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  • Writer's pictureDr Grant Flanagan

What exactly is kidney disease?

Updated: May 18, 2021

Your kidneys are essential to your health, they are a waste filtration system that filters your blood 12 times per hour.

Kidney disease occurs when your kidneys are damaged in some way and are not doing their filtration job properly.

It is possible to lose up to 90% of kidney function with few or no symptoms, which may include:

  • change in frequency and quantity of urine you pass

  • blood in your urine

  • change in appearance of your urine

  • high blood pressure

If your kidneys do not work properly, waste products and extra fluid build up in your blood which may lead to:

  • tiredness and inability to concentrate

  • generally feeling unwell

  • loss of appetite

  • shortness of breath

Risk factors for kidney disease include:

  • high blood pressure

  • obesity

  • smoking

  • being aged over 60

Diagnosing kidney disease involves various tests which may include urine tests, blood tests, xrays, ultrasound, MRI, renal biopsy.

Treatment varies depending on whether the kidney disease has been detected early enough, and may include changes to diet and medication. Prevention includes adopting a healthy lifestyle, staying fit and having your blood pressure checked regularly.

For more information see the page from which the above general information on Kidney Disease was extracted: Better Health Channel Kidney Disease page

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