Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a condition in which your kidneys are sick and cannot clean the blood from wastes as well as healthy kidneys. Because of this, wastes from the blood remain in the body and may cause other health problems. People with early CKD do not feel ill or notice any symptoms. The only way to find out for sure whether you have CKD is through specific blood and urine tests. Once detected, CKD can be treated with medicines and lifestyle changes, including making healthier choices about what you eat and drink. These treatments usually slow the worsening of CKD, and can prevent additional health problems.
- Without treatment, your diseased kidneys may stop working after a time, a condition called kidney failure.
- Kidney failure requires either regular dialysis or a kidney transplant.
- Adults with diabetes and/or high blood pressure have a higher risk of developing CKD than those without these diseases.
- Other risk factors for CKD include cardiovascular disease, obesity, high cholesterol, lupus, and a family history of CKD.
- Your risk of having CKD also increases with age. Men with CKD are 50% more likely than women to have kidney failure.
- The most efficient way to reduce personal suffering and financial costs of CKD is to prevent and treat its risk factors so that a person doesn’t get the disease at all.
- Stay in your target blood sugar and cholesterol range.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables.
- Stay physically active.
- Take your medications as directed.
- If you have diabetes, meet blood sugar targets as often as you can. Have an A1c test at least twice a year, but ideally up to four times a year. An A1c test measures the average level of blood sugar over the past three months.
- If your blood pressure is high, check it regularly and get it under control to make sure your kidneys remain healthy.
- Talk to your doctor about medicines and other ways to lower your blood pressure.