What Is Kidney Disease?

Kidney disease is any disease that damages the kidneys so that they cannot function properly. Chronic cases that lead to a complete shutdown of the kidneys will require a transplant or dialysis, which is a procedure where your blood is cleaned and returned to your body.

What Are the Different Types of Disease?

The different types of kidney disease are:

  • Chronic – This is a condition usually caused by hypertension increasing pressure on tiny blood vessels in the kidneys (glomeruli). The result is reduced kidney function, potentially to the point where dialysis is required.
  • Kidney Stones – This is a situation where crystals form in the kidneys, resulting in stones that you must pass during urination. Trying to urinate a solid mass can be quite painful, but there are usually no other serious health concerns that come with kidney stones.
  • Glomerulonephritis – A condition where the glomeruli become inflamed. This condition usually resolves on its own.
  • Polycystic Disease – A genetic disorder where cysts grow in the kidneys, interfering with function.
  • Urinary Tract Infection – A bacterial infection of the bladder, urethra, or surrounding systems. Usually easily treatable with antibiotics, but capable of doing serious kidney damage if untreated.

What Are Some Common Symptoms?

Symptoms can include fatigue, loss of appetite, swollen ankles, puffy eyes, muscle cramps, frequent urination, especially late-night urination, and scaly skin. More severe symptoms can include vomiting, anemia, and hyperkalemia (high potassium levels).

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What Are the Causes?

The main risk factors are high blood pressure and diabetes. Other risk factors include age, family history, and being of Native American, African, Asian or Hispanic descent.

Diagnosing Kidney Disease

There are a variety of tests we can do to rule out kidney disease, including a blood creatinine test, a urine albumin test, a GFR test, and a CT scan.

How Is Kidney Disease Treated?

If you are diagnosed with kidney disease, we will most likely prescribe medications to lower your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol. We will also likely recommend lifestyle changes like a healthier diet and more exercise.


Visit us in Cartersville, GA for the Best Kidney Disease Treatments

If you suspect you may have kidney disease, you need a doctor committed to your long-term health. At Esslinger Medical and Aesthetics, we are a patient-focused practice who are with you for the long haul. The length and number of your appointments are dictated by your needs, not our schedule. To start with a physical so we can develop a treatment plan for your possible illness and any other chronic conditions you may be at risk for, call us at (470) 888-6543 or contact us online today to schedule an appointment with board-certified internist, Jeffrey D. Esslinger MD.

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The Esslinger Medical & Aesthetics team is ready to manage all your health and wellness needs. To schedule an appointment, submit the form below now or call our office by dialing (470) 888-6543.