Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a long-term condition where the kidneys don't work as well as they should.
It's a common condition often associated with getting older. It can affect anyone, but it's more common in people who are black or of south Asian origin.
CKD can get worse over time and eventually the kidneys may stop working altogether, but this is uncommon. Many people with CKD are able to live long lives with the condition.
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How to keep your Kidneys Safe
What is Acute Kidney Injury?
Acute is a term used to describe something that has occurred over hours or
days (as opposed to chronic which means months or years).
Kidney Injury describes evidence of damage to the kidneys usually with a
change in kidney function tests and passing only small amounts of urine.
What are the symptoms?
In the early stages, there may not be any, but symptoms may be related to the illness which causes the AKI, such as diarrhoea and vomiting, low blood pressure with light headedness and passing only small volumes of urine.
It’s very important that AKI is detected early and treated promptly as in some cases it can be very serious. In the large majority of cases early detection and treatment will result in resolution of the AKI.
Kidney function is usually assessed by testing the blood for waste products This includes creatinine which comes from our muscles and can build up if the kidneys are not functioning well. The hospital laboratory is then able to provide an estimate of the efficiency of the kidneys. It is also important to test the urine to look for evidence of kidney damage or inflammation.
Who is at risk of Acute Kidney Injury?
We are all at risk of Acute Kidney Injury. It is very common when people become seriously unwell, and affects 1 in 5 people admitted as an emergency to hospital.
The kidneys require an adequate blood pressure to function.
If blood pressure drops a lot then cells in the kidneys are damaged and they may not function properly again, even when blood pressure returns to normal.
Some people are more at risk than others, for example those people who already have abnormal kidney structure or function. This may be related to other long term conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure. If there is evidence of abnormal kidney function which lasts for more than 3 months then this is called Chronic Kidney Disease.