Carolinas HealthCare System

If your child has been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD), you might be wondering, “Just what do the kidneys do?”

The kidneys are the body’s filtering system. They help control water levels and eliminate waste products through urine. They also help regulate blood pressure, red blood cell production and the levels of calcium and minerals in the body. CKD is a gradual deterioration of kidney function over time. High blood pressure, diabetes and a family history of kidney failure are the leading causes of CKD.

The goal of treatment is to slow the decline of kidney function. When the kidneys are no longer able to control water levels and eliminate waste products from the body, a person with CKD will need dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease

  • Blood in the urine
  • Burning or pain during urination
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • High blood pressure
  • Lack of energy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Significant increase in the frequency of urination, especially at night
  • Swelling around the eyes, face, feet and ankles
  • Weight loss