Chronic kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease occurs when damage to the kidneys causes reduced kidney function. Kidney disease has usually been present for many years and may slowly get worse over time.

Chronic kidney disease can be mild, moderate, or severe.

  • Mild to moderate chronic kidney disease may not cause symptoms. The kidneys are usually able to adapt and function well enough so that noticeable symptoms of kidney failure do not occur.
  • Severe chronic kidney disease causes noticeable symptoms, such as electrolyte imbalances and fluid buildup (edema). Many people who have severe chronic kidney disease may eventually develop kidney failure and will need dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Last Updated: September 17, 2009

Author: Monica Rhodes

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Mitchell H. Rosner, MD - Nephrology

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.