Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic renal failure is often caused by diseases such as:
- High blood pressure
- Vascular diseases
- Kidney diseases
- Obstructive diseases, such as kidney stones
- Polycystic kidney disease
- Acute tubular necrosis
- Renal tubular disorders
- Toxin/drug-induced kidney disease
- Severe infection
- Autoimmune diseases
This condition is more common in people of African American descent.
Factors that may increase your chance of chronic renal failure include:
- High blood pressure
- Smoking cigarettes
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- Vesicoureteral reflux
- Chronic urinary tract infections
- Exposure to high levels of lead
- Being overweight or obese
- Other family members with kidney disease
- A previous kidney transplant
- Infection with the hepatitis C virus
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Your bodily fluids and tissues may be tested. This can be done with:
- Blood tests
- Kidney biopsy
Images may be taken of your bodily structures. This can be done with utrasound.
Those who are already at high risk for kidney disease should be tested more frequently so any damage can be diagnosed early. People with kidney disease will be referred to a nephrologist (a doctor who specializes in treating kidney disorders).
Chronic renal failure cannot be cured. It is possible to slow the progression of kidney damage.
Treatment may include:
- Controlling protein in the urine by restricting the amount of protein in the diet or medication
- Taking ACE inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor antagonists
- Reducing the use of and the dosages of drugs that may be toxic to the kidneys
- Managing the complications of chronic renal disease such as fluid overload, high blood phosphate or potassium levels, low blood level of calcium, and anemia
- Lowering high blood pressure
- Controlling blood sugar and lipid levels
- Staying hydrated
- Controlling salt in the diet
- Participating in an exercise training program to keep you physically fit and reduce the chance of depression
- Quitting smoking
- Undergoing dialysis , a medical process that cleans the blood
- Having a kidney transplant
- Counseling for you and your family about dialysis and/or transplant options
To help reduce your chance of chronic renal failure:
- Get a physical exam every year that includes a urine test to monitor the health of your kidneys.
- If you smoke, talk to your doctor about how you can successfully quit.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Drink water and other fluids to stay hydrated.
- People who have diabetes, previously known kidney disease, high blood pressure, or are over the age of 60 should be screened regularly for kidney disease.
- People with a family history of kidney disease should also be screened regularly.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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a (Chronic Kidney Disease)
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians http://www.familydoctor.org
National Kidney Foundation http://www.kidney.org
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
The Kidney Foundation of Canada http://www.kidney.ca
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