Other names: Chronic kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease, also called chronic kidney failure, describes the gradual loss of kidney function. Your kidneys filter wastes and excess fluids from your blood, which are then excreted in your urine. When chronic kidney disease reaches an advanced stage, dangerous levels of fluids, electrolytes, and wastes can build up in your body.

In the early stages of chronic kidney disease, you may have few signs or symptoms. Chronic kidney disease may not become apparent until your kidney function is significantly impaired. Treatment for chronic kidney disease focuses on slowing the progression of the kidney damage, usually by controlling the underlying cause. Chronic kidney disease can progress to end-stage kidney failure, which is fatal without artificial filtering (dialysis) or a kidney transplant.


Signs and symptoms of chronic kidney disease develop over time if kidney damage progresses slowly. Signs and symptoms of kidney disease may include:

Signs and symptoms of kidney disease are often nonspecific, meaning they can also be caused by other illnesses. And because your kidneys are highly adaptable and able to compensate for lost function, signs and symptoms may not appear until irreversible damage has occurred.


Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any signs or symptoms of kidney disease.

If you have a medical condition that increases your risk of chronic kidney disease, your doctor is likely to monitor your blood pressure and kidney function with urine and blood tests during regular office visits. Ask your doctor whether these tests are necessary for you.


Chronic kidney disease occurs when a disease or condition impairs kidney function, causing kidney damage to worsen over several months or years.

Diseases and conditions that commonly cause chronic kidney disease include:


Factors that may increase your risk of chronic kidney disease include:


Chronic kidney disease can affect almost every part of your body. Potential complications may include:


To reduce your risk of chronic kidney disease:


Receiving a diagnosis of Chronic Kidney Disease can be worrisome. To help you cope with your feelings:


  1. What is Chronic Kidney Disease?

Chronic Kidney Disease refers to the gradual loss of kidney function over time.

  1. What are the symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease?

Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, changes in urine output, high blood pressure, among others.

  1. What causes Chronic Kidney Disease?

Causes include diabetes, high blood pressure, glomerulonephritis, polycystic kidney disease, among others.

  1. What are the risk factors for Chronic Kidney Disease?

Risk factors include diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, obesity, family history of kidney disease.

  1. How is Chronic Kidney Disease diagnosed?

Diagnosis involves blood tests, urine tests, imaging tests like ultrasound, and sometimes a biopsy.

  1. How is Chronic Kidney Disease treated?

Treatment aims to control underlying causes and manage complications through medications like ACE inhibitors or diuretics.

  1. What are some lifestyle changes recommended for managing Chronic Kidney Disease?

Lifestyle changes include maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.

  1. How can one cope with a diagnosis of Chronic Kidney Disease?

Coping strategies include connecting with support groups, maintaining a routine, staying physically active, and talking to trusted individuals.

  1. What complications can arise from Chronic Kidney Disease?

Complications may include fluid retention leading to swelling or pulmonary edema; heart diseases; anemia; bone issues; decreased immune response; among others.

  1. What treatment options are available for end-stage Kidney Disease?

End-stage Kidney Disease may require dialysis or a kidney transplant for survival.