Frequenty Ask Question

Q: What is chronic kidney disease (CKD)?

A: Chronic kidney disease, or chronic renal failure, is the gradual loss of kidney function over a period of months or years.

Q: What causes kidney disease?

A: While there are a few other, less common causes, the major risk factors for kidney disease include:

High blood pressure
Heart disease
Family history of kidney disease

Q: How do I know if I have kidney disease?

A: During the early stages of kidney disease, people usually do not feel sick at all. Other patients experience swelling of the legs, ankles, feet, face and/or hands, as diseased kidneys become unable to remove extra fluid.

However, severe kidney disease can cause pronounced symptoms, which may include:

Loss of appetite
Itchiness of the skin
Metallic taste in the mouth

Q: How is kidney disease diagnosed?

A: Kidney disease is identified by a blood test for creatinine, which measures your kidney function. Higher levels of creatinine indicate a decreased glomerular problem is detected through a urine test for protein and blood. Blood and a large amount of protein in the urine are abnormal and may indicate a kidney problem. Special tests are sometimes needed to determine the cause of the kidney disease.

Q: How is kidney disease treated?

A: Early stages of kidney disease are managed through medication that controls blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Additionally, patients should avoid smoking and schedule regular checkups with their physicians. Complications of kidney disease, such as anemia, acid buildup in the blood and abnormal bone studies, should also be diagnosed and treated. Some rarer kidney diseases require special medications. Patients with moderate to severe kidney disease may eventually require dialysis treatment or transplantation. If CKD progresses to kidney failure and the patient's kidneys can no longer function well enough to keep the person alive, some form of dialysis or transplantation will be required.

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