Chronic Kidney Disease

Application: Chronic Kidney Disease

According to the National Kidney Foundation, 26 million adults in the United States have chronic kidney disease with millions of others at risk (National Kidney Foundation, 2012). Over time, this disorder will become progressively worse, and patients will eventually experience a loss of renal function. Early detection and prevention is key for patients with this disorder. For this reason, it is important for you, as the provider, to be aware of various signs, symptoms, and risk factors of chronic kidney disease. In this Assignment, you explore the disorder including the role that patient history, physical exams, and diagnostics play in diagnosis and treatment.

To prepare:

Think about how you might diagnose a patient with chronic kidney disease. Consider the role that patient history, physical exams, and diagnostics play in diagnosis.

Reflect on potential treatment options for chronic kidney disease including the implications of prescribed drugs.

Consider the following patient factors: genetics, gender, ethnicity, age, and behavior. Think about how these factors might impact the diagnosis and treatment of patients with chronic kidney disease.

To complete:

Write a 2- to 3-page paper that addresses the following:

Describe the clinical presentation of chronic kidney disease.

Explain how you might diagnose a patient with chronic kidney disease including the role that patient history, physical exams, and diagnostics play in diagnosis.

Explain implications of potential treatment options for this disease including prescribed drugs.

Describe how patient factors might impact the diagnosis and treatment of patients with chronic kidney disease.


Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

CKD is the same as the Chronic Renal Disease, and it is related to loss in normal functioning of the kidneys with time. Statistics gathered by the National Kidney Foundation indicated that over twenty six million persons are affected by CKD in the United States alone (National Kidney Foundation, 2012). It was also argued that many others are affected by CKD while unawares. It is estimated that CKD will progressively increase as millions of patients experience malfunctioning of the renal system.

CKD is characterized with conditions and factors that contribute to the damage of the kidneys, after the kidneys are affected; they malfunction leading to the patient feeling unhealthy through accumulation of wastes and toxins in the human blood (National Kidney Foundation, 2012). CKD results in subsequent complications such as anemia, heart disease, blood vessels diseases, high blood pressure, poor nutritional health, weak bones and damages to the nerves among other complications (Danovitch, 2009). CKD may be as a result of high blood sugar and diabetes among other complications. Early detection and medical intervention prevent CKD from getting worse (Gilbert & Weiner, 2013). Untreated CKD results to complete failure of the kidneys resulting to kidney transplant or dialysis in maintaining the human life.

Facts on CKD indicated that the early detection and medical intervention are the best way of managing the disease, hence preventing CKD from resulting to the failure of the kidneys. Most people who suffer from CKD die of heart diseases (Daugirdas, 2011). Normal functioning of the kidneys is analyzed through GFR (Glomerular Filtration Rate). Medics indicated that hypertension and CKD are directly related and a patient suffering from one of the disease results to the other disease (Gilbert & Weiner, 2013).

Diagnosis of CKD is best done by noting the extent of protein present in the urine, a condition commonly known as Persistent Proteinuria. Three common steps applied in the detection of CKD are related to urine albumin, blood pressure and serum creatinine. Surveys have shown that some groups in the community are at high risks than others. High risk groups are related to those suffering from hypertension, groups with diabetes and people from families with histories of kidney failure (Danovitch, 2009). It has also been noted that Pacific Islanders, Hispanics, African Americans, elderly people in the community (seniors) and American Indians are at increased risks of getting CKD.

Symptoms of CKD are related to excessive tiredness, minimized energy, issues with concentrating, poor appetite, lack of sleep, crumpling of muscles at night, swollen ankles, swollen feet, puffiness in mouth and eyes, itchy and dry skin and frequent urination. Anybody of any age can suffer from CKD, but CKD is common with the high risk groups in the society (Daugirdas et al., 2006).

CKD is also caused by Glomerulonephritis; that is a group of diseases resulting to harm and swelling of the filtering units of the kidneys. CKD is also caused by inherited diseases related to polycystic kidney disease; the extended cysts damage the surrounding tissues of the kidney (Daugirdas, 2011). CKD is also caused by the malfunctions in the development of the fetus while at the womb of the mother. A narrow system that allows urine out of the body causes an abnormal outflow related to the urine resulting to some urine going back to the kidney, this results to infections that damage the kidneys. CKD is also caused by diseases that affect the immune system, such as Lupus. CKD in men may also be caused by tumors, kidney stones and enlarged prostate glands. CKD may also result from repeated infections in the urinary system (Danovitch, 2009).

CKD is influenced by behaviors, age, genetics, gender and ethnicity among other factors; the factors influence the treatment and diagnosis of the patients suffering CKD. Medical professionals establish the factors before commencing the treatments in order to offer the right medical intervention. Harmful behaviors connected to CKD are related to taking excessive alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs (Daugirdas et al., 2006). Medical professionals must be updated on any treatments that have been used such as herbs, over the counter medications and prescription diseases among others (National Kidney Foundation, 2012).

Treating CKD focuses at preventing or slowing down the damages made to the kidneys. Treatment also focuses at the risk factors causing CKD and subsequently manages the medical conditions. Diseases that cause CKD are treated or managed in preventing subsequent damages to the kidney. Controlling CKD is made by developing a plan useful in the management and treatment of the CKD (Daugirdas, 2011).

Patients with diabetes manage CKD through managing diabetes by controlling blood sugar levels with physical exercises, diet and medications. Patients with high blood sugar control CKD through physical exercises, diet and medicine (National Kidney Foundation, 2012). Blood sugar is kept at less than 130/80 in managing CKD. Treating of CKD is in accordance with the causes of the disease; patients may be prescribed with medicines for blood pressure such as ARB (angiotensin II receptor blocker) or ACE inhibitor among others (Daugirdas et al., 2006). Side effects of ACE and ARB are related to trouble breathing and the swelling of lips, tongue, face and throat. The side effects vary with individuals due to age, genetics, gender, ethnicity and individual behaviors (Gilbert & Weiner, 2013).

Timely management of CKD is realized if patients detect the conditions early and medical intervention is administered the earliest possible. Individuals and medical professionals are encouraged to be aware on the symptoms, signs and the risk factors associated with CKD.


Danovitch, G. M. (2009). Handbook of Kidney Transplantation. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Handbook Series.

Daugirdas, J. T. (2011). Handbook of Chronic Kidney Disease Management . Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Handbook Series .

Daugirdas, J., Blake, P. & Ing, T. (2006). Handbook of Dialysis. Philadelphia: LWW.

Gilbert, S. & Weiner, D. (2013). National Kidney Foundation Primer on Kidney Diseases. Philadelphia: Saunders.

National Kidney Foundation. (2012). Chronic Kidney Disease. Retrieved April 27, 2014, from