Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

Chronic Kidney Disease

Kidneys 101
Your kidneys do a lot more than make pee. They get rid of toxins in your body, control your blood pressure, keep your bones strong, and help affect how other organs work.

Get Checked
Making sure your kidneys are working okay is super easy. Just go see your doctor for a simple urine test. Thats all there is to it.

  • 1 in 9 American adults have kidney disease — and most don’t know it.
  • 1 in 3 Americans is at risk of developing kidney disease and most don’t know it.
  • Early detection and treatment can slow or prevent the progression of kidney disease.
  • Kidney Disease risk can be reduced by controlling blood pressure and blood sugar, quitting smoking, regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight.

“Because kidney disease may be silent, it’s critically important that anyone at risk—those with high blood pressure, diabetes, age over 60 or a family history of kidney failure see your clinician for testing annually.”

How Common is CKD

Q. How common is Chronic Kidney Disease
A: Some 26 million Americans suffer from Chronic Kidney Disease, a figure experts predict will rise due to high obesity rates, the link between obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure and the aging of the Baby Boom generation. Young and middle-aged adults can also develop Chronic Kidney Disease.

What is CKD

Chronic kidney disease occurs when certain conditions cause the kidneys to slowly lose function. As the disease progresses, the kidneys become unable to filter waste products from the body. When waste levels become too high, complications such as anemia and high blood pressure arise, according to the National Kidney Foundation.

Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two most common causes of chronic kidney disease. Those two factors cause about two-thirds of all cases, states the National Kidney Foundation. To treat the disease, patients must first find the underlying cause and treat it. If the CKD progresses all the way to end-stage kidney failure, dialysis and/or a kidney transplant is the only way to treat it, says Mayo Clinic.

Tips for Your Check-Up

What to say:

  • Discuss your lifestyle.
  • Tell your doctor about your diet, alcohol and tobacco consumption, physical activity, and medications or supplements you take.

What to ask for – A simple Urine Test if you have any of these risk factors:

  • Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Age 60 or Older
  • Family History of Kidney Failure
  • Ask for Copies of your most recent blood test results
  • Healthy Lifestyle Recommendations
  • Information about medications that may harm your kidneys

What to Know Before Your Check-Up

Here are some of the medical tests your doctor may discuss if you’re at risk for kidney disease.

  • ACR (Albumin-to-creatinine ratio): If kidneys aren’t working well, protein ends up in the urine. ACR detects this protein—an early sign of kidney damage.
  • EGFR (Estimated Glomular Filtration Rate): This measures how well kidneys filter wastes out of the blood.
  • Blood pressure: High blood pressure is a leading cause of kidney disease.
  • Blood glucose (sugar): This test checks for diabetes, the leading cause of kidney failure.
  • Cholesterol: High cholesterol may indicate risk for heart disease, a major risk factor for kidney disease

CKD Warning Signs

Q: What are the Chronic Kidney Disease Warning Signs?
A: Most people have no symptoms until CKD is advanced. “If you wait until you have symptoms to be tested, you’ve waited too long,” says Leslie Spry, MD, spokesperson for the National Kidney Foundation. Signs of advancing Chronic Kidney Disease include swollen ankles, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, decreased appetite, blood in the urine and foamy urine.

Risk Factors & Prevention

Q: What are the risk factors of Chronic Kidney Disease?
A: Primary risk factors include diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, a family history of kidney failure and age over 60. Secondary risk factors include obesity, autoimmune diseases, urinary tract infections, systemic infections, and kidney loss, damage, injury or infection.

Q: Can Chronic Kidney Disease be prevented?
A: Taking care of overall health helps protect kidney health. Wise practices include exercising regularly, low salt diet, controlling weight, monitoring blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, not smoking, drinking moderately, avoiding non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and getting an annual physical.