Types of kidney diseases

Your kidneys are vital organs that filter fluid and waste out of your blood, and you cannot live without them. Diseases that lower your kidney's ability to clean your blood can affect only the kidneys, or harm other parts of your body too. These health conditions can cause chronic kidney disease or kidney failure.

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Types of kidney diseases

Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is when lasting damage to your kidneys causes them to lose their ability to filter waste and fluid out of your blood. Waste can build up in your body and harm your health. This damage–and your kidney function–can get worse over time, and when your kidneys stop working completely, this is called kidney failure or end-stage renal disease.

More types of kidney diseases 

Fabry disease

Fabry disease is a rare genetic disease that is passed down through your family. It affects organs all around your body, including your heart, brain and kidneys, and can cause them to get less blood than they need. Over time, this can cause chronic kidney disease or kidney failure.

Cystinosis

Cystinosis is a rare disorder that allows a natural chemical called cystine to build up in your body and cause health problems. Kidney damage from cystinosis can cause kidney failure. People with cystinosis must take medicine to lower their cystine levels and may need a kidney transplant. Cystinosis is genetic (runs in families) and is most often diagnosed in young babies.

Glomerulonephritis

Glomerulonephritis is when the tiny filters in your kidneys that clean your blood (glomeruli) are damaged and lose their ability to remove waste and fluid from your blood. Over time, this can cause kidney failure. Many health problems can cause glomerulonephritis and treatment depends on the cause.

IgA Nephropathy

IgA nephropathy is a disease that causes proteins made by your immune system to build up in your kidneys and damage the tiny filters that clean your blood (glomeruli). This damage can take years to develop, and people with IgA nephropathy often do not know they have it. Over time, IgA nephropathy can lead to chronic kidney disease, kidney failure or death. There is no cure for IgA nephropathy, but medicines can slow the damage to your kidneys.

Lupus Nephritis

Lupus nephritis is an autoimmune disease (a disease that causes your body's immune system to attack its own tissues) that leads to pain, swelling and damage in your whole body, including your kidneys. This can lead to chronic kidney disease or kidney failure. The exact cause of lupus nephritis is unknown and it cannot be cured, but with treatment many people with lupus can lower their symptoms and prevent serious kidney damage. 

aHUS

Normal blood cell

aHUS (atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome) is a very rare genetic (runs in families) disease that causes tiny blood clots to form in the small blood vessels of your body. These clots can block the flow of blood to your kidneys and other organs and cause damage. Many people who have aHUS never have symptoms. For people who do have symptoms, they often start after a "triggering event", such as becoming pregnant or having cancer.

Polycystic Kidney Disease

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a genetic (runs in families) disorder that causes cysts (growths filled with fluid) to form on your kidneys and other organs. These cysts can lower your kidney's ability to filter fluid and waste from your blood. Over time, PKD can cause kidney failure. There is no cure for PKD, but treatments can slow the growth of the cysts and prevent PKD symptoms from causing health problems.

Rare diseases

There are other rare diseases that can damage your kidneys and lower their ability to filter waste and fluid out of your blood. This damage can lead to chronic kidney disease or kidney failure.