Chronic kidney disease is a gradual development of permanent kidney disease that worsens over time. It can happen slowly and silently over months or years.  Some of the leading causes of chronic kidney disease are diabetes, hypertension, glomerulonephritis, polycystic kidney disease, lupus and complications from some medications. 

Early detection and treatment of the underlying causes of kidney disease may help prevent progression. Many people with early stages of disease may not have any indication that something is wrong. Early treatment can help prevent kidney failure. Some symptoms may be a sign that you either have chronic kidney disease or you are at risk for developing damage to your kidneys: 

  • Diabetes 
  • High blood pressure
  • A family history of kidney disease 
Chronic kidney disease can lead to kidney failure, or end stage kidney disease, when kidneys are functioning at less than 10 to 15 percent of their capacity. At this point, measures to treat chronic kidney failure such as diet and medications to control the underlying cause are no longer enough and treatment options include dialysis and kidney transplantation. You will need to speak with your physician and family to determine which treatment option is best for you.