What is Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)?

  • CKD is a reduction in glomerular filtration rate (GFR or "kidney function") <60ml/min OR structural damage to the kidneys (resulting in blood or protein spillage into the urine).
  • As CKD progresses, complications like high blood pressure, anemia (low blood count), weak bones, poor nutritional health, and nerve damage develop. With deterioration of "kidney function", metabolic wastes build up in the blood and make you feel sick.
  • Risk factors for developing CKD: Diabetes mellitus, Hypertension, >60 years old, Racial/Ethnic minorities (African Americans, Hispanics), Family history of kidney disease, Kidney stones, History of tobacco use.
  • How to test for CKD: Blood creatinine level, Urine test for Albumin/Protein, Blood.

GFR Calculator: Link

CKD Facts

  • In 1999-2004, an estimated 26 million adults (13%) in United States had CKD. Now, the prevalence has increased to 1 in 8 adults in the United States having CKD.
  • Nearly 50% of individuals 70 years or older meet the definition of CKD.
  • Millions of Americans have CKD and not know it because many are walking around with undiagnosed Diabetes and Hypertension or never get tested for CKD. In CKD stage 3, only 11.6% of men and 5.5% of women reported being aware of having "weak or failing" kidneys.
  • Diabetes mellitus and Hypertension are the 2 leading causes of CKD in the US.
  • CKD is associated with greater risk of death and of cardiovascular disease (High blood pressure, Heart attack, Stroke, Heart failure).
  • Early detection can help prevent progression of kidney disease to kidney failure and reduce mortality from CKD-related complications.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Disease?

The signs/symptoms of kidney disease are very subtle and most people will not feel them until they are close to the dialysis stage. Knowing the early signs/symptoms of kidney disease can help you seek treatment before it rapidly progresses to the dialysis stage. The following signs/symptoms may suggest kidney disease:
  • Changes in urination: Decrease amount, Frequent urination, Pressure/Difficulty urinating
  • Fatigue, Sleepiness, Trouble concentrating (from build up of waste products/toxins)
  • Swelling in ankles, feet, hands, face
  • Nausea/Vomiting, Loss of appetite, Abnormal taste to foods (Metallic taste)
  • Pain in the back/sides (enlarged kidneys, cysts)
  • Shortness of Breath/Heart failure from fluid retention
  • Blood in urine; Protein in urine (foamy/bubbly urine); Very pale or very dark urine
  • Anemia (Feeling cold, Fatigue)
  • Skin rash/Itching (from buildup of waste products)