Chronic Kidney Disease – What You Need to Know

By Buffalo Medical Group | March 14 2019 | Doctor Tips

March 14th is World Kidney Day – a day dedicated to bringing awareness to the importance our kidneys play in our overall health, and to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney disease. Chronic Kidney Disease, or CKD, is reported to impact 1 in 7 US adults, which is almost 30 million people.* Despite these high numbers, over 90% of adults with kidney damage or mildly reduced kidney function are not aware they have CKD.*

What is Chronic Kidney Disease?

CKD is the gradual loss of kidney function. The job of your kidneys is to filter wastes and excess fluids from your blood, which are then excreted into your urine. When an individual begins to reach a more advanced level of CKD, dangerous levels of fluid and wastes can build up in the body.

What are the symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease?

In the early stages of CKD, most individuals do not experience any symptoms. Over time, symptoms may include:
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Changes in urination frequency
  • Swelling of feet and ankles
  • Persistent itching
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • High blood pressure (hypertension) that’s difficult to control

Who’s at risk for Chronic Kidney Disease?

Individuals suffering from Diabetes (type 1 and 2), high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity or an abnormal kidney structure have a higher risk of developing CKD. CKD is also more common in individuals who smoke or have a family history of kidney disease.

How can you protect yourself against Chronic Kidney Disease?

If you are a patient suffering from any of the above conditions, smoke, or have a family history of kidney disease, it’s important to talk to your doctor, and find out if you should be tested for CKD. If detected, CKD may be addressed through lifestyle changes, such as changing your diet, or treated with medications. These treatment methods may keep CKD from progressing and prevent additional health issues.

If you suffer from CKD, it’s important to talk to a Nephrology Specialist to ensure your CKD is being properly monitored and treated. If you or someone you know may be suffering from kidney-related issues, learn more about our Nephrology team, and schedule an appointment today.

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*Center for Disease Control and Prevention