CKD Causes & Diagnosis...

...are you listening?...


Turn up the Volume


  • One may think CKD is not in their ‘genre’ – but, think again – many unsuspecting passersby should stop & take ‘note’.

  • Persons with diabetes have the greatest risk for developing CKD, with their ‘records’ easily broken.  They make up the largest group of those with Stage 5 disease.

  • Number two on the ‘top ten chart’ of kidney failure causes is hypertension or high blood pressure.

  • A ‘quartet’ of CKD high risk race groups includes those who are African American, Hispanic, Native American, and/or Asian.

  • Others with a family history of CKD may ‘face the music’ and have to deal with some level of the disease themselves.

  • Older folks, (60+ years), appear to go ‘tone deaf’ as they age, so the CKD rate is higher in this population.

  • At times a ‘damaged instrument’ - structural changes or defects in the architecture of the kidney along with a history of kidney stones can be the reason the kidneys do not 'perform' the way they should.

  • Along with other health issues, obesity is considered a contributing risk factor for the development of CKD.

  • Addictions, like smoking and drug abuse (prescription & illicit), will put one at a higher risk level than others who only get hooked on the ‘groove’.

  • No matter the cause, CKD is considered a major mortality risk.  In fact, those with Stage 5 have a prognosis of death that falls between the rate of colon and that of lung cancer.

  • CKD is also an ‘indie’ – independent risk factor for the development of coronary heart disease – which is the #1 killer of Americans today.

  • CKD at Stage 5, (those requiring dialysis and/or transplant) at the time of this writing, creates a Medicare expense of over $42 billion dollars a year.





  • Usually CKD has no symptoms until the disease is advanced.

  • Often, even after the disease has progressed, the signs of feeling ill are vague – even the DJ doesn’t recognize the song!

  • Frequent complaints ‘accompanying’ the disease include:

    • Unusual fatigue

    • Trouble sleeping

    • Difficulty concentrating

    • Appetite increase or decrease

    • Nausea

    • Foamy urine

  • Blood and urine tests are ‘key’ in making a diagnosis

  • There is no ‘solo’ test, but rather, a combination of items are checked, to see if one is developing CKD.

  • Likely included are:

    • Urine protein/albumin level

    • Microscopic examination of the urine

    • Creatinine & urea blood levels

    • Serum electrolytes

    • Blood levels of Calcium, Phosphorus, Vitamin D & Parathyroid Hormone

    • Complete blood count

    • Kidney imaging, such as ultrasound

    • Renal biopsy (less often 'performed')

  • The 'background music' is then 'turned up' and, because of problems, people start to realize all the things the kidneys actually do..... like red blood cell production (anemia) and calcium/phosphorus regulation (bone disease).