• Chronic Kidney Disease

    (Chronic Renal Failure; Chronic Renal Disease; Chronic Renal Insufficiency)

    Chronic kidney disease is a condition in which the kidneys are not working correctly. It is caused by damage to tiny structures within the kidneys called nephrons (pronounced nef-RONS). About 20 million Americans have chronic kidney disease and 500,000 individuals have end-stage renal disease. In the early stages, chronic kidney disease does not cause symptoms; therefore, most people don’t know they have the condition.
    The kidneys are bean-shaped organs located in the lower back just below the rib cage. Each kidney is about the size of a fist. The two kidneys filter blood, catch needed substances, return them to the circulation, and dispose of wastes in the urine. If the kidneys don’t filter properly, wastes build up in the blood. The kidneys also maintain the balance of water in the body and release hormones. These hormones keep the bones strong, control blood pressure, and help the body make red blood cells. If your kidneys stop working, your bones may become weak, your blood pressure may increase, and your red blood cell count may decrease.
    Anatomy of the Kidneys
    Anatomy of the Kidney
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

    Stages

    Chronic kidney disease is a progressive condition. Doctors use stages to describe how serious it is. The stage is based on the glomerular filtration rate (GFR).
    Stage Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR)
    1 Over 90 mL/min (normal)
    2 60 to 89 mL/min (mild decrease)
    3 30 to 59 mL/min (moderate decrease)
    4 15 to 29 mL/min (severe decrease)
    5 under 15 mL/min (kidney failure or end-stage renal disease)

    Causes

    The two most common causes of chronic kidney disease are diabetes and hypertension.
    • Diabetes type 1 and type 2 occur when the body doesn’t process the sugar in the blood well. The amount of sugar (also called glucose) in the blood increases. High blood glucose damages the kidneys, the heart, blood vessels, and eyes.
    • Hypertension (high blood pressure) occurs when there is high pressure within the arteries of the body. Hypertension damages the kidneys. Chronic kidney disease can also cause hypertension.
    Other conditions that can cause chronic kidney disease include:

      References

      About chronic kidney disease (CKD): a guide for patients and their families. National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: http://www.kidney.org/kidneydisease/aboutckd.cfm . Accessed October 16, 2012.

      Are you at increased risk for chronic kidney disease? National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: http://www.kidney.org/atoz/pdf/atriskckd.pdf . Published 2010. Accessed October 16, 2012.

      Chronic kidney disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed . Updated October 12, 2012. Accessed October 16, 2012.

      Kidney disease basics. National Kidney Disease Education Program website. Available at: http://www.nkdep.nih.gov/patients/kidney%5Fdisease%5Finformation.htm . Updated March 1, 2012. Accessed October 16, 2012.

      National Kidney Foundation. Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (K/DOQI) clinical practice guidelines for bone metabolism and disease in chronic kidney disease. Am J Kidney Dis. 2003; 42:S1-201.

      National Kidney Foundation. Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (K/DOQI) clinical practice guidelines for chronic kidney disease: evaluation, classification, and stratification. Am J Kidney Dis. 2002;39:S1-266.

      National Kidney Foundation. Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (K/DOQI) clinical practice guidelines on hypertension and antihypertensive agents in chronic kidney disease. Am J Kidney Dis. 2004; 43:S1-S29.

      Snyder S, Pendergraph B. Detection and evaluation of chronic kidney disease. Am Fam Physicians. 2005;72:723-732.

      Revision Information

    • Join WellZones today.

      Make a Change For LifeLearn more

      Wellmont LiveWell is creating a new tradition of wellness in the mountains by providing individuals with tools and encouragement to live healthier lifestyles.

    • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

      At risk for a heart attack? Learn more

      Fight heart disease early and prevent heart attacks with HeartSHAPE® - a painless, non-invasive test that takes pictures of your heart to scan for early-stage coronary disease.

    • Calories and Energy Needs

      Calorie NeedsLearn more

      How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

    • Ideal Body Weight

      Ideal Body WeightLearn more

      Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

    • Body Mass Index

      Body Mass IndexLearn more

      This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.


    • Can we help answer your questions?

      Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.