Chronic Kidney Disease

Illustration of kidney anatomy

You have two kidneys, each about the size of your fist. Their main job is to filter wastes and excess water out of your blood to make urine. They also keep the body’s chemical balance, help control blood pressure, and make hormones.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) means that your kidneys are damaged and can’t filter blood as they should. This damage can cause wastes to build up in your body. It can also cause other problems that can harm your health. Diabetes and high blood pressure are the most common causes of CKD.

Treatment may include medicines to lower blood pressure, control blood glucose, and lower blood cholesterol. CKD can get worse over time. CKD may lead to kidney failure. The only treatment options for kidney failure are dialysis or a kidney transplantation.

You can take steps to keep your kidneys healthier longer:

  • Choose foods with less salt (sodium)
  • Keep your blood pressure below 130/80
  • Keep your blood glucose in the target range, if you have diabetes

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

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