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two most common causes of chronic kidney disease.

Risk Factors include:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Family history
  • Increased age

Early kidney disease often does not have symptoms. Later symptoms may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Poor appetite
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Swollen ankles and feet
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Frequent urination

Blood and urine tests can reveal signs of chronic kidney disease.

Kidney disease may be prevented by:

  • Controlling blood sugar for those who have diabetes
  • Reducing blood pressure
  • Blood and Urine Screening for Kidney Disease

The progression of chronic kidney disease can be slowed by controlling factors that contribute to kidney damage. These factors include:

  • Controlling blood sugar for those who have diabetes
  • Reducing blood pressure
  • Quitting smoking
  • Dietary changes, sometimes reducing protein intake
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