CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE OVERVIEW:
Chronic kidney disease (CKD, also called kidney failure) is a condition in which the kidneys lose the ability to remove waste and excess water from the bloodstream. As waste and fluids accumulate, other body systems are affected, potentially leading to complications.
The most common causes of chronic kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure. In the early stages of CKD, there are no obvious symptoms. The disease can progress to complete kidney failure, also called end stage renal disease. This occurs when kidney function has worsened to the point that dialysis or kidney transplantation is required to maintain life.
The main goal of treatment is to prevent progression of CKD to complete kidney failure. The best way to do this is to diagnose and control the underlying cause.
The symptoms, evaluation, and management of chronic kidney disease will be reviewed here. Kidney transplantation, peritoneal dialysis, and hemodialysis are discussed separately.
NORMAL KIDNEY FUNCTION:
A brief overview of normal kidney function can help in the understanding of chronic kidney disease. The kidneys function to remove wastes and excess water from the blood. These wastes and fluids are combined to form urine. Many vital body functions are dependent upon the proper functioning of the kidneys.