Waste and Fluid Buildup

When working correctly, your kidneys filter your blood and help keep your body’s chemicals and blood pressure balanced. Chronic kidney disease occurs when illness or injury damages your kidneys and causes fluid and waste to build up in your body.

Diabetes and high blood pressure are the most common causes of chronic kidney disease.

Chronic Kidney Disease Symptoms, Diagnosis and Outlook

The early signs of chronic kidney disease are very subtle and can often go unnoticed. Common symptoms include:

  • Changes in urination
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Swollen hands or feet
  • Shortness of breath

Chronic kidney disease is diagnosed with a physical examination that includes a look at your heart and blood vessels.

Testing may include:

  • Blood tests to assess the level of accumulated waste products, like urea and creatinine
  • Urine tests
  • Radiological studies to assess the size and structure of your kidneys
  • Kidney biopsy

Chronic kidney disease is irreversible, but treatment and lifestyle changes can often prevent and manage any complications that arise. In severe cases, you may need dialysis or a kidney transplant.

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Why Choose Penn State Health for Care

Comprehensive Care from Skilled Clinicians

The skilled clinicians at Penn State Health offer advanced treatments for kidney disease that include medication and diet and lifestyle changes. If you have advanced kidney failure, our team provides a variety of care options, including dialysis and kidney transplant.

Our team of nephrologists, in collaboration with the Kidney Foundation of Central Pennsylvania, has received national recognition and research funding from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute for providing peer mentoring that actively engages you in your own care to help improve quality of life.

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