Your kidneys are 2 bean-shaped organs that produce urine. They're about the size of your fist and are in the back of your abdomen, near your spine. Kidneys balance your body’s water and mineral levels and filter waste out of your blood.
What is chronic kidney disease?
A chronic disease is one that starts slowly and lasts a long time. So, chronic kidney disease is when your kidneys slowly lose their ability to filter (clean) your blood, remove waste, and make urine. Your kidneys stop working over a period of several months or years.
If your kidneys stop working suddenly, you have acute kidney failure Acute Kidney Failure Your kidneys are 2 bean-shaped organs that produce urine. They’re about the size of your fist and are in the back of your abdomen, near your spine. Kidneys balance your body’s water and mineral... read more . Acute kidney failure that doesn't go away can become chronic kidney disease.
Chronic kidney failure is what doctors used to call chronic kidney disease. They used that term so people didn't confuse it that with other long-term kidney diseases that didn't make the kidneys stop working.
Diabetes Diabetes Diabetes is a disease in which your blood sugar (glucose) levels are too high. You get diabetes if your body's normal way of controlling blood sugar isn't working right. There are 2 types of... read more and high blood pressure High Blood Pressure Each heart beat pushes blood through your arteries. Arteries are the blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to your body. Blood pressure is the pressure of blood in your arteries. Without... read more (hypertension) are common causes of chronic kidney disease that can result in kidney failure
Symptoms start slowly and can include urinating (peeing) at night, tiredness, feeling sick to your stomach, itching, and muscle cramps
Later on, you may stop urinating and develop confusion and trouble breathing
Doctors diagnose chronic kidney disease by testing your blood and urine
You'll need to follow a special diet and take medicines and often will need dialysis (using a machine to clean waste and excess water out of your blood)
Sometimes doctors can do a kidney transplant, which is surgery to give you a new kidney
Chronic kidney disease can cause death if you don’t get treatment
The Urinary Tract
What are the complications of chronic kidney disease?
Chronic kidney disease can cause many problems:
Nerve damage, causing tingling and decreased sensation
What causes chronic kidney disease?
Acute kidney failure Acute Kidney Failure Your kidneys are 2 bean-shaped organs that produce urine. They’re about the size of your fist and are in the back of your abdomen, near your spine. Kidneys balance your body’s water and mineral... read more , which is when at least one of your kidneys stops working over a short period of time and then doesn’t respond to treatment
Blockage of your urine
Some diseases that cause your immune system to attack its own tissues
What are the symptoms of chronic kidney disease?
Your symptoms depend on how severe your kidney disease is.
Symptoms of mild kidney disease:
Needing to urinate several times at night
Symptoms of moderate kidney problems:
Feeling tired, weak, confused, and less alert
Being less hungry
Shortness of breath
Feeling sick to your stomach
A bad taste in your mouth
With severe kidney problems you may also have:
Muscle weakness, twitching, cramping, and pain
Not being able to feel things in some parts of your body
Restless legs syndrome Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD) and Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) Periodic limb movement disorder involves repetitive movements of the arms, legs, or both during sleep. Restless legs syndrome involves an irresistible urge to move and usually abnormal sensations... read more , which is when you have pain or other bad feelings in your legs, usually at night, that make you need to move them
Problems with thinking, confusion, and seizures
Severe shortness of breath
Sometimes, a white powder on the skin left behind after you sweat
Itchiness all over the body
How can doctors tell if I have chronic kidney disease?
Your doctor will do:
Blood tests to measure the amount of waste products building up in your blood
Ultrasound to look at your kidneys
Sometimes, take a small piece of one of your kidneys to look at it under a microscope (biopsy)
How do doctors treat chronic kidney disease?
Doctors treat the problem that's causing chronic kidney disease or making it worse. Common treatments are:
A special diet that limits how much fluid, salt, phosphorus, and potassium you take in
Limiting the amount of fluid you drink every day
Having you weigh yourself each day to tell whether you're retaining fluid
Medicine to control your blood pressure and balance the potassium and phosphorus levels in your blood