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Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)


Over 31 million people in the United Statesare living with chronic kidney disease (CKD).  If caught early, CKD can be treated and slowed.  When CKD is left untreated, it can lead to kidney failure.


What is CKD?

Who gets CKD?

How can I prevent CKD?

How do I know if I have CKD?

How is CKD treated?

More Information


What is CKD?


CKD is the permanent loss of some kidney function.  This happens when the tiny filters in the kidneys (called glomeruli) are damaged. 


Many different things can cause this damage.  Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two main causes of CKD.  Some other diseases, injuries and kidney problems that are left untreated can also cause CKD. 


Who gets CKD?


Anyone can develop CKD.  Some people are more likely to have CKD than others.  Click on any of the links below for more information.


You are at more risk for CKD if you have:


 Some racial and ethnic groups are also more likely to have CKD.  These include:


How can I prevent CKD?


Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two leading causes of CKD.  The best thing you can do to help protect your kidneys is to keep these in control.  Get your blood sugar and blood pressure checked often.


You can also help prevent CKD with other healthy habits.  You should:


  • Have regular check-ups with your doctor
  • Eat a low-fat, low-salt diet
  • Exercise most days of the week
  • Avoid tobacco
  • Drink alcohol only in moderation

How do I know if I have CKD?


CKD usually has no signs or symptoms until it is very far along.  The only way to know if you have CKD is to have some simple medical tests.  Ask your doctor about these tests:


If you do not have a doctor, you may also want to look for kidney screenings in your area.  Our MIKE Program offers screenings in Atlanta, Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C.  Click here to learn more.  You can also call our toll-free HelpLine at 1.866.300.2900 for more help finding a screening near you.


How is CKD treated?


With CKD, the damage to your kidneys is permanent.  It cannot be fixed.  But you can help protect your kidneys and keep them from getting worse.  That is why it is so important to catch and treat CKD early.


To help treat your CKD and prevent kidney failure:


  • Control any diabetes
  • Control any high blood pressure
  • Control cholesterol
  • Avoid tobacco
  • Eat a low-salt diet
  • Exercise most days of the week

Talk to your doctor about other ways to help prevent kidney failure.  Ask whether an ACE Inhibitor or ARB medicine is right for you.  These are the best medicines we have for helping to protect the kidneys.  Also ask how you can prevent other health problems caused by CKD, like bone disease and anemia.


Click here to download the brochure “Living Well with Chronic Kidney Disease”


More Information


American Association of Kidney Patients


National Instituteof Diabetesand Digestive and Kidney Diseases


National Kidney Disease Education Program


National Kidney Foundation



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