Chronic Kidney Disease

What Is Chronic Kidney Disease?

Chronic kidney disease – CKD – also called chronic renal failure, chronic kidney failure, or chronic renal insufficiency – describes the process of your kidneys gradually losing their ability to function. The function of the kidneys is to filter waste and excess fluid in the blood and excrete this excess in your urine. When your kidneys do not function properly, waste builds up in the blood and makes you sick.  

CKD Assessment and Degrees of Severity

CKD slowly gets worse over time. In the early stages, there may be no symptoms. The loss of function is gradual and usually takes months or years to occur. Often, symptoms do not appear until kidney function is less than one-tenth of normal.

Kidney filtration rate is one method of assessing how well your kidneys are functioning. To calculate your rate, doctors use a blood creatinine test. There are five stages of kidney disease, that range from Stage 1 being some kidney damage but normal blood test results to Stage 5, end-stage kidney/renal disease or kidney failure, which is the significant or total loss of kidney function. Once a person has Stage 5 CKD, kidney dialysis (a machine is used to filter your blood) or a kidney transplant is necessary for your survival.

CKD Symptoms and Complications

CKD symptoms can vary based on the level of severity.  People who have CKD may experience the following signs or symptoms and complications

  • Constant fatigue
  • Feeling overly sleepy or having difficulty sleeping
  • Chest pain
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty thinking or remembering (cognitive difficulty)
  • Swelling in the extremities or puffiness in the face (edema)
  • High blood pressure
  • Unusual itching, easy bruising or bleeding, and pale skin
  • Loss of appetite with or without nausea or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Urinating less than normal
  • Restless legs or numbness in your hands or feet

Complications of CKD

  • Anemia 
  • Bone disease (osteodystrophy)
  • Electrolyte imbalances
  • Fluid buildup or Edema
  • Heart disease
  • Uremic syndrome
  • Severe fatigue

CKD And Obtaining Social Security Disability Benefits

CKD is evaluated under SSA Listing 6.00.  The listings related to CKD focus on people with dialysis level needs and those receiving transplants.  However, the range of severe symptoms for those dealing with chronic kidney disease is broad and many symptoms and complications from chronic kidney disease, such as extreme fatigue, can make employment difficult if not impossible.  If you are dealing with CKD and are unable to work or considering disability, call Chad Brown Law today for a free case evaluation at 336-962-5373.