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Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is when the kidneys do not filter blood the right way. This causes waste to build up in the blood. It is a problem that gets worse in stages.
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs in the lower back just below the rib cage. Each one is about the size of a fist. They filter waste from the blood and make urine. They also collect needed substances and return them to the bloodstream. The kidneys also maintain the balance of water in the body. And they release hormones that keep the bones strong, control blood pressure, and help the body make red blood cells.
|Anatomy of the Kidneys|
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The two most common causes of CKD are diabetes and high blood pressure.
- Diabetes type 1 and type 2 happen when the body does not process blood glucose the right way. High blood glucose damages the kidneys, heart, blood vessels, and eyes.
- High blood pressure happens when the force of blood on the blood vessel walls is too high. This damages the kidneys.
Other things that can cause CKD are:
- polycystic kidney disease or glomerulonephritis
- Glomerular disease leading to kidney damage
- Kidney tubule disorders
- Diseases of the immune system, such as systemic lupus erythematosus
- Obstructive kidney disease, such as kidney stones , tumors, or an enlarged prostate
- Frequent urinary tract infections
- Exposure to toxins
- Taking certain medicines for a long time, such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or phenacetin
- Renal artery stenosis
- Certain viruses, such as hepatitis B , hepatitis C , or HIV
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Tubular interstitial nephritis
CKD needs to be treated. As it worsens, it can lead to many health problems, such as:
- High blood pressure
- Coronary artery disease and heart attacks
- High cholesterol
- Weak bones
- Low red blood cell count— anemia
- Weak immune system
Chronic kidney disease. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary-disorders/chronic-kidney-disease/chronic-kidney-disease. Accessed April 6, 2022.
Chronic kidney disease. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/chronic-kidney-disease-ckd. Accessed April 6, 2022.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD). Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/condition/chronic-kidney-disease-ckd. Accessed April 6, 2022.
Overview of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/overview-of-chronic-kidney-disease-ckd-in-adults. Accessed April 6, 2022.
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
- Review Date: 11/2021
- Update Date: 04/06/2022