What is chronic kidney disease?

This disease is a slow and progressive deterioration of the kidneys to filter waste, food and fluid in the blood. It is often more common than we think and is often not diagnosed. The progression of the disease can be delayed by effective treatments of modern medicine. Unfortunately chronic kidney failure is an irreversible kidney disease. The disease is silent in the early stages and often causes no symptoms.

What is chronic renal failure?

Kidney failure is the consequence of kidney disease. There is a lot of kidney disease that also causes chronic kidney failure. When the patient’s kidneys no longer function normally, the body is poisoned by waste in the body. When a person is at this stage, it is crucial to have this treated as quickly as possible.

It is chronic when the disease is progressive. Small lesions in the kidneys are irreversible. After a few years this can become a serious problem for the patient.

The different stages of chronic renal failure

Stage 1: Chronic Kidney Disease – DFG is over 90 ml / min

Stage 2: minimal kidney failure – DFG is between 89 and 60 ml / min

Stage 3: moderate renal impairment – DFG is between 59 and 30 ml / min

Stage 4: Severe Renal Failure – DFG is between 29 and 15 ml / min

Stage 5: end stage renal failure – DFG is less than 15ml / min

DFG: The glomerular filtration rate of the kidneys


The major cause of kidney problems

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • The beginning of advanced age
  • Overweight

Sometimes, kidney stones can potentially lead to chronic kidney disease (CKD). This may occur due to obstruction when Kidney stones can cause obstructions in the urinary tract, leading to urine retention and increased pressure in the kidneys. This pressure can cause damage to the kidney tissues. Another reason could be urinary tract infections, which, if recurrent or chronic, can damage the kidney tissue, leading to CKD. Kidney stones can sometimes cause direct damage to the inner surfaces of the kidney, which can lead to scarring and long-term dysfunction. Hydronephrosis is a condition where the kidney swells due to urine failing to drain properly, which can be caused by larger kidney stones. Prolonged hydronephrosis can lead to a decline in kidney function.

It’s important to note that not everyone who has kidney stones will develop CKD. The risk increases if there are recurrent stone formations, lack of proper treatment, or pre-existing kidney conditions.

Symptoms of kidney problems

There are several symptoms for chronic kidney disease, this can include:

  • Nausea, loss of appetite and weight
  • Itches
  • Frequent urination, even at night and sleep disorder
  • Hypertension
  • Nocturnal urination
  • Asthenia
  • Muscle convulsions
  • Cramps
  • A great tiredness
  • Confusion, difficulty concentrating
  • Loss of sensitivity
  • Distress breathing
  • A skin discolored (usually yellow or brown).
  • Dark, cloudy, and foamy urine

Sometimes at the beginning of the disease, no symptoms are felt. He is advised to take a blood test every year to detect health problems. The kidney disease symptoms most often are fatigue, loss of appetite and itching.

When the disease progresses gradually, other symptoms can appear quickly. If the disease is too advanced and not treated properly, the body poisons itself and this can cause the death of the patient.

Screening for chronic kidney disease

A lot of gesture exists to greatly reduce the risks related to the kidney problem. For this it is necessary to detect the disease when it manifests itself. The patient should talk about the symptoms that they perceive in their daily life to the doctor so that they can evaluate it.

There are certain factors that can alarm a doctor for his patient:

  • Diabetics
  • Chronic hypertension
  • A history of kidney disease in the family
  • Problem with age
  • The diagnosis

There are two tests for diagnosing kidney disease generally. The first is a thorough examination of the patient’s blood. The blood test calculates the dosage of creatine and the level of urea in the blood.

The second is with a urine sample, often both tests are asked for a more accurate result, this test looks for the presence of albumin (proteinuria) or traces of blood in the urine.

For people at risk, it is advisable to have regular follow-up with tests to see if kidney disease starts.

An examination of blood pressure can also reveal kidney disease and can greatly accelerate the progression of the disease.

In rarer cases, the specialist will want to take small fragments of the kidney for microscopic analysis. Some other examination may be required, such as an ultrasound, x-ray, scintigraphy, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scan.

After the inspection of the tests, the doctor can establish a precise diagnosis with regard to the patient.


There are several options for the patient with kidney problems. The most likely treatment is to limit the amount of fluid the patient will take. Obviously the sodium intake (salt) must be as minimal as possible. Potassium should be greatly reduced also to ensure a good treatment of the kidneys. Thereafter, taking specific medication that will target the kidneys and treating other illness that could have caused this problem.

Kidney failure can not be cured. Treatment is primarily aimed at reducing the patient’s symptoms, preventing complications of the disease and slowing the deterioration of the kidneys.

Peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis are two treatments for chronic kidney disease, it involves filtering the patient’s blood but this is not suitable for everyone.

For the most serious cases, the specialist will use dialysis or even a kidney transplant.



The anemia that is caused by kidney disease, can be treated by certain drug such as erythropoietin or darbepoetin. Often, too, the patient must receive blood transfusions. It is very possible that the patient will have to receive several transfusions because the blood of the patient will have an iron deficiency.

Hypertension caused by chronic kidney disease may be treated by some antihypertensives, which prevents a worsening of the disease. The risks that the disease is very advanced is still low.

When the disease is at a very advanced stage, specialists go towards the options of kidney transplant, it is a great alternative because apart from this option, the patient may die.

Dietary advice to prevent or improved kidney failure

It is suggested to take two or three times more vegetable than meat to alkalize the body, it is absolutely necessary to avoid all that is acid, it is advisable to adopt an alkalizing diet.

  • Limit proteins
  • Eat a lot of vegetables
  • Greatly reduce sodium (salt)
  • Avoid taking a lot of potassium
  • Do not be overweight

Some fruits and vegetables are preferred, such as berries, pears, strawberries, pineapple, peach and watermelons are to be prescribed. Vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, celery, eggplant, green beans and pepper are excellent vegetables for anyone with kidney failure.

Of course, one should not completely remove the meat from the patient’s menu, but generally Western countries consume too much meat. The consumption of meat for a woman is 50 g and 60 g for men. That’s number are often exceed.

The problem with kidney failure is that the body becomes too acidic, which causes chronic acidosis. It is very important to limit the intake of acids and promote alkalizing foods.

Prevention of renal failure

Some healthy lifestyle habits can help greatly reduce the risk of the disease. A healthy weight, a good diet and being active every day greatly favors the system so that it treats all the waste of the body. The main causes of kidney failure are type 1 or 2 diabetes. High blood pressure is also a major factor in this disease. One suggests controlling these diseases well to avoid having kidney failure.

Regularly checking your blood sugar can help detect signs of a kidney problem. Proper blood pressure monitoring, because untreated high blood pressure can have a serious impact on the functioning of the kidneys. Certain drugs will have positive effects on the functioning of the body and kidneys.

It is also recommended not to over-use over-the-counter medications such as acetylsalicylic acid or ibuprofen. Too large a dose of medication gives difficulty to the kidneys because they must be filtered. Anti-inflammatories and dietary supplements can use the kidneys.

It is also important to drink water, without consuming too much either. Dehydration and hyperhydration take a lot of effort on the kidneys.

Avoid smoking, toxic and chemical substances of the cigarette accumulate in the body and must be filtered through the kidneys. This causes damage to the kidney tissue, which is one of the reasons why smokers are more at risk for kidney failure than those who do not smoke.

Moral medicine: A portable artificial kidney

Everyone needs at least one kidney to live. They are vital for our survival. A kidney is used primarily to purify the blood and eliminate waste in the urine or stool. A California firm has designed a portable artificial kidney that fits on a belt. This brings hope to anyone who has not had the chance to have a kidney transplant when the patient is terminally ill.

The battery-powered device can operate for four to eight hours continuously. It has been successfully tested in several patients who have chronic end-stage renal disease.

Researchers are still pushing the boundaries of medicine. Currently, they are designing another machine that can filter blood for a period of 24 hours or more.

The device is still in the design mode, but it gives a lot of hope to the patient with this disease.

Read the two articles on the portable artificial kidney.

Healio artificial kidneyPharm kidney device

When should I see a doctor?

If you have other diseases that are likely to cause kidney failure, such as diabetes, your doctor should carefully monitor your health regularly. For example, blood and urine tests, observe your blood pressure and your blood sugar. If symptoms occur between temp, it is advisable to make an appointment v or with your doctor as soon as possible.

Other factors that can be alarming are the significant change in the amount of urine you produce or if you have traces of blood in your urine.

For more information or to get support:

Fondation Canadian of kidney

Niddk Government information about Kidney

Learn all about the function of kidneys in humans and animals.

Nicolas Desjardins

Hello everyone, I am the main writer for SIND Canada. I've been writing articles for more than 12 years and I like sharing my knowledge. I'm currently writing for many websites and newspapers. I always keep myself very informed to give you the best information. All my years as a computer scientist made me become an incredible researcher. You can contact me on our forum or by email at [email protected].