Among the types of kidney disease that often occur are as follows:

  • Chronic kidney disease (CKD)
  • Acute kidney injury

The definition of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is when the kidneys are no longer able to clear toxins and waste products from the blood and perform their functions at full capacity. These kidney problems can occur in a progressive or continuous deterioration over time.

There are also cases of acute kidney injury (formerly known as acute kidney failure) which is a sudden loss of kidney function, usually within hours or days. However, this is quite rare.

Why are the kidneys so important?

Kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs that carry out important life-sustaining functions. The functions of the kidneys are:

  • Remove waste materials such as urea and toxins from the body.
  • Removes excess fluid from the body.
  • Control blood pressure.
  • Controls acid in the blood.
  • Regulates minerals in the blood.
  • Produces hormones for the formation of red blood cells (erythropoietin) and active vitamin D, to maintain healthy and strong bones.

What are the symptoms of chronic kidney disease?

Symptoms of chronic CKD vary and depend on the severity of the kidney damage. CKD is divided into five stages based on the level of kidney function or glomerular filtration rate. The glomerular filtration rate can be estimated from the blood creatinine level and is usually above 90 ml/min.