Diabetes and high blood pressure (hypertension) are the two most common causes of kidney disease. For this reason, regular check-ups evaluating kidney function and health are important for patients with these diseases.
Other causes of kidney disease include:
- Acute renal failure (sudden kidney failure)
- Inherited kidney disease
Kidney disease is diagnosed through blood and urine tests, a complete physical examination, and sometimes a kidney biopsy. Common symptoms include:
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Foamy or bloody urine
- Itching all over
- Poor appetite
- Swelling in the ankles and legs
Most patients with kidney disease experience a slow progression of damage to the kidneys called chronic kidney disease (CKD). Early diagnosis and treatment is critical to helping to manage the progression. Dietary and lifestyle changes may be recommended in addition to prescription therapy.
If you have kidney disease, a kidney specialist- or nephrologist- will help you manage your condition, working with you, your primary care provider and any other medical specialists involved with your health care.