Chronic kidney disease is when the kidneys stop working as well as they should. When they are working normally, the kidneys filter the blood and remove waste and excess salt and water.
In people with chronic kidney disease, the kidneys slowly lose the ability to filter the blood. In time, the kidneys can stop working completely. That is why it is so important to keep chronic kidney disease from getting worse.
Some 26 million Americans (13 percent of the U.S. adult population) suffer from CKD—a figure experts predict will rise due to high obesity rates (1/3 of all adults), the link between obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure (all risk factors) and the aging of the Baby Boom generation (since age is another risk factor for CKD).
At first, chronic kidney disease causes no symptoms. As the disease gets worse, it can:
Yes, you can protect your kidneys by:
If your kidneys stop working completely, you can choose between 3 different treatments to take over the job of your kidneys. Your choices are described below.