Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a decrease in kidney function for more than 3 months. Kidneys clean waste from the blood. The waste then passes out of the body in urine. If they do not work well it can cause a number of symptoms.
There are different levels of kidney disease. If more than 90% of the kidney is damaged and not working, it is considered kidney failure.
Anatomy of the Kidney
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CKD is caused by damaged to the kidney. It is often caused by conditions such as:
Factors that may increase your chance of CKD include:
CKD may cause:
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
The doctor will look at the results of blood and urine tests. The tests will show if kidneys are not working as expected. It can also show how severe the kidney failure is.
To learn more about what is causing the failure, the doctor may also use:
You may be referred to a doctor who specializes in kidney disorders.
Chronic renal disease cannot be cured. It is possible to slow further damage.
Treatment may include:
To help reduce your chance of chronic renal failure:
Regular screening may help find problems early. Early changes may help stop or slow change to kidney disease. Screening should be considered in people with:
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
National Kidney Foundation
The Kidney Foundation of Canada
Chronic kidney disease. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary-disorders/chronic-kidney-disease/chronic-kidney-disease. Updated March 2017. Accessed June 1, 2018.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) in adults. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115336/Chronic-kidney-disease-CKD-in-adults . Updated March 27, 2018. Accessed June 1, 2018.
Gaitonde DY, Cook DL, Rivera IM. Chronic kidney disease: detection and evaluation. Am Fam Physician. 2017;96(12):776-783.
8/26/2014 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115336/Chronic-kidney-disease-CKD-in-adults : Heiwe S, Jacobson SH. Exercise training in adults with CKD: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Kidney Dis. 2014;64(3):383-393.
4/6/2016 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T908689/Risk-factors-for-chronic-kidney-disease : Park H, Adeyemi A, et al. A meta-analytic assessment of the risk of chronic kidney disease in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus. J Viral Hepat. 2015;22(11):897-905.
Last reviewed May 2018 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Adrienne Carmack, MD
Last Updated: 6/1/2018