Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease is when our kidneys don’t work well for longer than 3 months.

Our kidneys perform vital functions for our health:

  • balance the water and minerals in our blood
  • remove the waste products from our blood created from digestion, muscle activity and drugs and toxins
  • help control blood pressure
  • help make red blood cells
  • convert vitamin D from the sun and supplements to the active form the body can use

The most common conditions that can damage the kidneys are:

  • Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Drugs/Toxins like the long term use of anti-inflammatories like Ibuprofen or Aleve or acid
    reflux medicines like omeprazole or pantoprazole, lead poisoning, and illicit drugs

Symptoms of chronic kidney disease develop slowly over time. There may be no symptoms
until the damaged is advanced.

Symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Anemia
  • Weakness
  • Edema
  • Poor appetite
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weak bones

Diagnosing kidney disease involves blood and urine testing and imaging of the kidneys.

There is no cure for kidney disease but most can be managed by:

  • Maintaining a normal blood pressure of less than 120/80
  • Controlling your blood sugar if you have diabetes or pre diabetes
  • Avoiding long term use of Non Steroidal Anti inflammatory Drugs (Advil / Aleve) and acid reducing medications (Omeprazole / Pantoprazole)
  • Drinking plenty of water daily
  • Maintaining a healthy weight

By Lisa Meade, PA-C