Kidney Disease Education

The 411 on Kidney Disease

For a comprehensive overview of chronic kidney disease (CKD), from basic terminology to risk factors and matching a treatment option to your lifestyle, Purivo has all the in-depth information CKD patients need.

What is Chronic Kidney Disease?

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) means your kidneys are damaged and can’t filter blood the way they should. The disease is called “chronic” because the damage to your kidneys happens slowly over a long period of time. This damage can cause wastes to build up in your body.

With kidney disease, the first symptoms you may have are ones that you won’t feel, but will show up in tests. Common problems include high blood pressure, anemia and weakening bones.

Okay... but what do healthy kidneys do?

Your kidneys are bean-shaped organs, each about the size of your fist. They are located near the middle of your back, just below the rib cage. The kidneys are sophisticated trash collectors. Every day, your kidneys process about 200 quarts of blood to sift out about 2 quarts of waste products and extra water.

  • Clean and filter your blood
  • Produce urine
  • Produce hormones
  • Control blood pressure
  • Keep bones strong

Following a kidney-friendly diet, managing health conditions such as diabetes and hypertension and not smoking may help your kidneys function better and longer, even when you have kidney disease.

What stage am I in?

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) has five stages ranging from nearly normal kidney function which starts at stage 1 all the way to stage 5 which is kidney failure.

Knowing what stage you are at can help you slow the disease progression and take control of your life. For a better understanding of how effectively ones kidneys are functioning, a blood test will be required. Doing a simple blood test will let you know how effectively your kidneys are eliminating waste products in your blood, by using a simple equation known as glomerular filtration rate (GFR).

How did I get kidney disease?

Diabetes and high blood pressure are the main causes of kidney diseases. Heart disease, acute kidney failure, genetic diseases (such as polycystic kidney disease, or PKD), autoimmune diseases like Lupus and individuals with a family history of kidney failure are some of the problems that can cause one to have kidney disease.

How do I slow the progression of kidney disease?

Ways to control and slow the progression of CKD:

  • Don’t smoke.
  • Exercise.
  • Take medications as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Eat right by limiting foods that are high in protein, saturated fats, phosphorus, potassium and sodium, all of which can put extra strain on your kidneys.
  • Know more about medications when you have renal disease. Some prescription and over-the-counter medicines and herbal supplements can be very harmful. Check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medications.

Share This Article

Download a Cookbook

Get a free recipe collection
from the Purivo kitchen.

Kidney-Friendly Recipes

View our kidney-friendly meal recipes from the Purivo kitchen

New to Dialysis?

Learn which Purivo service
may best fit your lifestyle.