Having chronic kidney disease means that for some time your kidneys have not been working the way they should. Your kidneys have the important job of filtering your blood. They remove waste products and extra fluid and flush them from your body as urine. When your kidneys don’t work right, wastes build up in your blood and make you sick.
Chronic kidney disease may seem to have come on suddenly. But it has been happening bit by bit for many years as a result of damage to your kidneys.
Each of your kidneys has about a million tiny filters, called nephrons. If nephrons are damaged, they stop working. For a while, healthy nephrons can take on the extra work. But if the damage continues, more and more nephrons shut down. After a certain point, the nephrons that are left cannot filter your blood well enough to keep you healthy.
One way to measure how well your kidneys are working is to figure out your glomerular filtration rate (GFR). The GFR is usually calculated using results from your blood creatinine (say “kree-AT-uh-neen”) test. Then the stage of kidney disease is figured out using the GFR. There are five stages of kidney disease, from kidney damage with normal GFR to kidney failure.
There are things you can do to slow or stop the damage to your kidneys. Taking medicines and making some lifestyle changes can help you manage your disease and feel better.
Chronic kidney disease is also called chronic renal failure or chronic renal insufficiency.
Chronic kidney disease is caused by damage to the kidneys. The most common causes of this damage are:
Other things that can lead to chronic kidney disease include:
You may start to have symptoms only a few months after your kidneys begin to fail. But most people don’t have symptoms early on. In fact, many don’t have symptoms for as long as 30 years or more. This is called the “silent” phase of the disease.
How well your kidneys work is called kidney function. As your kidney function gets worse, you may:
Your doctor will do blood and urine tests to help find out how well your kidneys are working. These tests can show signs of kidney disease and anemia. (You can get anemia from having damaged kidneys.) You may have other tests to help rule out other problems that could cause your symptoms.
Your doctor will do tests that measure the amount of urea (BUN) and creatinine in your blood. These tests can help measure how well your kidneys are filtering your blood. As your kidney function gets worse, the amount of nitrogen (shown by the BUN test) and creatinine in your blood increases. The level of creatinine in your blood is used to find out the glomerular filtration rate (GFR). The GFR is used to show how much kidney function you still have. The GFR is also used to find out the stage of your kidney disease and to guide decisions about treatment.
Your doctor will ask questions about any past kidney problems. He or she will also ask whether you have a family history of kidney disease and what medicines you take, both prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
You may have a test that lets your doctor look at a picture of your kidneys, such as an ultrasound or CT scan. These tests can help your doctor measure the size of your kidneys, estimate blood flow to the kidneys, and see if urine flow is blocked. In some cases, your doctor may take a tiny sample of kidney tissue (biopsy) to help find out what caused your kidney disease.
Information taken fromhttps://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics/aa65427
Kidney disease describes a variety of disease and disorders that affect the kidneys. Most disease of the kidney attack the filtering units of the kidneys—the nephrons—and damage their ability to eliminate wastes and excess fluids.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is the presence of kidney damage, or a decreased level of kidney function, for a period of three months or more. Kidney disease can range from mild to severe and in some cases, lead to kidney failure (sometimes referred to as end-stage kidney disease, or ESKD). Kidney disease often starts slowly and develops without symptoms over a number of years, so CKD may not be detected until it has progressed to the point where your kidney function is quite low. Fortunately, most people do not progress to end-stage kidney disease, especially if they are diagnosed early and are able to take steps to preserve their remaining kidney function.
“End-stage” kidney disease does not mean the end of your life. End-stage means the end of your kidney function: your kidneys no longer adequately filter your blood. If your kidneys fail, there are a number of different treatment options including non-dialysis supportive care (conservative care), transplantation, or different forms of dialysis.
Sometimes kidney failure occurs rapidly and this is called acute kidney injury. This may be a result of infection, diseases that specifically attack the kidney filters, or other causes. For acute kidney injury, dialysis treatment may be urgently needed for a period of time, but kidney function often recovers.
Information taken from https://www.kidney.ca/kidney-disease