What is Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)?

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) occurs when kidneys are no longer able to clean toxins and waste products from the blood and perform their functions to full capacity. This can happen suddenly or over time.

One of the first things that you should know is about kidney disease stages. Knowing your chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage is important for determining your treatment. CKD has five stages, ranging from nearly normal kidney function (stage 1) to kidney failure or end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), which requires dialysis or a transplant (stage 5). At chronic kidney disease stage 5, kidneys function below 10–15 percent of their normal capacity. Understanding which stage you are at will help you learn how to appropriately manage your kidney disease.

In most cases, ESKD (stage 5) occurs after years of living with kidney disease. Less common is acute kidney failure, which is a sudden compromise of kidney function. Whichever the case may be, when you are diagnosed with ESKD, it is necessary to receive dialysis or a transplant to maintain your good health. DaVita offers many services that can suit your lifestyle.

There are various options to treat ESKD (stage 5). The most common treatment is dialysis. If you and your nephrologist agree on a kidney transplant as a treatment option, you might require dialysis while waiting for the right kidney donation.

Understanding Your Kidneys

Understanding how kidneys work is the first step in taking control of your health. Following a suitable diet for your kidneys, not smoking, and managing diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), and other health conditions may help your kidneys function better and longer, even when you have kidney disease symptoms. Your kidneys play a very important role in regulating your overall health. They make up your body's filtration system, clean waste and eliminate excess fluids from your body, and produce a series of chemical substances necessary for your body to function.


Could You or Someone You Care About Be at Risk for CKD?

Risk factors include the following:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Family history of kidney disease
  • Age of 55 or greater

If you may be at risk for kidney disease, consider scheduling a kidney screening with your general practitioner as part of your next check-up.

Let DaVita assist you if you have any concerns regarding kidney disease symptoms.


Learn More About

Kidney Disease Symptoms & Diagnosis
Living with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
Kidney Disease Symptoms & Diagnosis
Assessing Your Risk of Chronic Kidney Disease
Living with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
Assessing Your Risk of Chronic Kidney Disease