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Definition

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is impaired kidney function for more than 3 months. Normally, the kidneys filter wastes from blood and make urine. If they aren’t working well, wastes build up in the in the body.

Anatomy of the Kidney
Glomerulonephritis

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Causes  ^

CKD has many causes:

Risk Factors  ^

Your chances for CKD go up as you get older. Risk is also higher if you:

Symptoms  ^

CKD may cause:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Sleeping problems
  • Lack of hunger
  • Nausea
  • Itching
  • Breathing problems
  • Altered taste
  • Changes in mental state

Diagnosis  ^

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. You may also have:

  • A physical exam
  • Blood and urine tests to look for certain proteins and other markers
  • Renal ultrasound
  • Kidney biopsy

You will be referred to a specialist for care.

Treatment  ^

The goal of care is to slow the progress of the disease. Care may involve:

  • Dietary changes to control protein and salt levels
  • Medicines to control blood pressure, and cholesterol and glucose levels
  • Changing medicines that are causing harm to your kidneys
  • Support to manage fluids, electrolytes, blood flow, and oxygen
  • An exercise program
  • Quitting smoking
  • Dialysis—a machine works for your kidneys by filtering your blood
  • A kidney transplant
  • Counseling

Prevention  ^

To lower your chances of CKD:

  • Get a physical exam every year that includes a urine test to monitor the health of your kidneys.
  • If you smoke, talk to your doctor about how you can successfully quit.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Follow your care plan if you have a chronic condition such as high blood pressure or diabetes
  • If you’re in a high risk group, get screening tests as advised.
RESOURCES:

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
https//www.niddk.nih.gov

National Kidney Foundation
https://www.kidney.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Health Canada
https://www.canada.ca

The Kidney Foundation of Canada
https://www.kidney.ca

REFERENCES:

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 Surveillancehttp://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 Surveillancehttp://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 June 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrienne Carmack, MD  Last Updated: 6/1/2018

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