The Kidney Clinic

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)


Chronic kidney disease is a condition in which the kidneys are damaged and unable to filter blood as effectively as they should. As a result of kidney failure, this can lead to a buildup of waste products in the body and can cause several health problems. 

Chronic kidney disease is a progressive disease, meaning that it gradually worsens over time. The causes of kidney failure are typically high blood pressure or diabetes. Still, it can also be caused by other conditions, such as glomerulonephritis (an inflammation of the kidneys) or inherited kidney disorders.


Early chronic kidney disease usually does not have any symptoms. However, as kidney failure progresses over time, it may result in various manifestations. Usually, doctors detect chronic kidney disease not through kidney failure symptoms but via blood or urine tests or a scan of the kidneys.

Chronic kidney disease symptoms may vary depending on the severity of the condition. As the condition progresses, some common symptoms may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Muscle cramps
  • Swelling in the feet and ankles
  • Changes in the amount of urine produced
  • Chest pain
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Trouble sleeping


It is important to note that these symptoms can also be caused by other health conditions and can easily be confused with symptoms of acute kidney injury. This is because both are forms of kidney disease and may have similar kidney failure symptoms. Hence, it is crucial to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis. If left untreated, chronic kidney disease can lead to kidney failure, which may require dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Risk factors of Chronic Kidney Disease

There are several risk factors for developing chronic kidney disease, including:

  •  High blood pressure: High blood pressure may damage the blood vessels located in the kidneys, leading to CKD.
  •  Diabetes: Diabetes is a leading cause of CKD. High blood sugar levels may damage the blood vessels located in the kidneys.
  •  Family history: If you have a family history of CKD, you may be at an increased risk of developing the condition.
  •  Age: The risk of CKD increases with age.
  •  Obesity: Being obese or overweight increases the risk of CKD.
  •  Smoking: Smoking can damage the blood vessels in the kidneys and increase the risk of CKD.
  •  Cardiovascular disease: People with cardiovascular disease, such as heart disease or stroke, have an increased risk of CKD


Keep in mind that having one or more of the above risk factors does not mean you will develop chronic kidney disease or kidney failure. However, it is vital to be aware of these risk factors and to take steps to reduce your risk, such as maintaining a healthy lifestyle and getting regular check-ups.

Treatment Options

Chronic kidney disease treatments will depend on the severity of the condition and the underlying cause. In the early stages of CKD, treatment may focus on controlling the underlying cause of kidney damage and slowing the progression of the disease. This may involve lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. In some cases, medications may be prescribed to help control blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, or improve blood sugar control.

Chronic kidney disease treatments usually require long-term commitment and compliance. If chronic kidney disease progresses to the point where the kidneys are severely damaged and unable to function properly, more advanced kidney failure treatment may be necessary.

This may include:

  •  Dialysis: Dialysis is a treatment that uses a machine to filter waste products from the blood when the kidneys can no longer do so. There are two main types of dialysis: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.
  •  Kidney transplant: When a person’s kidneys fail, a healthy donor organ is surgically implanted into the body. The transplanted organ performs the job of the failing kidneys.


The kidney failure treatment above will help relieve kidney failure symptoms, such as nausea, lack of appetite, breathlessness, tiredness and lethargy.

Do you have a question about your kidney or medical condition?

Reach out to us for a consultation with Dr Alvin Ng. 

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