Chronic kidney disease


Chronic kidney disease, commonly known as chronic kidney failure, is a condition in which the kidneys progressively losses its ability to function. When the kidneys are damaged, it cannot remove the waste product and extra fluid from the blood through the urine. The body may accumulate hazardous amounts of fluid, electrolytes, and wastes which typically happens when someone have an advanced chronic kidney disease.

Patient may not have many signs and symptoms during the first stages or when the chronic kidney disease is still developing. It is possible that the condition goes unnoticed until it is already advanced.

The goal of chronic kidney disease treatment is to slow the development of kidney damage, usually by addressing the underlying cause. However, even managing the cause of kidney disease might not stop the damage from getting worse. Kidney disease can lead to kidney failure, also known as the end-stage kidney disease, which will require dialysis or a kidney transplant to improve chances of survival.


Patients with chronic kidney disease may not immediately notice the signs and symptoms until the disease is advanced. Excess fluid, body waste and electrolyte may accumulate when the kidneys stop working. As the disease progresses, symptoms may include:

  • Swelling of the feet and ankles
  • Puffy eyes
  • Frequent urination
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Having poor appetite
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Muscle cramps
  • Hypertension

The signs and symptoms of chronic kidney disease are usually nonspecific as other illness may cause them. You might not experience symptoms until permanent damage has occurred since your kidneys can compensate for reduced function.

If the patient experiences any of these symptoms or signs, schedule an appointment with the doctor. Early detection of kidney disease can help preventing the disease’s progression and complications. During checkups, the doctor may check the blood pressure and kidney function using urine and blood tests, especially if the patient has a medical condition that raises the risk of kidney disease. The doctor can confirm which tests are needed for the diagnosis.


Chronic kidney disease is usually caused by other conditions or illnesses that affects kidney function. The underlying condition puts a strain on the kidneys which causes kidney damage and can progress overtime. Chronic kidney disease can be caused by:

  • Type 1 or type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Glomerulonephritis an inflammation of the kidney’s filtering units.
  • Interstitial nephritis a disorder in which the portion of your kidneys’ filters, known as tubules, become swollen.
  • Polycystic kidney disease or other inherited kidney diseases
  • Blockage in the flow of urine, from conditions such as enlarged prostate, kidney stones and some cancers
  • Vesicoureteral reflux, a condition in which the urine flows back into your kidneys
  • Recurrent kidney infection, also called pyelonephritis

Risk factors

Several factors can contribute to the risk of chronic kidney disease. This includes:

  • History: Member of the family has history of kidney disease
  • Age: The risk increases when the person gets older
  • Other diseases: Having pre-existing disease could increase the risk of kidney disease such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart diseases,
  • Body Mass Index: Above normal body mass index or overweight person are at high risk.
  • Medication: Prolong use of certain medicines increase the risk of kidney disease.
  • Smoking
  • Abnormal kidney structure