Kidney Disease


Kidney function is required to remove wastes, toxins, and excess fluid from the blood. The kidneys help to control blood pressure, stimulate production of red blood cells, keep our bones healthy, and regulate the blood chemicals essential to life. When this process is disrupted or not functioning properly, chronic kidney disease (CKD) or chronic kidney failure has occurred. This condition is also associated with nephritis, or inflammation of the kidneys. CKD results in the gradual loss of kidney function. When a person is in this stage of disease, they develop renal impairment. This impairment can cause end-stage renal disease (ESRD) prompting the need for kidney dialysis or kidney transplant.

Chronic kidney disease includes conditions that damage your kidneys and decrease their ability to process the blood. If kidney disease worsens, wastes can build to high levels in your blood and cause various feelings of being sick. Complications such as high blood pressure, anemia (low blood count), weak bones, poor nutritional health and nerve damage may develop. Kidney disease increases your risk of having heart and blood vessel disease. These problems may happen slowly, and gradually over a long period of time. Chronic kidney disease may be caused by diabetes, high blood pressure and other disorders. There are also associations between the environment, social and lifestyle factors and CKD. The National Kidney Foundation lists heavy metals (such as mercury, lead and cadmium), smoking, herbicide and pesticide exposure, air pollution and even toxics that may be present in certain plants and herbs as possible contributors to kidney disease. These factors require more analysis and study to see if there are connections that might help us to prevent kidney disease sooner.


Early detection and treatment can often keep chronic kidney disease from getting worse. When kidney disease progresses, it may eventually lead to kidney failure, which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant to maintain life.


To explore data on kidney disease and kisney disease health-realted risk factors, click here.


Data Source 

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Surveillance System