What is Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)?
Chronic kidney disease (often referred to as CKD) occurs when your kidneys do not function normally for three months or more. There are five stages of chronic kidney disease, with stage one being very mild and stage five being the most severe.
Most people with CKD are diagnosed with mild to moderate disease (stages 1-3), and may not even be aware they have it. Our nephrologists will work closely with you to prevent CDK from getting worse.
When patients have more severe disease (stages 4-5), our nephrologists shift their focus to the possibility of end stage renal disease, as well as the potential need for dialysis or a kidney transplant.
There are many causes of chronic kidney disease:
- Acute kidney injury
- Autoimmune disease
- Obstruction of urine flow/urological issues
- Recurrent kidney stones
Symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
Symptoms of CKD can include:
- Decreased urine output
- Decreased appetite
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Swelling of the extremities
Sometimes symptoms are so subtle, you may not feel them. Since many diseases present with these symptoms, it is important to discuss your symptoms with your nephrologist as soon as you notice a change in how you feel.
Diagnosing Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
Your health care provider will determine if you have CKD based on blood work and urine testing. Imaging can sometimes show evidence of scarring on the kidneys, another sign of CKD.
UR Medicine's Treatments for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
Treatment of CKD is mostly supportive, focusing on reducing risk factors that may cause your disease to progress. You may be monitored for:
- Good blood pressure control
- Appropriate blood sugar control, if you have diabetes
- Avoiding medications that can harm your kidneys, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Staying hydrated, especially during summer months
You may be asked to adjust your diet depending on your specific circumstance. Most of our patients are advised to reduce their sodium intake, which helps with blood pressure control and reduces your risk for swelling.
If kidney disease progresses to the point where your nephrologist is concerned about complications, you may need renal replacement therapy which includes dialysis or a kidney transplant.
What Sets Us Apart?
Our nephrology team care for a large volume of patients, and our providers are very familiar with rare and complex kidney diseases.
Our collaborative approach brings a wide range of expertise and diverse perspectives to patient care. Our nationally-recognized specialists in cardiology, endocrinology, rheumatology, transplant surgery, and urology work together to develop the best treatments for you.
Because we’re an academic medical center, our physicians also lead important research studies, with significant grants from the National Institutes of Health and industry-sponsored clinical trials.
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