Chronic Kidney Disease : Causes, Symptoms, and Management

Research Based
Medically reviewed by - Dr. MESSANGA Dimitri, MD Written by - Dr. Diksha Sangle


Chronic Kidney Disease

The kidneys eventually lose the ability to filter waste and extra fluid from the circulation due to the stable and progressive condition known as chronic kidney disease. Kidney damage typically takes months or years to develop, and it can result in several consequences.

Millions of individuals worldwide suffer from CKD, which is frequently linked to other illnesses like diabetes and high blood pressure. 1Overview | Researched based study from

The kidneys eventually lose the ability to filter waste and extra fluid from the circulation due to the stable and progressive condition known as chronic kidney disease .


What are the causes?


  • Over time, excessive blood sugar levels can harm the kidneys’ tiny blood capillaries, resulting in damage and CKD.

High blood pressure.

  • The kidneys’ blood arteries can be harmed, and uncontrolled high blood pressure reduces their capacity to operate correctly. 2Causes | Researched based study from


  • The glomeruli, microscopic kidney structures that filter waste from the blood, become inflamed and destroyed in this illness.

Kidney polycystic disease

  • This genetic condition causes the kidneys to develop many cysts, which eventually cause kidney damage.2Causes | Researched based study from

Obstructed urinary tracts

  • When the urinary system is blocked, urine cannot flow quickly, which increases pressure inside the kidneys and damages them.

Autoimmune disorders

  • Lupus and other autoimmune illnesses can induce renal inflammation, which can harm the kidneys over time.

Certain medicines

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and some antibiotics can harm the kidneys over time and cause CKD.2Causes | Researched based study from


What are the symptoms?


  • Having constant fatigue or weakness, despite enough rest.


  • Due to the buildup of fluid, swelling can occur in the legs, ankles, and feet, and occasionally in the face and hands.1Symptoms | Researched based study from

Changes in urination

  • Urination that is more or less often than usual, frothy or bubbly, or that is darker than usual.1Symptoms | Researched based study from

Blood in the urine

  • This causes color of the urine turn pink, red, or brown.1Symptoms | Researched based study from

Lack of appetite

  • Having a lower appetite, or feeling less hungry causes weight loss.


  • Feeling nauseated or throwing up due to the buildup of waste products in the body.

Dry skin

  • Dry or itchy skin can develop from the accumulation of waste materials.

Difficulty in concentrating

  • Having trouble in concentrating or remembering things.

Breathing difficulty

  • People with kidney disease may have trouble breathing. 1Symptoms | Researched based study from


Who is at risk of getting CKD?


  • People above the age of 60 are more likely to have CKD.3Vulnerability | Researched based study from


  • Diabetes and high blood pressure are risk factors, and being overweight or obese might raise that risk.


  • Smoking can potentially harm blood vessels and raise the danger of high blood pressure.

Cardiovascular disease

  • A more significant risk exists for those with heart disease or a history of stroke.3Vulnerability | Researched based study from

Additional medical issues

  • CKD can be a side effect of other illnesses such as lupus, HIV, and hepatitis B and C. 3Vulnerability | Researched based study from


How is it diagnosed?

Blood tests

Waste products like creatinine and urea, which are present in the blood, can be measured using blood testing. High concentrations of these waste products may indicate that your kidneys aren’t working correctly. 4Diagnosis | Researched based study from

Creatinine in serum

  • Muscles create creatinine, a waste product the kidneys remove from the blood. A high serum creatinine level indicates ineffective renal function.

Urea in the blood

  • The kidneys filter this out of the blood. An elevated level is a sign that the kidneys are not working correctly.

Rate of glomerular filtration (GFR)

  • This measures how efficiently the kidneys are removing waste. Low GFR is a sign of poor kidney health. 4Diagnosis | Researched based study from

Electrolyte levels

  • Salt, potassium, and chloride are electrolytes that are crucial for maintaining healthy function. Abnormal levels indicate kidney disease.

Urinary tests

  • Testing urine for the presence of proteins, blood, or other substances that can indicate kidney injury can be helpful.

Imaging exams

  • Imaging procedures like an MRI, CT scan, or ultrasound can help visualize the kidneys and spot any anomalies or obstructions. 4Diagnosis | Researched based study from


  • To identify the cause of kidney injury, it may occasionally be necessary to extract a tiny sample of kidney tissue and examine it under a microscope.
  • A healthcare provider can identify the stage of CKD, which ranges from Stage 1 to Stage 4, based on the findings of these tests. (mild kidney damage with normal kidney function) to Stage 5 (kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant).

It’s crucial to remember that CKD can be managed and its progression slowed or stopped with early detection and treatment. Therefore, it is advised that those at risk have frequent renal function testing for early identification. 4Diagnosis | Researched based study from


Treatment methods for chronic kidney disease.

What are the treatment methods?



  • Commonly prescribed diuretics that aid the kidneys in removing extra bodily fluid include furosemide and hydrochlorothiazide.6Treatment | Researched based study from

ACE inhibitors

  • Angiotensin receptor blockers, such as losartan or valsartan, and ACE inhibitors, such as lisinopril, frequently decrease blood pressure and protect against future kidney injury.6Treatment | Researched based study from

Erythropoietin stimulating agents

  • These drugs encourage the creation of red blood cells and can be used to treat anaemia, a frequent side effect.6Treatment | Researched based study from

Phosphate binder

  • Phosphate binders, such as sevelamer, calcium acetate, and lanthanum carbonate, aid in regulating the amount of phosphate in the blood.


  • People with CKD who are anemic or have the bone disease may also receive vitamin D and iron supplements. 4treatment | Researched based study from


Limit your protein intake.

  • Consuming too much protein can damage the kidneys, so it’s crucial to keep your intake under control.

Reduce your salt intake.

  • Minimizing sodium intake is crucial because it can increase blood pressure and cause fluid retention. Less than 2300 mg daily is the minimum amount that persons with CKD should consume daily.

Limit phosphorus intake

  • High blood phosphorus levels can be dangerous. Dairy goods, meat, and nuts are foods high in phosphorus.6Treatment | Researched based study from

Eat less potassium.

  • Bananas, oranges, and potatoes are a few foods high in potassium.6Treatment | Researched based study from

Increase fruit and vegetable consumption.

  • Fruits and vegetables are healthy because they are low in potassium, salt, phosphorus, and protein.

Keep hydrated.

  • Kidney health depends on enough water consumption, but fluid intake and output must be balanced.

Limit your alcohol consumption.

  • It’s crucial to restrict alcohol consumption since excessive alcohol use can harm the kidneys.

Fluid control

  • Limiting fluid intake may help some kidney disease sufferers lessen the strain on their organs. 6Treatment | Researched based study from


  • When the kidneys cannot filter the blood of waste and extra fluids, dialysis is a medical procedure that does just that. Hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis are the two forms of dialysis.6Treatment | Researched based study from

Transplant of a kidney

  • Some individuals with end-stage renal disease may be candidates for a kidney transplant. 4Treatment | Researched based study from


What are the complications?

High blood pressure

  • A critical factor in controlling blood pressure is the kidneys. CKD can bring on high blood pressure.


  • Erythropoietin, a hormone made by the kidneys, promotes the synthesis of red blood cells. Anemia develops as CKD worsens because the kidneys produce less erythropoietin. 5Complications | Researched based study from

Bone disease

  • The kidneys support the body’s mineral balance, particularly that of calcium and phosphorus. Bone diseases, such as osteoporosis, fractures, and bone discomfort, can result from dysfunction. 5Complications | Researched based study from

A cardiovascular disease

  • It can rise both the heart disease and stroke risk

Fluid accumulation

  • A buildup of fluid in the legs, feet, ankles, and lungs can result from the kidneys failing to eliminate extra bodily fluid. 5Complications | Researched based study from


  • CKD can result from weight loss and decreased appetite, which contribute to malnutrition. The kidneys also eliminate waste products from the body, such as those created when protein is broken down. 5Complications | Researched based study from


Preventive factors

Manage your blood pressure.

  • In addition to taking drugs, this may entail making lifestyle adjustments such as eating a balanced diet, exercising frequently, and lowering stress.6Prevention | Researched based study from

Control of blood sugar

  • Diabetes is another crucial factor that contributes to CKD. Thus, it’s critical to control your blood sugar levels properly.6Prevention | Researched based study from

Maintain a healthy weight.

  • Obesity or being overweight can raise your risk.

Stop smoking.

  • Smoking can harm your kidneys’ blood arteries, resulting in CKD.

Stay hydrated.

  • Your kidneys can remain healthy and operate as they should if you consume enough water. Drink at least eight glasses of water daily or more if you are working out or sweating a lot. 6Prevention | Researched based study from
Disclaimer: The user acknowledges that this article's information is being offered for informational purposes only. Every attempt has been made to guarantee that the article is informational and correct. If they have any doubts or questions about their health, we firmly advise our readers to visit a doctor or other healthcare professional.

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