Fresenius Kidney Care

What is Chronic Kidney Disease?

1 in 7 U.S. adults is living with
chronic kidney disease1

Learn the signs

Understanding kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) occurs when your kidneys don’t work as well as they should to filter waste, toxins, and excess fluids from your body. Know as a “silent” condition, CKD is hard to detect because the symptoms often appear in later stages. With proper management, you may be able to slow the progression of CKD and preserve your remaining kidney function to live your best life.

What are the symptoms of kidney disease?

Did you know that almost 15% of all US adults have CKD? That’s nearly 37 million people.1 Take control of your health and get to know the signs and symptoms of CKD.

Questions to ask your doctor

You can thrive with kidney disease, and Fresenius Kidney Care can help. When you talk with your doctor about the risks and signs of CKD, you may find it helpful to bring a list of questions to find the answers together.

Know the signs of CKD

Symptoms of kidney disease develop slowly over time. Talk to your doctor immediately if you notice any of these potential CKD signs and symptoms:

Signs you see

  • Puffiness around your eyes
  • Swelling in your hands, legs, or feet
  • Changes in urination

Signs you feel

  • Fatigue
  • Itching
  • Shortness of breath
  • Decreased appetite
  • Pain in the small of your back

Signs you test for

  • Abnormal urine
  • High blood pressure
  • Abnormal levels of phosphorus, calcium, or vitamin D

What are the risk factors?

Diabetes is the leading cause of CKD, followed by high blood pressure. These conditions, as well as your age, weight, family history, and overall health—even your ethnicity—may put you at greater risk for CKD. The sooner your doctor can confirm a CKD diagnosis, the earlier you can get started on a treatment plan that may help preserve kidney function and slow the progression of kidney disease. Don't put off testing, especially if these risk factors apply to you.

Learn how to get tested

Kidney function tests—or renal function tests—are simple and can be done in the comfort of your doctor’s office. There are 10 types of kidney function tests, including blood tests, urine tests, and imaging tests. Your doctor and care team can help you understand which tests are right for you.

When you get your test results you’ll know your eGFR and stage of kidney disease as well as the steps to take to feel your best.

Learn the basics of CKD

Fresenius Kidney Care’s expert-led kidney health class is a great starting point to learn more about CKD. Our class is available in person, by phone, or online.

Sign up

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Chronic kidney disease in the Unites States, 2021.