Your kidneys do many important jobs. Some of the ways they keep your whole body in balance include:
Removing natural waste products and extra water from your body
Helping make red blood cells
Balancing important minerals in your body
Helping maintain your blood pressure
Keeping your bones healthy
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is when the kidneys have become damaged over time (for at least 3 months) and have a hard time doing all their important jobs. CKD also increases the risk of other health problems like heart disease and stroke. Developing CKD is usually a very slow process with very few symptoms at first. So, CKD is divided into 5 stages to help guide treatment decisions.
Anyone can develop CKD – at any age. However, people with one or more of the risk factors above are more likely than others to develop CKD. Usually, developing CKD is not due to any single reason, but because of a combination of physical, environmental, and social factors. Early detection is important – CKD often begins without causing any obvious symptoms. Knowing the risk factors can help you know your level of risk and if you should get checked for CKD.
Having kidney failure means that 85% to 90% of your kidney function is gone and your kidneys don't work well enough to keep you alive. There is no cure for kidney failure, but it is possible to live a long and full life with treatment. Having kidney failure is serious but with treatment, many people with kidney failure continue to have full, active lives doing things they love.
This content is provided for informational use only and is not intended as medical advice or as a substitute for the medical advice of a healthcare professional.