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Healthcare: Kidney Care (Nephrology)

Chronic Kidney Disease

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Chronic Kidney Disease

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Chronic kidney disease is characterized by a gradual loss of kidney function over time and includes conditions that damage your kidneys and decrease their ability to keep you healthy. You may develop complications like high blood pressure, anemia (low blood count), weak bones, poor nutritional health, and nerve damage. Kidney disease also increases the risk of having heart and blood vessel disease. Early detection and treatment can often keep chronic kidney disease from getting worse.

For more information see About Chronic Kidney Disease - National Kidney Foundation.

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Diabetes & Kidney Disease

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Diabetes injures the small blood vessels in the body, and when the blood vessels in the kidneys are injured, your kidneys cannot clean your blood properly. Your body will retain more water and salt than it should, which can result in weight gain and ankle swelling; waste materials will build up in your blood. Diabetes also may cause damage to nerves in your body. This can cause difficulty in emptying your bladder. The pressure resulting from your full bladder can back up and injure the kidneys. Three types of treatment can be used once your kidneys have failed: kidney transplantation, hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.

For more information see Diabetes and Kidney Disease - National Kidney Foundation.

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Glomerulonephritis

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Glomerulonephritis, a disease of the kidney, is characterized by inflammation of the glomeruli, very small blood vessels in the kidney that serve as tiny filters. The disease damages the kidneys' ability to remove waste and excess fluids from the body. Glomerulonephritis can be acute (a sudden attack of inflammation) or chronic (long-term and comes on gradually). If the illness continues, the kidneys may stop working completely, resulting in kidney failure. Treatment depends on the type of glomerulonephritis you have.

For more information see Glomerulonephritis - National Kidney Foundation.

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Pregnancy & Kidney Disease

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  • Can a woman who is on dialysis have a child?
  • Is it possible for a man who is on dialysis to father a child?
  • Is becoming pregnant easier for a kidney transplant recipient than for a dialysis patient?

For a patient with chronic kidney disease, questions about sexuality are often intertwined with questions about pregnancy.

For answers to these and other kidney disease and pregnancy-related questions, see Pregnancy and Kidney Disease - National Kidney Foundation.

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Polycystic Kidney Disease

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Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a genetic disorder characterized by the growth of numerous cysts in the kidneys. These cysts are filled with fluid. If too many cysts grow or if they get too big, the kidneys can become damaged. PKD cysts can slowly replace much of the kidneys, reducing kidney function and leading to kidney failure.

For more information see Polycystic Kidney Disease - National Kidney Foundation.