Info on chronic kidney disease

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is reduced kidney function or loss of protein in the urine for more than 3 months. It affects 15% of the US population, some 37 million people.

Your kidneys are important organs that perform many tasks. They not only remove extra fluids and waste products from your body, but they also help to regulate blood pressure, balance chemicals, maintain bone health and keep us from becoming anemic.

Each kidney, roughly the size of your fist, is made up of about a million tiny filters, called nephrons. These nephrons are needed to filter your blood. As they become damaged, the kidney becomes less efficient and less able to keep the body healthy. The two leading causes of kidney disease and kidney failure are complications from type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

The symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease

CKD usually has no symptoms in the early stages and manifests after much damage has already been done

Symptoms to look for are:

  • Changes in urination, more or less frequent &/or color changes
  • Extreme tiredness or weakness
  • High blood pressure
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of the face, hands & feet
  • Pain in the lower back, around your kidneys

Treatment Options

If you are in the early stages of kidney failure, medications, diet and lifestyle changes can help you maintain kidney function and delay kidney failure. If you already have kidney failure, dialysis or transplantation will replace kidney function.