Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.
Skip to main content

Chronic Kidney Disease

Renal Clinic of Houston

Nephrology located in Katy, TX & Memorial City, Houston, TX

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects 15% of adults, but your risk is much greater if you have diabetes or high blood pressure. The board-certified physicians at the Renal Clinic of Houston specialize in CKD, providing advanced care with the goal of stopping progressive kidney damage and preventing complications. At the first sign of a kidney problem, don't wait to seek help. The sooner you get treatment, the earlier you can stop kidney damage. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Katy, Memorial City in Houston, or North Cypress, Texas, or use the online booking feature today.

Chronic Kidney Disease Q&A

What is chronic kidney disease?

chronic kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease or CKD refers to several conditions that cause kidney damage. In many cases, the tissue damage slowly but progressively worsens. There is no cure for the damaged tissues. As a result, CKD can lead to kidney failure.

Your kidneys continuously filter excess fluids and toxic wastes out of your blood. They also help produce red blood cells, regulate your blood pressure, and maintain strong bones.

You also need healthy kidneys to regulate blood levels of calcium, potassium, sodium, and phosphorus. These minerals (electrolytes) control your body's acid-base balance and keep your muscles, nerves, and heart functioning.

What causes chronic kidney disease?

Diabetes and high blood pressure (hypertension) are the top causes of chronic kidney disease. You can also develop CKD due to:

  • Renal artery stenosis
  • Polycystic kidney disease
  • Glomerulonephritis
  • Lupus nephritis
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Heavy metal poisoning
  • Infections

CKD is also associated with exposure to toxic drugs and some industrial chemicals.

What symptoms develop due to chronic kidney disease?

In the early stages, you won't notice any symptoms. They gradually appear as CKD progresses and causes more kidney damage. 

You may experience:

  • Edema (swelling due to excess fluids)
  • Dry skin
  • Itching
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Muscle cramps
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Increased or decreased urination

Edema often affects your legs or the area around your eyes.

How is chronic kidney disease diagnosed?

The two primary tests for chronic kidney disease include a urine test for albumin and a blood test to determine your glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Albumin is a protein that's in your urine when you have kidney damage. The GFR shows how well your kidneys are working.

How is chronic kidney disease treated?

The Renal Clinic of Houston focuses on easing your symptoms, preventing further kidney damage, and lowering your risk of complications. Your provider schedules regular checkups to monitor your blood pressure, GFR, albumin, blood sugar, and other biomarkers.

CKD treatment is individualized but usually includes:

  • Restoring and maintaining normal blood pressure
  • Controlling blood sugar
  • Taking medications
  • Following a kidney-friendly diet
  • Stopping smoking

Your provider may prescribe one of several medications to lower your blood pressure, relieve swelling, treat anemia, strengthen your bones, or lower your cholesterol.

If your kidneys lose 85-90% of their ability to function, you enter end-stage renal disease, also known as kidney failure. At that stage, you need dialysis or a kidney transplant. 

If you need expert care for chronic kidney disease, call the Renal Clinic of Houston or book an appointment online today.