What is CKD?

Did you know? Some blood pressure medicines are more beneficial than others for people with diabetes.

Chronic kidney disease develops when the kidneys have been damaged by conditions or diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension) or inflammation of the filtering units in the kidneys (glomerulonephritis). This damage can occur gradually over months or years making it particularly dangerous since symptoms may not appear until damage has already been done.

When abnormal kidney function persists for three months or longer, chronic kidney disease occurs.  This affects your kidneys ability to keep you healthy.

What are the functions of the kidneys?

They have several important jobs:

  • Remove waste, drugs, and extra fluid from the body through the urine
  • Release hormones that help to:
    • Regulate blood pressure
    • Promote strong bones
    • Prevent anemia by increasing red blood cells
    • Maintain the correct balance of important electrolytes in your blood such as potassium, sodium, phosphorus and calcium

What causes CKD?

The two most common causes are

  • Diabetes (types 1 and 2)
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)

Other causes include:

  • Glomerulonephritis – inflammation of the kidney’s filtering units called glomeruli
  • Proteinuria
  • Polycystic kidney disease and other inherited kidney diseases
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Chronic kidney infections
  • Kidney stones

What are the Symptoms of CKD?

  • Fatigue
  • Increased frequency in urination
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle cramping at night
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Mental changes such as inability to concentrate
  • Swelling of the face, feet, ankles (edema)
  • Puffiness around the eyes, especially in the morning
  • Dry, itchy skin

Who is most at risk?

  • African Americans
  • Hispanics
  • Pacific Islanders
  • American Indians
  • Seniors

3 Simple Tests can detect CKD.

A yearly checkup with your primary care physician is the most effective way to monitor your risk.

Early detection and treatment can prevent or slow the progression of kidney disease.

3 tests to detect kidney problems are:

  • Blood Pressure measurement
  • Urinalysis to evaluate abnormal protein or cells in your urine.
  • Blood test to measure your creatinine level.  A high level of creatinine may indicate the kidneys are not functioning well. This test result is often reported as a calculated Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR).