Chronic Kidney Diseases

Chronic kidney disease also called chronic renal disease or CKD for short is a disease that causes the kidney to lose function over time. You can learn more by reading about chronic kidney disease through the following articles:

What is Chronic Kidney Disease?

Schedule an Appointment

For Appointment by phone please
Call 954-800-0953 or leave a message

Fields with (*) are required.

Chronic kidney disease not only damages the kidneys but it also affects a person's overall health. Chronic kidney disease tends to gradually worsen over time and it can make someone very sick as high levels of waste enter the bloodstream. This condition causes the kidneys to lose their function and could lead to other serious health problems and complications such as anemia, weak bones, high blood pressure, nerve damage, and overall poor health, which are all common symptoms that someone with CKD may develop. Kidney disease also increases the risk of developing heart and blood vessel disease.

Anyone with high blood pressure, diabetes or other disorders are at risk of getting chronic kidney disease but the only way to prevent CKD from getting worse is through early detection and treatment. If CKD is not caught in a timely manner, kidney disease will progress, potentially causing kidney failure, requiring dialysis or possibly a kidney transplant.

Facts About Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

  • 30 million American adults are diagnosed with CKD and millions are at risk.
  • Early detection helps prevent the progression of kidney disease to kidney failure.
  • Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is the best estimate of kidney function.
  • Two simple tests can detect CKD: blood pressure, urine albumin and serum creatinine.
  • Heart disease is a major cause of death for anyone with CKD.
  • Persistent proteinuria (protein in the urine) means there may be a presence of CKD.
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure) causes CKD and CKD causes hypertension.
  • High-risk groups include anyone with diabetes, hypertension and a family history of kidney failure.
  • African Americans, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, American Indians, and seniors are at increased risk.

Causes of Chronic Kidney Disease

High blood pressure and diabetes are the two most common causes of chronic kidney disease. In fact, these two health concerns are responsible for up to two-thirds of diagnosed CKD.

Diabetes is a result of high blood sugar and causes damage to your organs including blood vessels, nerves, eyes, kidneys and heart. Hypertension is another word for high blood pressure, which occurs when there is increased blood pressure against the walls of your blood vessels. If high blood pressure is not monitored and controlled, it can lead to chronic kidney disease as well as strokes or heart attacks.

Other conditions that affect the kidneys are:

  • Glomerulonephritis - a group of diseases that cause inflammation and damage to the kidney's filtering units. These disorders are the third most common type of kidney disease.
  • Polycystic kidney disease causes large cysts to form in the kidneys and damages surrounding tissue.
  • Babies with malformations that develop in the mother's womb. For example, a narrowing may occur that prevents normal urine flow and causes urine to transfer back to the kidney which can damage the kidney and cause infections.
  • Lupus and other diseases that affect the body's immune system.
  • Obstructions caused by problems such as kidney stones, tumors or enlarged prostate gland in men.
  • Consistent urinary infections.

Chronic Kidney Disease Symptoms

Unless kidney disease has advanced, many people won't experience severe symptoms but they may experience any of the following minor symptoms: 

  • less energy and feeling tired
  • unable to concentrate
  • loss of appetite
  • trouble sleeping
  • muscle cramping
  • swollen feet and ankles
  • itchy and dry skin
  • increase in need to urinate
  • eyes are puffy, especially during the mornings

Common Reasons for Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease can affect anyone no matter their age, but there are certain factors that cause an increased risk of kidney disease and these are:

  • diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • older age
  • family history of kidney failure

What is Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR)

The best way to keep kidney disease from worsening is through early detection, monitoring and controlling the progression of kidney disease. To find out what stage of kidney disease someone is in and to measure the kidney's level of function, doctors will take a GFR—glomerular filtration rate. This test will measure results by age, gender, race, blood creatinine test, and other determining elements. 

When GFR results show Chronic Kidney Disease

If your Glomerular Filtration Rate determines you have chronic kidney disease, doctors will want to dig deeper into your diagnosis to check your kidney function and determine the best treatment. To do this, the doctor may: 

  • Determine your kidney function by measuring your Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) so a proper treatment plan can be put in place.
  • Look at your kidneys and urinary tract via a CT-scan or ultrasound to view the size of your kidneys, look for tumors or kidney stones, and to see if there are other problems occurring with your urinary tract or kidneys.
  • Do a kidney biopsy to see the level of kidney damage, check for the specific type of kidney disease, and plan treatment. This procedure involves the doctor removing small particles of kidney tissue to examine them under a microscope.

You may have to consult with a kidney specialist if you need special attention and care to manage your chronic kidney disease.