What is Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)?
Chronic kidney disease includes conditions that damage your kidneys and decrease their ability to keep you healthy. If kidney disease gets worse, wastes can build to high levels in your blood and make you feel sick. You may develop complications like high blood pressure, anemia (low blood count), weak bones, poor nutritional health and nerve damage.
Kidney disease also increases your risk of having heart and blood vessel disease. These problems may happen slowly over a long period of time. Chronic kidney disease may be caused by diabetes, high blood pressure and other disorders. Early detection and treatment can often keep chronic kidney disease from getting worse. When kidney disease progresses, it may eventually lead to kidney failure, which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant to maintain life.
Anyone can get chronic kidney disease at any age. However, some people are more likely than others to develop kidney disease. You may have an increased risk for kidney disease if you:
- have diabetes
- have high blood pressure
- have a family history of chronic kidney disease
- are older
- belong to an ethnic group that has a high rate of diabetes or high blood pressure, such as African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian, Pacific Islanders and American Indians.
Warning Signs of Kidney Disease
Most people may not have any severe symptoms until their kidney disease is advanced. However, you may notice that you:
- feel more tired and have less energy
- have trouble concentrating
- have a poor appetite
- have muscle cramping at night
- have swollen feet and ankles
- have puffiness around your eyes, especially in the morning
- have dry, itchy skin
- need to urinate more often, especially at night.