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Chronic Kidney Disease

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What is chronic kidney disease (CKD)?

CKD is the gradual and permanent loss of kidney function. It is also called chronic kidney failure, or chronic renal insufficiency. Normally, the kidneys remove fluid, chemicals, and waste from your blood. These wastes are turned into urine by your kidneys. CKD may worsen over time and lead to kidney failure.

Kidney, Ureters, Bladder

What increases my risk for CKD?

What are the signs and symptoms of CKD?

Signs and symptoms depend on how well your kidneys work. You may not have symptoms, or you may have any of the following:

How is CKD diagnosed?

CKD has 5 stages. Your healthcare provider will use results from the following tests to find the stage of CKD you have:

How is CKD treated?

Treatment can help control signs and symptoms, and prevent a worse stage of CKD. Your care team may include specialists, such as a dietitian or a heart specialist. This depends on the stage of your CKD and if you have other health conditions to manage. Healthcare providers will work with you to create a plan based on your decisions for treatment. Your treatment plan may include any of the following:

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options

What can I do to manage CKD?

Management may include making some lifestyle changes. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any concerns about being able to make changes. He or she can help you find solutions, including working with specialists. Ask for help creating a plan to break large goals into smaller steps. Your plan may include any of the following:

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.