According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in nine American adults – 26 million – have some level of chronic kidney disease and 20 million more, 1 in 9, are at risk and they may not know it.
There are many types of kidney disease. Following are general definitions. Your physician can help you better understand these types of kidney disease and what they mean to you.
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
This is a slow loss of kidney function over time. This happens over months to years. Many systemic health conditions such as Hypertension, Diabetes Mellitus as well as intrinsic diseases of the kidney can cause CKD. CKD is classified into stages ranging from early Stage 1 to advanced stage of stage 5 at which point patients may require dialysis. About 17 million people in the US have Stage 3 to 5 CKD and this number continues to grow. Many are unaware that they have kidney disease.
Simple Tests to Detect Kidney Disease:
End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)
This is the final stage of chronic kidney disease. As this point the kidneys are no longer able to work to the point of sustaining life. Patients at this stage require dialysis or transplantation. There are almost 600,000 patients with ESRD in the US according to the latest statistics.
Acute Kidney Injury (AKI)
This is rapid loss of kidney function which occurs in minutes to hours. Many conditions can cause it, ranging from acute illnesses to medications etc. This may be reversible but sometimes patients will need dialysis.
This is an accumulation of tiny crystals to form stones in the kidney or collecting systems. Once big enough, they can block the drainage of urine from the kidney and cause severe pain. They can also cause blood in the urine, infection and sometimes kidney failure. Large stones require surgical interventions. Surgical interventions are performed by urologists. However, measures can be taken to prevent kidney stones. This role is usually performed by the kidney specialist.