What is Kidney Disease?

What is Kidney Disease?

Kidney disease is a condition that occurs when your kidneys don’t work as well as they should to filter waste, toxins, and excess fluids from your body. Kidney disease is a condition that is ongoing and will require long-term medical care to look after your health. Kidney disease progresses in 5 stages and may eventually lead to kidney failure.


The goal of treating kidney disease is to best manage your health at every stage, which can help slow progression and keep your kidneys functioning as long as possible. At the point of kidney failure, there are different treatment options, which can help people live well.

8 facts about kidney disease

About 1 in 10 people have some degree of kidney disease.

High blood pressure (hypertension) and diabetes are the most common causes of kidney disease.

A person can lose up to 90% of their kidney function before experiencing any symptoms.

Early detection is key. Simple blood and urine tests can help to detect kidney disease.

Kidney disease progresses in 5 stages and may eventually lead to kidney failure.

There is no cure for kidney disease, but its progression can be slowed by following a kidney friendly diet, and with medications.

Kidney disease can occur at any age, but becomes more common with increasing age.

Kidney disease can affect people of all ethnicities, but some, including people of South Asian origin (those from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka or Pakistan), have a higher risk.

What are the symptoms of kidney disease?

Kidney disease is hard to detect early because many people do not experience symptoms until the later stages. Symptoms may include changes in urination, fatigue, itching, back pain, or swelling of your hands or feet.

Find out more about kidney disease symptoms.

Are you at risk for kidney disease?

There are certain factors that put you at a higher risk for kidney disease, including your family history, certain health conditions, ethnicity, or overuse of medications.

Find out more about kidney disease risk factors.

What causes kidney disease?

There are many factors that can contribute to kidney disease – most commonly, diabetes and high blood pressure (hypertension). Even people who’ve taken excellent care of their health can be at risk for kidney disease.


Find out more about causes of kidney disease.

How is kidney disease diagnosed?

Early diagnosis is key to slowing the progression of kidney disease and preserving your kidney function. Your doctor can determine if you have kidney disease by calculating your kidney function using the results of a blood test and other health information about you. Talk to your doctor and make testing a priority!

Find out more about kidney disease diagnosis & testing.

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