Chronic Kidney Disease: Factors, Symptoms, Causes

Subarna Ghosal

Updated on:

chronic kidney disease

The major function of kidneys is to filter wastes and excess fluids from your blood, which are then excreted in your urine. Kidney diseases happen when your nephrons are damaged and cannot filter the blood. However, most damage occurs gradually.

Chronic kidney disease/ called chronic kidney failure describes the gradual loss of kidney function that can get worse over time. If the damage is that bad, your kidneys stop working. This is termed to be kidney failure, or end-stage renal disease (ESRD). If your kidneys fail to function, you will need dialysis or might even need a kidney transplant to live.

When chronic kidney disease reaches a matured stage, dangerous levels of fluid, electrolytes can build up in your body.

High blood pressure (hypertension) and diabetes are the 2 most important factors responsible for the progressive type of damage to the nephrons and the resulting kidney failure (chronic kidney disease or CKD). Around 30 million people in the United States are living with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Factors that increase your risk for CKD include

  • Being over 60 years old
  • a family member with kidney disease
  • Being African-American, Hispanic, Native American or Asian
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart diseases
  • hepatic diseases

Common Symptoms Of Chronic Kidney Disease

  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • vomiting
  • Not feeling hungry enough
  • Swelling in your feet and ankles
  • Too much urine or not enough urine
  • Trouble in sleeping
  • Trouble catching your breath

And if the kidneys stop working suddenly (a sign of acute kidney failure), you might notice one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Back pain
  • Rashes
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fever
  • Nosebleeds

Different stages of Chronic Kidney Disease


In this stage kidney disease does not tend to cause any symptoms when it’s at an early stage as the body is able to cope with a significant reduction in kidney function. Kidney disease is often diagnosed at this stage by a routine test for another condition, like a blood or urine test, detects a possible problem.

If it’s found at an early stage, medicine and regular tests are needed to monitor it.

Later stages of CKD

A number of symptoms start appearing if kidney disease is not found at an early stage.

Symptoms are as follows:

  • feeling sick
  • headaches
  • weight loss and poor appetite
  • swollen ankles, feet, etc.
  • shortness of breath
  • Tiredness
  • itchy skin
  • muscle cramps
  • erectile dysfunction in men
  • blood in your urine
  • an increased urge to urinate often at night
  • difficulty in sleeping

If you notice any of these above symptoms, you should contact your doctor immediately

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) refers to all five stages of kidney damage, from very mild damage in stage 1 to severe including Kidney failure in stage 5.

Nephrologist and doctors will measure how well your kidneys filter waste from your blood is by the estimated glomerular filtration rate or eGFR.

The stages of kidney disease  are recognized by EGFR no:

  • Stage 1 CKD: eGFR 90 or Greater
  • Stage 2 CKD: eGFR Between 60 and 89
  • Stage 3 CKD: eGFR Between 30 and 59
  • Stage 4 CKD: eGFR Between 15 and 29
  • Stage 5 CKD: eGFR Less than 15
Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Leave a Comment