Common questions about chronic kidney disease (CKD)

Chronic kidney disease is a condition caused by a continued loss of proper kidney function. As the condition gets worse, the limited function of the kidneys makes it more difficult to filter out waste and impurities, leading to a vicious cycle of maladies within the affected person’s body.

What complications can arise from CKD?
Patients may develop high blood pressure, anemia (low red blood cell count), nerve damage, and more. All of these complications can lead to other problems ranging from severe fatigue to heart and blood vessel disease.

What changes in your body contribute to CKD?
Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two main causes of CKD. However, diseases that create inflammation can damage the kidney’s filtering capabilities. Cysts, kidney stones, urinary infections, auto immune systems problems and even malformations at birth can contribute to kidney disease.

At what age do symptoms generally start?
CKD can strike at any age. However, people who have a family history of kidney failure and those who are older are more susceptible. Population groups with a high rate of diabetes or high blood pressure are also more susceptible, including African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asians, Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans.

What are some symptoms of CKD?
If you feel more tired/have less energy for no other reason, have trouble concentrating, experience a continued loss of appetite, have trouble sleeping, frequently experience muscle cramps while you are resting, or regularly have swollen feet and/or ankles, it would be a good idea to visit Peninsula Kidney Associates to be evaluated. It’s important to remember that people with kidney disease may not show severe symptoms until the disease has greatly advanced. Early detection is the key to a successful treatment plan.