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Overview of Kidney Disease

Kidney Disease

Overview

Chronic kidney disease, also known as chronic renal disease, refers to the gradual loss of kidney function. Kidney disease causes damage to the kidneys and decreases their ability to keep a person healthy. The disease progresses slowly.

The kidneys’ function is to remove waste from the blood. However, with kidney disease, usually caused by diabetes, useful nutrients, such as protein, begin to leave the body through urine. As the disease gets worse, waste slowly builds up, increasing a person’s risk of getting diseases of the heart and blood vessels, among other complications. The kidneys will eventually fail leading to end stage renal disease. A person with end stage renal disease will be forced to have dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Persons of African American, Hispanic, Pacific Islander and Native American decent are at an increased risk. Seniors are also at an increased risk as well as persons with diabetes and hypertension.


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