Most of the time, kidneys work normally without any issues but sometimes they can be damaged or stop working so well. This is known as chronic kidney disease. CKD is a serious condition that affects over three million people in the UK and up to a million of these people may be undiagnosed. Find out how you can improve your kidney health
Early diagnosis and treatment, as well as changes to your diet and lifestyle, are vital and can often help slow down or prevent any further damage. However, if CKD goes undetected or is not managed well, it can progress to kidney failure, which is fatal without treatment. Patients with kidney failure will need regular dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Some other types of kidney disease, including inherited conditions, are not preventable but can be managed.
Having kidney disease affects more than your physical health. It also impacts your social life, relationships and emotional wellbeing. Imagine visiting the hospital three times a week for a four-hour dialysis session – how would you fit this around work, or looking after children, or going on holiday?
Although anyone can develop kidney disease, here are some factors that can increase your risk:
The global pandemic has changed kidney patients’ lives in many ways.
At increased risk of becoming seriously ill with Covid-19, many kidney patients have been extra cautious. But many dialysis patients have no choice but to go into hospital several times a week for their life-saving treatment. Those with a kidney transplant or taking immunosuppressants still have to attend their regular medical appointments, despite being less able to fight the virus because of the medication and treatments they take.
The Kidney Charities Together group continues to support kidney patients with information and guidance: